Spicy Bite - Page 2

Fragrant Indian standards at affordable prices in an easy-to-take location near Bernal Heights
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Photo by Rory McNamara

But the meat turned out to be a little dry, despite what must have been an hours-long, or overnight, bath in a yogurt marinade.

Shrimp tikka masala ($12.50) were juicier — a set of nice, fat peeled prawns, roasted in the clay oven in a tomato-cream sauce. Purists often insist on cooking shrimp in their shells, I guess for flavor and moisture retention, but it's certainly more end-user-friendly to shell them beforehand. Judging by the Spicy Bite example, it is indeed possible to cook shelled shrimp successfully without drying them out and ruining them.

No Indian meal is complete without either a side of basmati rice (cooked here with saffron, $2), or a round or two of naan, or — if you're a starch fiend — both. The rice grains didn't stick together (nice), while the bread was served already cut into triangles, like pita, which did slightly dim one's Neanderthal pleasure in ripping out pieces as needed but was, on the other hand, much more convenient.

Take-out traffic can be heavy, with deliverers coming and going (free delivery is available in some areas until 10 p.m.). But while service often stalls at a restaurant that does a sizable take-out business, this isn't the case at Spicy Bite. The wait staff is attentive and professional, the kitchen turns things out promptly, and the space itself — a corner box not unlike Emmy's — has a certain presence. But if you want carrot cake for dessert, forget it. There's kheer, kulfi, and a pastry made from milk and honey, each three bucks.

SPICY BITE

Dinner: Tues.–Sun, 4:30–10 p.m.; Mon., 5–10 p.m.

Lunch: Tues.–Sun., 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

3501 Mission, SF

(415) 647-4036/7

www.spicy-bite.com

Beer and wine

AE/MC/V

Modest noise

Wheelchair accessible

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