Best Places to Eat in Berkeley, California (I)
Best Places to Eat in Berkeley, California: Ajanta Indian Cuisine – Sophisticated Dining on Solano
Ajanta is a sophisticated Indian cuisine restaurant with a menu that changes monthly. The various regions of India are featured with their specialties.
The dining room has Indian artwork inspired by the caves of Ajanta, a World Heritage site in India in the central state of Maharashtra. .
Ajanta aims for a high-quality taste experience in its presentation of Indian food.
The menu offers Small Plates / Appetizers, Entrees, and Side Orders for lunch and dinner. A Taj Mahal beer or a flavored yogurt drink would be a good beverage choice.
All dishes can be ordered very mild, mild/low medium, medium, high medium, and hot. Meals may come with a side dish of spinach and potatoes or chick peas.
The guiding force behind Ajanta is chef/owner Lachu Moorjani. The manager during my visit was Bryan Desouza. Both offer guiding menu suggestions.
A good plan is to choose the Chef's Tasting Menu, offering the best of Ajanta in that season.
Best Places to Eat in Berkeley, California: Ajanta Indian Cuisine – Tasty offerings:
Appetizers: Chicken Samosa, Tandoori Scallops, Tandoori Portobello, Mushrooms
Main Dishes: Kandahari Chicken, Lamb Rib Chops, Seyal Machi (mahi mahi fish), Badal Jaam
Accompaniments: Basmati rice, Naan, Mango Chutney, Carrot Pickles, Hot Pickles
Desserts, choice of: Kulfi, Cardamon Gelato, Mango Sorbet, Gulab Jamun
The emphasis is on seasonally fresh and organic ingredients.
Patrons can be put on Lachu Moorjani's monthly email list to be kept informed on the ever-evolving menu.
Best Places to Eat in Berkeley, California: Ajanta's Cookbook / Spicebox – 30 Spices in a Box
Ajanta restaurant on Solano Avenue is special in two further ways in the world of Indian cuisine.
Ajanta has a well-thought-out cookbook with which you can create the dishes served in the restaurant.
Ajanta also sells a box of 30 spices that are used in the restaurant.
The book is Ajanta, Regional Feasts of India. It includes several sequential photo layouts on Indian food preparation. The book was written by chef / owner Lachu Moorjani.
The spice box is called Shanti's Spice Box, compiled by the chef / owner's wife, Shanti. The box includes some better-known and some rarer spices, which would be difficult for a layman to source.