Nestled in a tiny shopping center off Orange’s long stretch of Glassell, just past Riverdale, stands Spicewood Grill and Curry, which serves up Pakistani bistro-like renditions of homestyle dishes. Here you’ll find Indian fusion plates, richly seasoned yet approachable curries, platters of grilled meat and wraps, all of which can be made to order in a matter of minutes (if the kitchen isn’t slammed).
A great starter is the chicken masala fries, golden, crisp French fries are topped in a sweet-and-spicy masala gravy, tender morsels of chicken and tangy crumbles of feta, then finished with a generous drizzle of creamy garlic sauce. Also great for sharing is the vegetarian appetizer platter, with paneer masala fries, samosa, hummus and garlic naan.
Every meal comes with a small side salad, freshly buttered naan—and music from a single television on the wall playing the latest Bollywood videos. Enjoy a wrap served on freshly baked naan (or whole wheat roti), with chutney, lettuce, tomatoes and onions accompanying your choice of chicken, paneer or beef. If you want something on the lighter side, salad options include Mediterranean (mixed greens, feta cheese, pecans, red onions and cherry tomatoes) and quinoa berry (quinoa, fresh berries and oranges with citrus-cream dressing); you can add chicken, paneer, fish, shrimp or lamb chops.
Among the main plates are beef seekh (ground beef skewers), spicy paneer kebab (grilled marinated paneer cheese) and shalimar lamb chops, slowly grilled lamb marinated in the perfect amount of yogurt. Spicewood’s beef boti is a succulent plate of spiced, marinated sirloin steak, fragrant rice and a side salad that puts most chef salads to shame. Mixed greens and arugula come intertwined with beet wedges, green olives, feta and cherry tomatoes, all served with a side of housemade basil chutney, lemon and olive oil dressing. Despite the toned-down spice and, sadly, lack of biryani on the menu (available online only), Spicewood’s “from the grill” plates serve up savory Pakistani delights.
Spicewood Grill and Curry, 3203 N. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 790-4034; www.spicewoodgrill.com.
Cynthia Rebolledo covers anything and everything food, culture and spirits.