Modern Indian cuisine is something you don’t find often so I was eager to try Ettan, a Cal-Indian restaurant in Palo Alto.
The only other upscale Indian restaurant that I’ve tried is ROOH in San Francisco which I enjoyed. Ettan is a pretty large restaurant with outdoor and indoor dining, a perfect place for large groups or a date night.
Chef Srijith Gopinathan calls the cuisine Cal-Indian where dishes are reminiscent of classic Indian flavors but in a playful way. The menu is divided into snacks/breads, small plates, and larger plates. They even have a separate section called “comforts” where you’ll find more traditional dishes compared to the dishes listed in the other sections. We didn’t order anything from the “comforts” section because we wanted to try some of their more creative Californian inspired Indian dishes.
These pillowy warm bread rolls were soooo tasty! Served with butter and a flavorful eggplant chutney, this is a must to start off the meal.
This appetizer was extremely flavorful and a mouthful of various textures. The sesame leaves were fried and topped with small pieces of persimmon, sesame brittle, and chickpea crumble. It was crispy, tangy, sweet, creamy, and all things delicious.
The fried chicken was tender with a nice crunchy coating. The thin slices of raw green apple added a nice bright acidic pop and the roasted coconut milk and lime sauce was a great accompaniment.
This was a solid vegetable dish where cauliflower was lightly fried and served with a creamy dipping sauce.
The braised beef short rib itself was on point as the meat was nicely cooked and very tender. We got both garlic naan and roti because who doesn’t love bread?! The only disappointment was the pumpkin side dish that came with the beef as it lacked some flavor and was a little undercooked.
All three desserts were great and completely different from one another. The chocolate puck was a mousse like cake with a peach coulis and garnished with basil. The saffron slice had flavors of cardamon with fresh and cooked strawberries and a little pistachio garnish. The passionfruit curd with crispy meringue was served with a lychee milk shaved ice.
Ettan was a wonderful dinner where flavors were familiar but presented in a new exciting way so my rating is an 8/10.