Pack it for your house!
Pack it for your house!
Photo by Das Ubergeek

78. Pani Puri from Adya

Behold the beginning of our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!

I grew up in a town in New Jersey that served as one of the most well-known points of immigration for South Asians, particularly Indians. And while most non-Indians shunned Indian cooking ("ooh, it smells weird!"), snacks called chaat slowly wormed their way into non-Desi hearts. Samosa and pakora first, but then crispy filled pockets called puri.

At Adya, the chaat are a little higher-end; the chickpeas are spooned into the lentil puffs for you, and arranged neatly around a cruet of sweet-sour tamarind water.

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You pour the liquid into the puff and then eat it quickly, before it soaks through the bottom and causes a hull breach all over your shirt.

Its location means that rents are high and so are prices, but sometimes all that will do is a plate of well-spiced chaat. Just because it's simple doesn't mean it's easy--but it is delicious.

Adya, 440 S. Anaheim Blvd. #201, Anaheim; 714-533-2392;

The List:

79. The Pocket at the Pocket Burger 80. Gyro Sandwich from Paul's Place 81. Slice of Heaven at Pie-Not 82. Taquitos at El Toro Bravo 83. Peanut Butter and Jelly Donut at the Donuttery 84. Dan Dan Mian at Wei-Shian Noodle 85. Beef Burger at Rider's Club Café 86. Smoked Trout at Provenance 87. Small Plates at A&J Restaurant 88. Corn Cheese at Zoomak Asian Bistro 89. Pumpkin Curry at Bhan Baitong 90. Poke at Costco Tustin II 91. Pambazo at Tacos Radioactivos 92. Beef Pho at Pho Crystal Noodle House 93. Breakfast Burrito from Cafe Calacas 94. Koobideh Plate from Grill Cafe 95. Tacos de Cecina from Alebrije's 97. Breakfast Sausage from Da-Le Ranch 99. Tres Amigos Burrito from Piaggio on Wheels 100. Bacon-Wrapped Dates from Lola Gaspar

Email: Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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