Indian street food is coming to Temescal, but under a roof rather than at a mobile stand. Preeti Mistry, a former Top Chef contestant, is slated to open Juhu Beach Club, her first brick-and-mortar restaurant, on March 1 in the former SR24 space at 5179 Telegraph Avenue.
The restaurant, which is named after the city beach in Mumbai known for its street food, flying kites and homes of Bollywood stars, was designed by Mistry’s partner — in life and business — and Mistry describes the look as “crazy.” The cozy space is decorated with sari-bold colors, swirly flowered wallpaper, and a collection of vintage Bollywood movie album covers, as well as nickel-cage fan lighting.
Dishes on offer will include chaat items such as seasonal Sev Puri, Crispy Gujarati-Style Samosas and Vindaloo Chicken Wings with Point Reyes Blue Cheese Raita; Pavs — slider-sized sandwiches, with buns baked by Starter Bakery in Oakland — such as Mumbai Street classics Vada Pav, a potato puff with pickled red onions and ghost pepper hot sauce; as well as original creations like the Holy Cow Pav, a slow-braised short rib curry with cucumber raita. Expect also saucy curries such as a whole chicken leg and buttery curry leaf shrimp. Desserts will center on Straus Dairy vanilla soft serve ice cream with a variety of toppings.
Berkeleyside Nosh got a sneak peek and taste of some of the small-plate menu offerings at a recent Edible Excursions tour of Temescal where the photos included here were taken. The restaurant’s menu can be read here.
Mistry, who was born in London and raised in the U.S., trained with Le Cordon Bleu and has traveled extensively. She has been an Executive Chef at Google and at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Many people will also recognize her as a contestant on Bravo TV’s Top Chef. She featured in season six of the popular show.
Mistry says she will be grinding all of her own spice blends, and making pickles, chutneys and samosas in-house. The restaurant will serve sustainably sourced meat, poultry, fish, seafood and dairy with produce that is mostly all local and organic. And she hasn’t forgotten younger customers: kids can choose from colorful “Tiffin” (a traditional three-compartment lunch box tower) with options for butter chicken or cheese pav for their entrées.
Asked why she chose Temescal, Mistry said: “I moved here 1.5 years ago and just really love where we live, and our neighbors so we want it to be a simple neighborhood place.”
Gallery: A taste of Temescal with Edible Excursions [02.13.13]