Temescal, CA: Preeti Mistry’s Indian Street Food to Take Off in Temescal

The crab gumbo was delicious.

By Luke Tsai | EastBayExpress.com

The crab gumbo was delicious.
The crab gumbo was delicious.

To the abundance of feathers in Oakland’s culinary cap, let’s add one more: our very own Top Chef alum, Preeti Mistry, who, as previously reported, has found a brick-and-mortar home for her popular Indian street-food pop-up, Juhu Beach Club, in Temescal, at 5179 Telegraph Avenue.

Mistry said she’d been full-speed-ahead on plans to open in San Francisco’s Mission district when she and her then-business partner parted ways. At that point, she’d been living in Oakland for about a year and had watched one amazing restaurant after another sprout up on this side of the bay. “It seemed like the obvious choice was to open here,” she said.

The fifty-seat restaurant features a six-stool bar counter, a handful of big booths that accommodate six or more diners, and — best of all — a kitchen that’s completely open. There will be full sit-down table service.

Because Mistry has been ready to open Juhu Beach Club since last fall, much of the restaurant’s menu is already set. Slider-size variations on a pav bhajisandwich with different fillings will feature prominently — Brian Wood of Starter Bakery will be custom-baking the bread (the “pav“) for those. Other snacky items will include a take on spicy chicken wings and a vegetarian mung bean soup that Mistry dubbed Mom’s Guju Chili because, in spite of it being based on her mother’s traditional recipe, diners kept telling her how much the dish reminded them of chili.

Mistry will also serve entrée-size curries at the restaurant — at least three or four different kinds, including a vegetarian chickpea-and-winter-green curry, a lamb or goat curry, and whole-chicken-leg curry. The idea is for the dishes to feel abundant: “A lot of times you order curries at Indian restaurants, and they’re great, but they’re just this bowl of sauce with four or five chunks of meat.”