Exotic ethnic

Well, not that exotic; it's only Indian. Little India's opened an outpost in South Denver off of Downing a few years ago, and while for me it lacks the ambience of their other locations, it's nice to have good Indian food close by. Tucked into the back side of a building near Porter Hospital in a not very exciting little business district, the space has been a number of restaurants, most recently a not very notable Italian joint. They seem to do a decent amount of business in a spot that has been challenging for restaurants to succeed in.

We have eaten in many times and occasionally get take out. Our most recent dine there was of the take out variety. I ordered the chicken tikka masala (I know, how boring, but I just can't resist!) and my husband ordered dal makhani (a vegetarian lentil dish). We rounded out the meal with a few orders of regular and garlic naan.

The portions for take out are terrific. A medium-ish styrofoam (shame, shame!) container absolutely heaving with perfectly cooked and lightly spiced basmati rice, accompanied by medium sized plastic containers filled to the brim with each entree (I wonder if you actually get a larger portion when you order out??) were enough to feed four rather than two (as evidenced by what I ate for lunch today...and will have again tomorrow!).

My chicken tikka masala ($13.99) was exactly what I've come to expect from Little India's; slightly dried out white meat chicken in the most creamy, heavenly masala sauce I have ever come across. I put up with the dry chicken solely so that I may enjoy the sauce. Honestly, they could just give me a container of sauce, some rice and some naan and I'd be perfectly set. I suppose at some stage, I could branch out and try one of the seafood masalas or the channa masala (chickpeas) and see if having a different protien improves the dish...maybe next time.

My husband's dal makhani ($9.99 - lentils cooked with garlic, ginger, tomato and spices) was delicious. Spicy and thick, you don't miss having meat as your entree for a moment. The sauce is very substantial and totally satisfying to mop up with the hot naan. My husband is an avid kebab eater in Indian and Middle Eastern restaurants and isn't exactly hankering to become a vegetarian (can I tell you how much he wants to grill in this weather??), but I would bet he never orders a meat dish at Little India's again. Hell, he doesn't need to. This dish will do quite nicely, thank you!

Overall, Little India's is tasty, reliable Indian food. All of the 'standard' dishes you'd expect at an Indian restaurant are on the menu and are well executed. The prices are very resonable, and if you're dining in, the service is just fine. I'm glad they are in the neighborhood!

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