Friday, March 14, 2008

Curry Bowl, Sri Lankan on a dime.

Bring on the heat!

My favorite of the evening, jackfruit.

Curry Bowl's spread.

Mouth watering lentils.

Chicken curry and devilled beef from Colombo.

Tarzana is home to Paul Thomas Anderson sets and a vibrant Persian restaurant scene,matter of fact, I'm surprised by the dizzying amount of diverse restaurants along the Tarzana stretch of Ventura Bl. in general.Texas Barbeque,wine and tapas bars,sushi,etc.I had a sore neck on the drive home looking at all these places and making mental notes for future visits to the cultural mecca that is Tarzana.I wonder if Dirk Diggler bought any Persian rugs from a local shop for his bachelor pad after he made it big.

The Curry Bowl is located in one of the ubiquitous strip malls that dot Ventura Bl. for miles and miles;a defining feature of many west valley cities.But, the Curry Bowl is a destination unto itself for quality,uniqueness, and affordability.Their dinner buffet is $8.99.

This simple and petite Sri Lankan restaurant located right next to a 7-11 really delivers.The owner and chef is friendly and helpful.His Sri Lankan menu has food from different parts of Sri Lanka and reflect the Indian, Dutch, Portuguese, and British influences.The buffet featured around 10 different items plus some spicy condiments if you wanted some more heat.To be honest, this food wasn't that hot even with the added condiments.I have a feeling that the cuisine has been toned down for the masses.I wanted to suffer the pains of Sri Lankan heat, but never even came close.

The rice noodles, or pilau, were outstanding.Many in our group loved this item and came back for more.All dishes were enjoyable.The only minus was that because it was a Tuesday we didn't have the egg hoppers, which are available on weekends.The dish made with jackfruit called polos was a favorite of mine, and a rare treat.We also tried the chicken curry,green beans,and devilled beef. Sri Lankan roti was brought to our table to accompany this fine food, along with some beer from the liquor store across the boulevard.Yes, it's BYOB.

Even toned down, Curry Bowl makes flavorful and complex dishes that satisfy from the lentils to the to the curries to the delicious wattalappan for dessert.There was a Dutch inspired dish as well as one that reflected Portugal's colonial imprint.It's also a hangout for the local Sri Lankan community which enhancess the experience.And you can sample a variety of authentic Sri Lankan for $8.99;$6.99 for lunch.This is the spot for an affordable culinary adventure.

Curry Bowl19662 Ventura Blvd.Tarzana,CA818-609-7683 Hours: Tue.-Thu., 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Mon., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

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