Monday, March 8, 2010

Indian feast @ Clay Oven

Clay Oven in Sherman Oaks is one of our go-to Sunday lunch spots because they have a pretty good weekend buffet for a very reasonable price of $14.99. The food selection is usually rather good (tandoori, basmati rice, naan, a couple meat curry dishes, a few vegetarian dishes, saag paneer, salad, dessert) and most importantly, unlimited sparkling wine. I'm quite easily sold.

My mom and I decided to grab dinner at Clay Oven. Sigh, no Champagne bunch for lunch so we ordered the 2 person special that came with an array of food including two samosas, naan, choice of tandoori or sheesh kebab, a chicken dish, vegetarian dish, dessert and coffee/tea for less than $50. They also offer a vegetarian special menu. This may sound pricey for Indian food, but there was so much food that it could have easily fed another person.

Two giant samosas. Chunks of potatoes, veggies and spices, and served with two dipping sauces: mint and tamarind. I love starting an Indian meal with a samosa.

Our Indian feast.

Chicken Makhni, boneless chicken in sauce with cream and tomatoes.
I usually order the chicken marsala but decided to try something different. We ordered the makhni extra spicy and it was delicious and very spicy. They don't mess around here. The chicken was tender and the sauce was thick and flavorful. So delicious that I would have licked the sauce off the plate. I didn't do it at the restaurant but I proceeded to do it at home with leftovers.

Basmati rice with vegetables and Bengan Bharta (eggplant masted in clay oven with onions, spices and tomatoes). I liked that they provided the vegetable basmati rice instead of plain white rice. The eggplant was delicious and tasted healthy. It's dense enough that you really don't need to eat it with rice - hence low carb!

Sheesh kebab, minced lamb mixed mixed with spices and cooked on a skewer in clay oven.
The meat had a burger patty consistency. I prefer the actual chunks of lamb which I guess is a different kind of kebab. The lamb was a little dry and gamy so I didn't really care for this dish. I had buyers remorse when I noticed the next table with their tandoori.

A little bit of everything.

I chose the ras malai for dessert, which is sweetened paneer (cheese) balls topped with pistachios. Since we were stuffed at this point and my mom isn't that into desserts, we got the other dessert option (rice pudding) to go, which I happily devoured at work the next day.

The best part of the meal was the leftovers.

I enjoyed dinner at Clay Oven. I thought the price was reasonable and the food flavorful. I liked that the 2 person special offered a good variety of dishes with many choices. The portions were generous and there were leftovers that provided two additional lunch meals. Just try not to heat it up in the office microwave- your colleagues may not appreciate.

Hits: eggplant, chicken, portions
Misses: lamb kebab
Rating: ***

Clay Oven
14661 Ventura Blvd.,
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
(818) 995-1777

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