You cannot review An Indian Affaire without addressing Ganesha…you know, the elephant in the room…
Yes, An Indian Affaire opened in the same location as the now closed Tandoori Grill. And yes, they also serve Indian cuisine. But that’s where it ends. These are all new owners and all new staff who have nothing to do with the previous ownership and have nothing to do with the events of earlier this year. So, with that settled, we move on to sharing our thoughts on this new culinary treat in the SCV.
When you first walk in to An Indian Affaire, located at 23360 Valencia Blvd, nestled between Jasmine Thai and a dry cleaner, you see that, despite this being a strip mall restaurant, it has a touch of something special. Plush and attractive seating, homey and traditional art on the walls, large tables…all of the things you see in nicer spots, but are surprised to encounter here.
It works though, primarily because the food is delicious and authentic. In fact, my family felt the food is as good – if not a bit better – than what we have out here in the SCV, and we are a pretty rough crown when it comes to Indian cuisine.
Sydney and LeeAnn both ordered the Tikka Masala and found it to be “extremely flavorful with an abundance of sauce, perfect for dipping” the housemade naan. I ordered the Tikka hot plate which was filled with tender grilled chicken and vegetables in the same Tikka spices, and thought it was perfectly executed. We also ordered the Samosas which LeeAnn thought were “out of this world with the right crisp on the outside and the perfect blend of potatoes and traditional spices in the filling.” We also tried the Aloo Tikki, a potato and green pea patty, and thought it to be quite tasty with a hint of spice on the back-end.
I realize that naan is a pretty basic thing for an Indian restaurant. You don’t expect it to be a challenge, but some do it poorly and others simply bring in someone else’s product. This housemade naan was so good – with just a hint of a butter – hot and steamy, fresh from the oven. The sign of a good bread, be it a loaf of rye or a traditional piece like naan, is how good it is without spread or sauce. This naan was tasty from first bite to last…we loved it.
The single most important element of the success of a restaurant…that which comes even before food, is customer service. Did the person who greeted you smile when they seated you? Did you get menus and water/bread quickly? Were you asked if you’d ever been to the restaurant before and, if not, offered ordering advice? Was the service prompt? Did the server stop by enough times to be helpful but not so many times as to be a pain? Those should all be yes’s…and they were at An Indian Affaire.
In fact, Jafar Abrar, the new owner came over and talked to us about the restaurant, the art on the walls (specially commissioned for them, to match the colors of the sign that adorns the facade), his family recipes, the new staff, and the problems with opening a restaurant (especially with the unique circumstances of his opening). He was polite, affable, honest and open to comments.
His attitude and affability has caused us to return multiple times, most notably for the lunch buffet, which is all-you-can-eat for $8.99. The buffet features a number of dishes, including the aforementioned Tikka Masala, as well as their super savory Curry and delicious Tandoori Chicken. The buffet also offers a number of vegetarian dishes, like Saag Alu, a spinach and potato dish; Jeera Alu, a potato dish and a delicious lentil dish. Additionally, there is traditional basmati rice and Peas Pulav, a spiced rice dish.
If your family, like mine, appreciates traditional Indian faire, you cannot go wrong at An Indian Affaire.