Fresh fusion at California Chutney
As someone who has never tried Indian food, I was a bit hesitant to take a trip down the 210 freeway to grab a bite at California Chutney. However, after hearing that California Chutney offered Mexican-Indian fusion food, I was definitely excited to try out familiar dishes with a foreign twist.
As I entered the restaurant, the first thing I noticed was its modern vibe. With its wide glass windows, hexagon-shaped bench and hanging lights, the restaurant offered a bright, contemporary setting. The trendy interior design of California Chutney reflected the restaurant’s innovative approach to Indian dishes.
I ordered the “Naan Taco Trio” and the “Chicken Tikka Masala Fries.” For the tacos, I was given a variety of proteins to choose from, as well as vegetable mixes. I chose “Beef Chili Keema” (ground beef with various spices) along with “Kachumber” (a special vegetable mix) for both of my tacos.
The fries had a nice, crisp texture and were seasoned with a bit of spice. This heat was balanced by the cilantro, goat cheese and roasted chili sour cream that resembled the taste of traditional Indian curry. As its name suggests, the fries came with slices of chicken that added a savory flavor to the whole dish.
Before digging into the tacos, I also visited the Chutney Bar, a small area in the back of the restaurant dedicated to serving Indian chutney, a special condiment that adds spicy or sweet flavor to food. There were a variety of choices, including “Mango Ginger,” “Cucumber Yogurt” and “Roasted Chili.” I decided to add a bit of “Roasted Chili” to spice up my tacos. The tacos, like the fries, had a spicy and savory flavor. The beef tasted tangy and sweet and was balanced by the refreshing taste of cucumbers and tomato. The naan bread, however, was what made this dish unique. While it tasted mostly like typical flatbread, it gave off a hint of sweetness. The crisp texture also complemented the chewy texture of the vegetables and meats.
The “Naan Taco Trio” was priced at $12.99, which I felt was reasonable because of its large portions. The fries were originally priced at $10.45, but because of the restaurant’s happy hour — lasting from 3 to 7 p.m. — I was able to order it for $8.45. For two dollars less, its generous portions and great taste make for a decent price.
Overall, California Chutney serves creative dishes that are both well-presented and tasty. The spicy, rich flavors that the meals offer makes visiting the restaurant an interesting experience. With its reasonable pricing and good portions, California Chutney is definitely worth a visit.
By Andrew Kim, Staff writer
Photo by Andrew Kim