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The buffet is heavily advertised on the exterior of Tandoori hut. "All you can eat" for $8.99 at lunch and $9.99 at dinner. For potentially heavy eaters, the value to be extracted from such a deal is immense.

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The plain decor of the restaurant reflects the low cost of the buffet, and other touches like plastic dishware reinforce the image that Tandoori Hut is not trying to muscle in on the upscale Indian dining scene that the Monsoon Group has on lockdown. Perhaps this is just as well because the affordability of the buffet may fill the "anything but a burrito" category of cheap eats.

The long-ish buffet table had rice, a few appetizers, a good selection of the house curries in meat and vegetable form, and a few morsels for dessert. Everything was in great shape and seemed to have not been sitting around too long. Indian food keeps well in a chafing dish, but truly ancient curry is never pleasant and Tandoori's looked fresh.

The food was ultimately on the good side of adequate, although a goat curry "with bones" was better than the other dishes and showed a bit more deviation from the norm than the ubiquitous saag paneer and chicken tikka.

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Ultimately, some of the most important points were covered: the rice was good and fluffy, the naan bread that came out of the kitchen (freshly baked to order) was excellent, and there was plenty of protein in the curries. Even merely average curry is delightful over really good rice or hot, tender bread.

The menu extends beyond the buffet and is actually massive in scope. As is usually the case in the US, the dishes are primarily from the culinary styles of northern India where meat consumption is more common and the savory flavors are more immediately recognizable to American tastes.

3890 Fifth Avenue
619-295-4488
Open daily 11-9:30

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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