I imagine the average American perception of Indian food to be similar to that of Mexican: a humble cuisine (even that reads of oxymoron) whose beauty is rooted in poverty and provincial cliches. Food of the people.
But just like the Rick Bayless's and John Sedlar's of the world continuously reimagine Mexican food in gilded form, Los Angeles' Tanzore culls a more cosmopolitan version of Indian cuisine befitting of its home in Beverly Hills.
Tanzore feels a little bit Sex and the City: high bar stools and low couches, sleek darkness in outlines of neon lights.
Tanzore’s appetizers are replete with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, most priced between $14 and $20. The chicken achari tikka is barbecued, but reamins moist in its pickle marinade. It is served with both cool and tangy chutneys (16).
Here, a Kashmiri lamb curry is prepared with the customary Indian accents of cardamom, ginger, and fennel seeds(18). The curry’s flavors are complex, but subdued for the American palate.
The highlight of this lineup is the trio of scallops (25). Served seared, these delicately tender discs are served atop tomato pilaf towers and drizzled in spinach, tomato, and coconut sauces.
The dish is as flavorful as it is stunning, which is often a challenge for the earthen tones of Indian cuisine.
While the prices seem fair for upscale cuisine, the surprise comes when one realizes that even with curry, rice is not included. Upselling is subtle and unclear, as somehow even the scallops ended having a second side order of rice and the two orders of rice and naan resulted in an additional fifteen dollar sort of surcharge (five each), and hence, what appears to be three dishes and some rice and bread results in an eighty dollar check.
Aggressive pricing aside, Tanzore’s flavors are Indian food without consequence - flavors are earthy but easy to swallow. Fans of Indian food should find its user-friendly selection as charming as both its atmosphere and service.
Tanzore - Indian Modern
50 North La Cienega Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Photography by http://bbbites.blogspot.com/