Tandoori Express: Fresh Naan

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Santa Rosa’s lone cheapo Indian restaurant — Tandoori Express. For well under $10 you can get a whole lot of food — entree, veggie and naan, which makes it a favorite of broke SRJC students. But the steam tables filled with tikka masala, curry chicken and watery daal aren’t consistent enough to make me a regular. Sometimes it’s heaven in a Styrofoam box.

Othertimes…not so much.

What keeps it on my radar, however, is the fresh naan they cook to order. It’s fluffy and piping hot, usually brought out to you right from the kitchen. You can watch them flattening between their palms when you order: thwap, thwap, thwap. They also make some mean kulchas to order, inluding onion and a sweet version with fruit.

For a hole-in-the-wall place, it’s a homemade touch that can’t be beat.

Tandoori Express: 1880 Mendocino Ave # D, Santa Rosa, (707) 543-8168

Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, BiteClubEats.com is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

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9 Comments

  1. There is only one spot for firs-class Indian food, which just happens to have prices that can’t be beat: Masala Jacks in Cotati. $1 Nans?Check. Rich flavorful curries? Check. Huge, heaping tasty biryanis? Check. Having lived in London and in India I have often lamented the state of South Asian food in Sonoma County- either bland or more often overpriced. Masala Jacks is the answer to my prayers. Bom Shiva!

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  2. this place has the world’s best garlic naan!

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  3. Tried the new Masala Express ! Near Long’s/KMart in the Plaza North Shopping Center. It was very good! Picked out rice and two dishes for less than $7 and it was plenty of food for two people. Nice folks there too.

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  4. …But that lady who works the counter always looks like she wants to die.

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  5. Got to throw my two bits in on this one.
    I was deeply saddened by the recent loss of Star of India in Petaluma. Very tasty chow, and their lunch specials at under $10 were totally unbeatable. I have been going to Himalaya in Sebastopol now – awesome service, and amazing food at terrific prices – I find it’s tough to beat. Sure, you don’t get the atmosphere of Kabob and Curry, but you don’t end up spending $40/head there either. Same for Sizzling Tandoor – where did they get the idea that $15 for a lunch buffet was reasonable? Their food is pretty good, but it’s not that good – I’ve seen their business decline since they started the pricey lunches, though they still pack the place on weekend nights.
    It’s a competitive market, but for my money, I’ll be spending the gas money, and saving it back at Himalaya. Their dishes are rich, flavorful, and expressive, while the prices are on the low side. BEST VALUE!
    Happy chowing!

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  6. I have to agree about the naan here. This place has consistently been the best place to go for the naan. While the rest of the food may not be up to other Indian places (but it’s generally good and until Masala Jack’s came on the scene, it couldn’t be beaten for the price), their naan beat out every other place’s. It is always extremely fresh and hot, made to order and never sits around. Moreover, while I now think that Masala Jack’s has the best Indian food for the value bay far of any plcase in the county, it is, after all, in Cotati, leaving Tandoori Express the only cheap Indian place in Santa Rosa, or in any other town.

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  7. I remember going to this place when it first opened when I started going to the JC about 12 years ago. I still go there, and its still the place I go to when I need Indian. Inexpensive, huge amount of food, consistent quality. A Scottsman I brought here once told me this is the kind of take-out they have in the UK in place of our Mexican or Chinese food.
    The same people own and run this place (to my knowledge) and the JC crowd keeps it going!

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  8. I cant help but love this place. I came here often when I still lived a block down. I’ve never had a problem with the food being lacking- if there’s anything at all that keeps me away it’s the glares from the woman who works behind the counter!

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  9. It certainly can be beat – try Masala Jack’s in Cotati. Cheap eats of great quality, and when the owner’s very professional young daughter is on the job, the service is perfect (the same can’t be said for the girl’s older co-servers, unfortunately). My Indian and Pakistani friends won’t go anywhere else.

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