Mint Leaf Indian Food
Updated: Jun 25, 2019
I live in LA. The mecca and a bounty of any kind of food I want. Yet, its not always good. On a rainy day in March, I did find it. I found a unicorn! And in Altadena of all places!! It was at the Mint Leaf Indian restaurant, a truly unique and quite frankly, deliciously awesome!
I was lucky enough to be able to try a large tasting menu here. Everything and I do mean EVERYTHING was so amazing.
We started with the Vegetable Samosas (puff pastries stuffed with a mixture of spiced potatoes, green peas, chopped ginger and cilantro seeds) and the Achari Tandoori Mushrooms (fresh button mushrooms marinated in a special nigella seed spiced sauce, then slowly roasted in our traditional Tandoor oven and served with a fresh mint chutney). Both were phenomenal! The samosa's were not too thick and heavy like others that I have tried in the past. They were not greasy at all. The mushrooms had such a punch of flavor, we couldn't stop eating them!
For the entrees we had the Chicken Tikka Masala (Tandoor-roasted chicken breast pieces in our classic and creamy tomato curry sauce), the Spinach Kofta Makhni (spiced spinach dumplings served in amakhni sauce) and the Coconut Lamb Curry ( Boneless pieces of lamb simmered in a coconut curry with onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and fennel). We chose the Green Pea Pulao (flavorful basmati rice dish with green peas, carom seeds and fried onions) and garlic Naan (Raised flour bread brushed with clarified butter and topped with fresh garlic and cilantro) as accompaniments.
I order Chicken Tikka Masala at every Indian restaurant, because it helps me gauge the depth of flavor of the meal. Hands down this Tikka Masala did not disappoint. The chicken was tender and not fatty and the Masala sauce was flavorful and creamy. The Coconut Lamb curry was not gamey and was so tender it practically melted in your mouth. However the Spinach Kofta Makhni was the stand out in the crowd and by far the winner of the evening. I'm a meat eater, but this dish has changed my life. The sauce is similar to a Tikka Masala, however when you bite into the dumpling its got almost a creamy texture. Nothing that I expected. I could have easily eaten two orders of this!
Other key items to mention were the chutney's and the rice with peas. The meals came with a tamarind and a mint chutney. Both were smooth, colorful, and had bright flavors. The tamarind was definitely sweeter than the mint, but just as good. The peas and nuts in the rice gave it fantastic texture and the naan was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
The only thing i wasn't memorized by was the desserts. Let me fully disclose that I'm not a dessert person, but still...underwhelmed.
All in all, this was an amazing me and you could taste the depth of flavor in every dish. If you have a chance, I urge you to try this restaurant.
2535 East Washington Blvd. Altadena/Pasadena, California 91107
The food at this restaurant was provided complimentary or at a discounted price, however all opinions are 100% mine.
A free meal does not buy a good review.