Although Juhu Beach Club, the Indian food pop-up from Top Chef alum Preeti Mistry, stopped serving lunch this fall, Mistry relaunched it as a series of dinners at La Victoria Bakery (2937 24th St. at Alabama, 642-7120) this week — in preparation for opening her own restaurant in the Mission this year.
"This is not some fine dining Indian mash-up, just plain, good, totally-not-traditional Indian food," says Mistry. "It will be unapologetically spicy, saucy, and full of love." (Also: vegetarian-friendly.) Highlights from Juhu Beach Club's menu last Thursday: dahi puri, vada chaat, mung ne dal, and pav bhaji, an old favorite from her lunch service.
"I went to India this time last year and was totally inspired by all the great food we ate," Mistry says. However, she continues, "The food is also inspired by being an immigrant kid. I'm not trying to recreate something I had in India. It's Indian-American cuisine with a point of view that shares both identities."
In addition to Gujarati-style samosas, whose skins Mistry makes by hand, "I am working on a vindaloo baby back rib, which is pretty effing exciting because I love ribs and I love a tangy, spicy Indian sauce," Mistry says. "Some other Gujarati snacks will come out down the road, including steamed lentil cakes and my favorite, khandvi. And I'm thinking about doing an Indian pizza, since La Victoria has these huge deck ovens."