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Pakwan lost an
Indian/Pakistani trial versus Shalimar

Pakwan
3180-82 16th Street/Guerrero, SF
Map This Restaurant

Pretrial hearing at Kilowatt
12/03/00

Vardigan

Pakwan is a great place for an introduction to fine tandoori cooking, if you ask me. While Shalimar (previously reviewed) was a tornado and a smokestorm -- in the venue and in the mouth -- Pakwan delivers a tamer atmosphere and taste. The tandoori lamb was the winner, here. Not quite as spicy as Shalimar, and not as delicious -- but still great.

Chicken Masala was good but I would have liked a little more punch. A faithful standby, though, and we all dipped our nan in the plentiful sauce -- a nice bonus.

The spinach and potato appetizer, well, I thought it was pretty good. I think I remember Judge Turner comparing its flavor to pumpkin pie. While this may seem bizarre, bizarre comparisons seemed to be going around, because I found the Bihari Kabab's texture reminiscent of the shredded beef jerky I chewed as a child, pretending it was tobacco chaw. Also, it seemed almost like it had...already been chewed. A very odd feeling. A little off-putting. But great flavor.

Don't let these comments dissuade you from eating at Pakwan. It's a winner and a nice addition to the already bountiful 16th Street eating area.

 

Out front.McClure

We went for a range this session, three meat dishes, chicken, lamb & beef, with a vegetarian thrown in for good measure. Oooh, the Chicken Tikka Masala was oh so good. Tender, melt in your mouth chunks of chicken in a creamy sauce that is nicely spiced. The sauce makes for great dippin' with the Nan. Now, if you like hot as in spicy the Tandoori Lamb Chop will do you just fine. It's the priciest item we ordered and there could have been a bit more lamb on the plate, three hunks for $8, but it's worth getting a bite or two. The Bihari Kabab, our beef dish, was a bit odd. The beef was tender but it also had a kind of chalky texture. Not bad but another beef dish may be a better choice, you tell me. If you like spinach and potatoes order the Aloo Palak and that's what you'll get. It's not a spicy dish but it compliments the fire you get from the others.

Our meal, the four dishes plus bread and rice, ran about 30 bucks, not a bad price. I think we all could have used a few more forkfuls but it's hard to not want more tasty Indian food. Like other inexpensive Indian joints you order at the counter and pay on the way out. Oh yea, bring your own beer if you like. I noticed they have other locations in the area so although I can't vouch for the others if you are ever in Hayward check out Pakwan. If you are in the Mission....well, eat out at Pakwan.

 

Turner

Judge McClure's pick was Pakwan Pakistani Indian Restaurant. And by gum, it was good. Moderately priced and fairly fast service. The service being you walking up to the counter. Hey, it saves on the tip. Fairly loud and chaotic, but nowhere near the smoky chaos of Shalimar. We got a good sampling, although missed the tandoori chicken. The Aloo Palak (potatoes and spinach) was good, but pretty sweet, and tasted a bit like pumpkin pie. The Bihari Kabab ("very tender beef marinated in a very special blend of spices & grilled on skewers") was so-so in my view. Kind of mushy, in a dogfood sort of way. Not bad, mind you. The Tandoori Lamb Chops were riotously seasoned and delicious, but so flippin' spicy I felt like I'd taken a header into the tandoor after a few bites. I know I've got a sensitive palate, but even my fellow judges had to admit that they were hotter than the hinges of Hell. Good though.

The Chicken Tikka Masala had that yogurty sauce that helped ease the mouth-fire. Very good dish, that one. The basmati rice was good. The nan (bread) was very good, as well. All in all pretty darn good.

If I had a complaint it would be the portions. Eight bucks for the chops, and we only got three fairly small units. And the Tikka Masala was not exactly generous, either, at seven bucks. So, it's not a super-bargain place, but definitely affordable and good. And as the menu says: catering available for "wedding, birthday, graduation parties and all other families ceremonial function." What more do you want?

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