Tamarind of London: great Indian cooking in Southern California

You don’t have timthumbto travel to London for great Indian cooking from the people who own Mayfair’s Tamarind restaurant, the place we consider the best Indian kitchen in England. Just head for beautiful Newport Beach, California where Tamarind of London sets the standard for an elevated Indian dining experience for locals and visitors alike. Tamarind of London pays homage to India’s flavorful traditional favorites while artfully integrating California’s robust selection of seasonal, fresh and sustainable ingredients in every dish. In 2013, Tamarind of London was declared “Best Indian Food” in Southern California by the Los Angeles Times’ Pulitzer Prize-awarded restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold. The menu is diverse, much like the Indian culinary scene and offers a wide range of items suitable for every occasion, mood, appetite and palate. The combination of a generous happy hour, large airy patio with fire pits, innovative cocktails, and energetic bar scene has established Tamarind of London as a local hotspot. We went for lunch and had tandoori swordfish, scallops simmered in lemongrass, chicken saag and lamb roganjosh. Then lemon chili scallops. Goat cheese naan, of course. It was all delicious. Dinner holds more tasty surprises: grilled potato cakes with cumin and ginger, spinach and potato dumplings, tandoori lamb chops, charbroiled sea bass, tandoori grilled prawns. Indian food goes far beyond spicy curry and rice and it is here at Tamarind of London you will be transported into a world of high-end fresh ingredients and exotic spices and flavors. The ambience here is casual and sophisticated with razor-sharp service and fine, well-priced wines. Dessert highlights include house-made ice creams featuring intriguing ingredients like avocado. The restaurant has terrific outdoor dining and sits in the chic confines of Newport Beach’s trendy Crystal Cove Promenade, www.tamarindoflondon.com. The staff is amiable, knowledgeable and polite.

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