As a culinary palindrome, naan tastes the same backward as it does forward, like the bananab or a Toyota. Take a bite in every direction with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of Indian fare and drinks at Koyla Charcoal Grill Indian Cuisine in Rancho Cucamonga or Koyla Indian Grill in Ontario.
Koyla Indian Restaurant’s menu teems with classic Indian dishes prepared with organic, halal meats cooked over a charcoal flame. Rouse appetites with the mix hors d’oeuvres, a constellation of appetizers including vegetable and chicken pakoras, a vegetable samosa, and chicken tikka ($8.95). Tandoori specialties are plucked from clay ovens to star in dishes such as the ginger kebab, in which chicken marinated in yogurt and ginger fire walks across a sizzling bed of onions and bell peppers ($14.95). The shrimp vindaloo pairs former tide ticklers with potatoes in a dish as hot and flavorful as a rap battle in a sauna ($14.95).
Koyla Indian Restaurant's open kitchen allows diners a fishbowl-like view of kitchen staff as they prepare dishes and plate meals. Subdued lighting and soft Indian music conjure an intimate atmosphere, equally appropriate for first dates or hush-hush exchanges of top-secret information with government informants.
Koyla Indian Restaurant
Indian cuisine is famously complex, but diners at Koyla Indian Restaurant get at least a peek at how it's prepared. The restaurant's signature cooking method is right in the name—koyla means "coal"—and chefs use its heat in full view within an open kitchen. Cinnamon and cloves, garlic and saffron fill the air as marinated chicken, shrimp, and goat simmer and sizzle. Although grounded in the cuisine of Northern India, founder Deep Singh and his chefs demonstrate a strong taste for experimentation. That's evident in the large menu's Indo-Chinese section, which holds hybrids such as chili paneer—the traditional Indian cheese spiked with house-made chili sauce. Pesto chicken and calamari masala reflect Singh's time as the proprietor of a small Italian cafe.
A mural of an especially cuddly-looking Taj Mahal brightens one wall of Koyla's softly-lit dining room. The motif continues as painted chili peppers wind around the room behind an ample buffet, served alongside champagne on the weekends.