California CHUTNEY – Pasadena’s Fresh Indian Cuisine

by Franklin on September 21, 2015

California Chutney is a fast casual Indian spot in Pasadena that leaves you full and feeling good. Often times, you come out from eating Indian food feeling overly stuffed and full — with lots of bold flavors and rice with meat (my comfort food), one can’t help but stuff their face. California Chutney really hones in on the flavors while keeping the meal sensible and nutritious. That’s their philosophy.

Executive Chef Sunil Lad really takes his creativity to action and produces some wonderful dishes. With multiple tandoor ovens on site, they are able to produce fresh naan every time. I saw the process of making these — the cooks had to be delicate and needed a bit of finesse.

Here we have a naan taco. The naan is a perfect vessel to add almost anything. The Indian flavors in the chicken tikki was bold and fresh. The naan was perfectly warm and balanced — crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. You can tell they’ve been working on the perfect dough and hit their mark.

The lamb and rice was off the menu, but I can totally see this on the menu in the future. The lamb was perfectly seasoned and had a nice texture. It was soft and flavorful — just a hint of that lamb gamey flavor gave this cut a nice complexity. My weakness is meat and rice, and this dish really hit the spot.

The shrimp skewers in preparation for the shrimp dish was a sight to see. Perfectly cooked in the tandoor oven, the edged were charred nicely and gave a nice flavor to the shrimp. Mixed with red bell peppers, onions and green onions, the dish was a complete success. Spritzing on the cooked lemon made everything perfect. Each bite of the shrimp was satisfying. None were dried out or flavorless. The dish was so healthy and flavorful — I could probably eat this dish with their rice alone and feel very full and still feel good about myself.

The food at California Chutney really delivered what they believe in. All of the dishes were flavorful and healthy. Their ingredients were of the highest quality and you can tell the chefs really take care of the food. Even their chutney bar (not pictured) had a lot to choose from. While other spots nickel and dime you for the specialty sauces, theirs was just out in the open for patrons to enjoy. The interior is fresh and new — it is almost reminiscent of the food — clean, fresh, and colorful.

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