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Originally published Friday, May 2, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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A spicy-hot welcome to India Bistro in Ravenna

Mike Panjabi had a good thing going with his India Bistro in Ballard for the past decade. So naturally, he thought to expand. Ravenna residents should be...

Seattle Times Ticket editor

India Bistro

Indian

6417 Roosevelt Way, No. 105, 206-517-4444

www.seattleindiabistro.com

Hours: 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays and 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Etc: All credit cards accepted; no obstacles to access; $6.95 lunch buffet offered 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. daily; take out and catering available.

Prices: $

Mike Panjabi had a good thing going with his India Bistro in Ballard for the past decade. So naturally, he thought to expand.

Ravenna residents should be glad he did. The new India Bistro on Roosevelt opened six months ago, and on our recent dinner visit, it was bustling with small groups, couples and families — and lots of fresh, aromatic, well-seasoned and spicy food.

The menu: It's a big one, from the signature dishes (tandoori-grilled seafood in citrus sauce and the rack of lamb masala, ranging from $12.95 to $16.95) to smaller entrees ($9.95 to $12.95) of lamb, tandoori chicken and Indian vegetarian standbys such as the cream-sauce korma and vegetable curry. We tried the tender-to-the-teeth Lamb Tikki Masala (spiced to a feel-the-burn hot on the bistro's five-point, mild-to-extra-hot scale) and the Tandoori Chicken, which emerged from the tandoor that vivid pink color that belies the subtle smoky flavors of Indian grilling.

What to write home about: That chicken ($9.95). It sizzled on its skillet throughout our whole meal and fell off the bone. And gotta love that naan ($1.95 each for the plain; my little family ate our way through two). Fresh-baked and not over-buttered, it's definitely worth the separate order. Coming with entrees is the basmati rice, not sticky and perfectly simmered.

The setting: India Bistro has an upscale look but inviting, friendly service that makes it casual and comfortable. What sounded like a Bollywood film soundtrack piped unobtrusively into the dining room.

Summing up: Our order of two entrees, two naan, one small soup, one small salad, two sodas and one mango ice cream came to $48.46, including the tip, and fed two parents and two kids. Then we drove back to our own neighborhood, full, happy and thinking, "Lucky Ravenna ... "

Raina Wagner: 206-4648147

or rwagner@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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