It’s Kaiser Lashkari’s town, and the rest of us just eat in it. Or so I tell myself when I dine at what is arguably Houston’s premier mom-and-pop. It would be enough that chef Lashkari and his wife, Azra, serve up Pakistani and North Indian fare brimming with verve and assurance. But the ever-inventive Kaiser has embraced his adopted city and its culinary totems with enthusiasm, turning out a bonkers chicken and dumplings, or a funky, irresistible paratha-dilla of flatbread folded around minced lamb and unpressed paneer. His latest? A tava gosht of tenderloin tips marinated in northern Pakistani frontier style, then tumbled on a hot griddle with onion, green chile and tomato so that it resembles a racier shaking beef, or a berserk boeuf bourguignon. The room — and the prices — are modest. The food is ever so joyously not.
WHAT TO ORDER: Tava gosht; thin, bubbled garlic naan; hara masala curry of chicken or paneer; lamb paratha-dilla; Himalaya fried chicken with a crisp, fluffy crumb; masala chicken and dumplings; Special BBQ/Grill Platter; goat masala bhuna; the ethereal ras malai dessert.
PRO TIP: It’s BYOB (use discretion during Ramadan). The $13.75 lunch combo platter is an adventure that changes daily.
Cuisine: Indian and Pakistani
Entree price: $-$$
Where: 6652 U.S. 59 S.
Last year’s ranking: 13
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