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85 Very Good

The restaurant may be so bare-bones casual that it can feel like dinner at a friend’s house, but the food is eye-opening good.

31-31 Thomson Ave., Long Island City, NY, 11101


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The lowdown

Chintan Pandya, the chef at this bustling little Long Island City canteen, has cooked in grand kitchens all over the world, but according to the loquacious gentleman who brought us our tandoori-grilled lamb chops one happy afternoon, he considers this casual little place with simmered goat brains on the menu and a metal shanty-style roof over the bar to be “his idea of the perfect restaurant.” After polishing off the tender double-cut chops and those brains (served with toasty buttered rolls for mopping up), as well as a variety of other home-style Indian delicacies (spicy, buttered chicken tikka, loose squares of paneer that Pandya and his cooks curdle in-house), and what is possibly the finest mango lassi in town, it’s easy to see why.

Adam Platt

What you need to know

Insider Tips The all-day student-special takeout lunch box costs just $6.43 with a school ID.

Recommended DishesKale pakoda; paneer makhani; masala-fried chicken, seasonal saag paneer; Malvani prawn curry.

DrinksNo Alcohol

Noise LevelCivilized