Monday, April 7, 2014

Rajouri Thumakda: The California Boulevard

I've heard about how as a Sardarji, there are some very clear career choices you can make. A transportation business, auto parts or furniture trade and opening a restaurant in Rajouri Garden are options that top the charts. I can't speak much about the first and second types of businesses, but I can completely vouch for the brilliance with which a Sardarji gentleman would run a restaurant after my recent trip to The California Boulevard in Rajouri Garden.

Located in the Rajouri Garden market, not very far from the Bikanerwala, I stepped inside this food palace, not having any idea about the cuisine they had to offer. Six tiles from the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a flight of stairs later, I was welcomed into a hall with wonderful decor, complete with a swanky red Harley Davidson, wrought iron lamp posts and grayscale photographs of Hollywood actors adorning the walls. I must confess though, that I was surprised to find out that despite being managed by a Punjabi paaji, none of the pictures had his family members photoshopped with the celebs, the bike wasn't a Bullt and the music did not sound like Botalaan Sharab Diyan Akhaan Teriyan. So, even though I feel like giving it a four out of five jalebis for the ambience, I give it one more and make it a full five only because our paaji must've had to struggle through curbing his urge to let his Punjabiness show, and stick to the theme to the tee!

Having reached a little late for the dinner with my friends, I was seated by the waiting staff with oodles of male chivalry shown in the chair being pulled, napkin being placed on my lap and a steel bowl being placed in front of me with a little tablet that looked like an Altoid mint. The inner monologue that followed went something like this:

Wow, he pulled the chair for me! So nice! Hehe. Totally not gay for me to think it was a nice gesture.
Must pick up the mint tablet and pop it. What if I get lucky tonight?... Um, no wait… West Delhi, bro. Chill yo’ pants, yo!... But, I’m actually from West Delhi too. Or is Rajinder Nagar Central Delhi?... It’s totally Central Delhi, man!
Must. Eat. This. Mint!
No, why is this waiter pouring water over it? What in Jazzy B’s Bapuji’s effing name are you doing, you idiot?!!
WTF! The mint is growing in size! It looks like a frikkin’ cylinder now!... Ooooh, magic! *happy face*
Ok, why is this guy leaving this magic shit in front of me? And WTF am I supposed to do with this now!
Oh, I think this looks like paneer. Um, or it actually looks like a marshmallow! Is this how they make marshmallows? How in frig did I not know that this is how they make marshmallows!
Should I eat this using my fork or just pick it up with my fingers? This looks like a fancy place. Must totally pick it up using the fork!... No, wait! What if I’m not supposed to eat this?
Should I ask the guy sitting next to me about what he did with it when they did this shit in front of him? Damn, man! I should’ve totally come on time and seen how all the other people on the table reacted to this shit. Serves me right! Frikkin’ coming to events late, acting like I’m totally a busy Chartered Accountant and all that jazz. Paer pe kulhaadi, yo!
Why do I frikkin’ not go to fancy schmancy places to eat so that I know how this stuff works! Bhains ki aankh, aage se nahi jaana bloody Pind Balluchi.

Now, I don’t know if I had involuntarily spoken any of that aloud or the serving staff was used to this, that I had someone from the staff run up to me and say: Sir, would you like to wipe your hands? *gently points to the marshmallow shit* And, then it struck me! I picked up the thing and it turned out to be a frikkin’ wet wipe shaped like a cylindrical piece of paneer! The server totally saved me some face and I realized he was the same guy who had pulled the chair for me. What service! *starry eyes* (And, um, just for the record; that is totally not gay!)

The chef walked up to us in slo-mo, and looked a lot like Rocket Singh! The fact that the chef was also a Sardarji made the happy and gay quotient rise higher, because not just is he good looking but he is such a good listener! So, he completely understood that I am a virgin mojito i.e. vegetarian and non-alcoholic, and suggested some really cool things on the menu for me to try out. I have always sworn by the mouthgasmic taste of the dahi-bhalla chaat at Aggarwal Sweets in Rajinder Nagar (the quality of which has gone down in the recent past), but the Dilli Ki Chaat at The California Boulevard is wayyyyyy out of the former’s league. So much so that if Aggarwal’s Chaat was to be called Ranveer Singh, the one at California is Chitrangdha and a half! It’s a chaat made on a papri of paalak, crisp and texturous, which will not just make you instantly crush over it for being so pretty and non-messy, but also give you the oooh aaaah’s in your mouth almost as soon as you touch the tip of your tongue to it.

My choice of drinks were the Californian Punch and the Thai Refresher; the latter of which is a blend of kaffir lime (which sounds kind of blasphemous), galangal (which I read as gangajal), mint sprigs, soda and watermelon chunks. I remember going all: “OMG, this gives the throat such a hit. I bet this is exactly what vodka tastes like! I frikkin’ bet! Oh, I feel so drunk already! What is this elixir, oh mighty lord, our father in heaven”; hearing which my friend took a sip from my glass and shook his head in disbelief. It’s really good apart from the fact that they put a lot of crushed ice in your glass, so you must totally tell them not to give it to you with ice in the first place, and then ask for it later like a badass! Or maybe that’s just being road-chhaap because they won’t make the drink without crushed ice. But they should totally mention crushed ice along with the ten things they listed as ingredients on the menu. Honesty be the best policy, yo!

The menu is not just limited to Indian cuisine (because haha, where else is California, really?), but boasts of Afghani, Mexican, European, Chinese, Thai and Japanese as well. Despite taking the risk of putting food from various cultures of the world on the menu, the chef did complete justice to the authentic taste in every item on the list; or so I like to believe because everywhay I go, I eat the dal makhni, yo! But, the Tandoori Badami Broccoli, the Paneer Tikka, the Pizza TCB, the Cottage Cheese Steak, the Thai Green Curry and the Gazzak Kulfi were so beautifully made that I could literally kiss the chef’s fingers and lick the masala off them. (So not gay! Not at all!)

All in all, I’d give the place a four out of five jalebis because it’ll make me look like I am some real food critic who never gives a perfect score of five. But, on second thoughts, phuck this shit! I give it a complete five because I’ll use this review to get myself a big discount from the owner next time, considering the number of times I’ll be going there for dinner now! Join me? I’ll make you pay for the non-discounted portion :)

*******
You can check out a video of the cool Magic Tablet Napkins here. Ooooh, so fancayyy!

Also, check out the restaurant's Zomato Page here, because you're just too lazy to frikkin' go on Zomato and look it up yourself.

23 comments:

  1. Heeahaha! Nice-funny-witty review! Must check this place out :D Loved the internal monologue about the magicalllll wet wipe (really? That sounds cool!) the most!

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    Replies
    1. This was my first restaurant review! Must review more restaurants! You should totally give this place a visit. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

      Arrey, check out the video link of the tablet napkins I've posted in the end. Swag level be over 1 million crore type!

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  2. We should totally do an interview with the waiter, talking about all the fun he's had while watching people squirm about the eaudecologne towels.

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    Replies
    1. I swear, man! And when I told you that I didn't know how to use it, you just smirked and acted like you knew what it was.

      Ya toh tu bada cool hai, ya phir ainwayi hero bann raha tha!

      Delete
  3. I've been to a place where they have those magic wet tissue tablet thingies, and my reaction was almost exactly the same as yours. Weirdly, I'm pretty sure it was in Rajouri Garden, too! I don't remember which one it was... do they have these at Pirates of Grill? No, it was some other restaurant.
    Anyway, I have never been to The California Boulevard, but I must check it out, the next time I'm in Rajouri. I mean, the food there obviously got you excited, if your "OMG's" are any hint. Your inner foodie is most evident in this post than in any other!

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    1. You MUST MUST MUST visit it! Go with your school friends and get pictures clicked which you might use later in a photo montage with Pal by KK playing in the background.

      Delete
  4. You know, one of the most amazing things in each one of your posts is this signature Sarthak style spelling/pronunciation of some words. They make me chuckle in between of ear-to-ear smile reading sessions. I love it the most(not gay of course) :P
    And this review is so interesting, I'll definitely be going to this place first when/if I plan for a Rajouring dinner/lunch.
    And i watched the video, that friggin thing yo. i woudn't have known better than to poke it with a finger to see if it bites, had I been there :P

    @@@@ = kanjoosi :P

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Asalam Waleikum, Bhaijaan! :D

      Haha! Kya sayi comment likha hai, yaar! Matlab inflating my ego like it's a doll from Amsterdam. But hum toh jaise bolte hain, waise hi likhte hain B^)

      You must visit :)

      Delete
  5. Unrelated,but can you give us your take on various stereotypes related to profession.
    That would be very interesting,your take on what we do for a living along with the punjabi attitudes towards it.
    Would you have liked to be a coleg professor,or a haldiram shop attendant perhaps?
    Give us your whacky take with doese of realism.

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    Replies
    1. Ah! Interesting topic, indeed. I will put it on the list of topics I'd want to think about. And, you'll be the first one to know when I write it :)

      ^ Actually, I can't tell you myself because you're anonymous. Maybe, you could like, stalk me and find out when it's up?

      Delete
  6. @@@@@ - okay! Totally worth the 6 minutes i gave to read this! And its one of my favourite places! Try their chilli mushrooms next time (i think that's what they are called), they look like chilli paneer in the shape of mushrooms, and THEY ARE AWESOME! :D

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    Replies
    1. Really? I must try them out on my next trip to the place. Thanks, man. And, if you're a non-vegetarian, try the Ganderi Kebabs :D

      Delete
  7. @@@@@

    When i started reading it i thought "why the hell is this guy reviewing restaurants..that's not what i read the blog for"..but this post definitely deserves 5 jalebis.. Simply for that internal monologue..

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  8. Yes!
    I want such posts.Enough of the punjabiness.
    Now want stuff on love,loss & other philosophical matters.
    Punjabiness is not all there is to Sarthak,hain naa?

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you understood the love, loss and philosophical angles in this post! But but, thank you. I will try to do a lot of requests now. Thinking of topics to write on is the biggest challenge.

      Delete
  9. I came across your blog just yesterday and have read most of your posts. I think I am falling in love with you. Hope you are not dating anyone, are you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel you, bro! I keep falling in love with myself all the time, and keep hoping that I don't end up dating anyone.

      Delete
    2. I can't believe you aren't dating anyone! :P

      Delete
    3. I'm telling you; don't believe!

      Delete
  10. The chef walked up to us in slo-mo, and looked a lot like Rocket Singh! It was so hilarious when I imagined... was laughing for like 10 minutes after reading this blog.. Thanks bro, you have been a inspiration to me.. well I will like if you just visit and rate/follow my blog.. http://mylifeisinnutshell.wordpress.com

    It will be very big help.. Thanks to your blogs, it inspired me to start a blog..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tanay, my man! That is extremely flattering. I just saw your blog. It looks really good and I'm glad you've started writing. However, I must suggest that you check out the blogs mentioned in the "Other Blogs" tab at the top. They're sooooo much better to take inspiration from. I am only a lowly mortal.

      Delete

If you had 5 Jalebis, how many would you give me for writing this post?

None = You don't deserve any >:O
@ = Soggy and stale! :(
@@ = Stale! :|
@@@ = I'll need a samosa to digest this with! :P
@@@@ = Sweet and Crisp! :)
@@@@@ = I'm opening you a Halwai Shop! :D