California Chutney hasn’t been open for long, but it’s already become a favorite spot for Indian in Pasadena. Located on Raymond, between Colorado and Holly, California Chutney is the perfect place to grab a quick lunch or dinner on the way home.
Set up in what has become known as a “Chipotle” style format, the simple menu is divided into three types of entrees: naan (think tacos), bowls, and plates. You choose your entrée, filling and then garnishes, and of course, chutney. Should you be the indecisive type, or just culinarily curious, then head to the chutney bar, for tiny cups of all the flavors: Cinnamon Pineapple, Fresh Cilantro, Mango Orange, Roasted Tomato and Tamarind Apple. Although the menu offers only three versions, the customizable aspect is great as you can load up on toppings as you go, and leave off anything you don’t want. And because of the approach the owners have taken, if you happen to be on a vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, paleo or other type of diet plan that isn’t all-inclusive, you can easily include the items you do eat.
Nothing is meant to be traditional, but rather a modern take on fast fresh cooking with a flavor of Indian cuisine. The naan bread is made in-house and can be topped with your choice of tandoori or tikka chicken, tandoori steak or shrimp or vegetarian options: braised chickpeas or paneer tikka. The same proteins can also be added to your choice of rice or salad bowl as well.
Beverages include an iced Chai tea and mango lassi, amongst soda fountains and the sole dessert item appears to be a cardamom cookie.
California Chutney probably won’t due if you’re craving a full meal deal or sit-down restaurant experience, but it does seem to hit the spot if you find yourself wandering through Old Pasadena. And although a few Yelpers have found it to be a bit pricey for a fast food style lunch, keep in mind that its an affordable option to its more expensive traditional Indian restaurant counterparts and unlike usual fast-food joints, they use fresh, whole ingredients, following in the footsteps of Chipotle, not Subway.
California Chutney 45 N Raymond Ave Pasadena, CA 91103 626 396 6947 http://www.calichutney.com