"Haandi, The Exclusive Indian Restaurant """

"First, let’s get past the pronunciation. It’s not Honda, like the car. It’s not "handy" as in convenient. It’s Ha-ah’-dy," states Joe Lyons, restaurant reviewer for the Inland Empire Business Journal.

"Having settled that, let me tell you that Haandi is the exclusive Indian restaurant with their specialties cooked in a tandoor (clay oven)."

"The location is where Primavera used to be, on Haven in Rancho Cucamonga. It has the same owners, who also own the Antonino’s Italian restaurant just down the road at Foothill and Vineyard. Owner Sartaj Singh decided, about a year ago, that two Italian restaurants was one too many. Since he and his family happened to be eastern Indian, he decided to turn one of his facilities into an Indian restaurant."

"It is obvious that he is sensitive to the tastes of Inland Empire dinners. If you are expecting a menu of lamb and curry, you won’t be wrong. But the variety of items on the menu, and the adjustments to American tastes, makes Haandi a welcome treat. Much of the dark wood decor from the earlier format remains, leaving a warmer, more sophisticated feeling than many Indian restaurants have to offer," continues Lyons.

"For many of us, like myself, who are not regular Indian food eaters, let me recommend the buffet lunch as an introduction. It offers you a variety of items, some familiar, like the salads, and some serendipitous, like the tandoori chicken, the lamb and the rice. "

"Take as little or as much as you like and give yourself a chance to learn what there is to enjoy. You will want to ask for garlic nan, the leavened garlic bread that works as a pusher, or for a holder. Even by itself, it is a treat."

"By the way, an expanded version of the buffet is available as Sunday brunch, including champagne."

"The regular menu is as authentic as possible. All 20 of the vegetable dishes are curried and come with mint chutney. There are 10 curried lamb selections. Chicken comes in over a dozen selections, including the chicken vindaloo, which is boneless chicken cooked in hot spices and potatoes."

"The seafood comes in curried style, including a combination platter, and also comes with the mint curry."

"Several variations of the chicken, shrimp and lamb come as tandoori delicacies. The tandoor, the clay oven, is a very hot, very quick form of cooking. In pizza parlors, a regular pizza oven takes about 15 to 20 minutes to cook. In a brick pizza oven, the temperature approaches 1,000 degrees and can bake a pizza in less then 5 minutes. It is the same with the tandoor clay oven. These dishes are prepared in the clay oven and served sizzling hot on a bed of onions and fresh lemon with mint chutney. All of the tandoori entrees are served with rice, pappedan (crispy bread) and tamarind. Spicing is done to your taste, mild to hot."

"Even the desserts are Indian or Indian-influenced. Gulab Jamun is an Indian milk cheese ball. Mango Kulfi is Indian ice cream flavored with mango. The Ras Malai is a dumpling in rich milk sauce. There is also a rice pudding. If you are unsure about your dessert choice, there is a sampler for you to try out."

"Indian cuisine is not yet popular here in the Inland Empire. We are lining up for the newest version of restaurant styles that we are familiar with around the west end, but we remain standoffish about the things we are not familiar with. "

"It is not going to hurt to try something as exotic as Indian, when they are going so far, both in preparation and in décor, to make you feel comfortable.
Try Haandi---Rancho Cucamonga’s tandoori restaurant."

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About The Author, Keith Hunt
Haandi Indian Restaurant is located at 7890 Haven Avenue Ste. 15 & 16 Rancho CucamongaThey are open 7 days a week for lunch 11:00am - 3:00pm and at 5:00pm- 10:00pm for dinner.For more information please call (909) 581-1912About Joe Lyons.Joe Lyons is currently the Station Manager of AM 1510, KSPA radio in Ontario, where he also hosts the daily "Lunch with Lyons" mid-day show, the Saturday morning "Time Out" lifestyle show (produced by the Inland Empire Business Journal) and the Sunday Morning public affairs program, Inland Empire Close-Up.He is a monthly contributor to the Inland Empire Business Journal, where he writes the restaurant review.http://www.busjournal.com/content/archives/0602/rest_reveiw.htm