Not sure where to go on Devon Avenue
? Don't worry, you're not alone. With Indian restaurants ranging from Tiffin
on West Devon (where tuxedoed waters bring your food on a silver platter) to the über-cheap cabbie favorite Ghareeb Nawaz
further east, the choices seem endless.
But stop right there and head back west to Hema's Kitchen. Their surprise October 2008 relocation, from quieter Oakley Street to bustling Devon, at first seems counter-intuitive, especially for a popular destination spot. But Hema's was ready to join the Devon ranks, with a reputation that glows even brighter than the most fluorescent light-filled Indian convenience store that sells everything from bindis to garam masala spices.
Named after Indian owner Hema Potla, who hails from the city of Hyderabad, India, Hema's kitchen caters to everyone from the hardcore vegetarian to the meat-craving maniac. Go all out with appetizers like the vegetable samosa, spinach pakora, paneer pakora, or live on the lighter side with the sheek khebob roll (rolled in paratha and filled with chilies, tomatoes, onions and the irresistible green chutney). Vegetarian entrees like the spinach-and-cheese sag paneer are always a sure bet. Meat-eaters who still want some greens should go for the sag ghost, seasoned lamb cooked in spinach and spices. Whatever you do, don't forget to top it off with naan bread.
Depending on when you go, you might catch Hema and her daughter. Gold-framed paintings hang on the dark beige and maroon-colored walls, and stained-glass lamps hang throughout the space add a comfortable feel. Like you need another reason to visit Hema's Kitchen.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Alicia Eler