Friday, January 31, 2014

Saagar Fine Cuisine of India - Newport Beach

There are dolphins on the ceiling. They're frolicking, splashing in sky blue water in a 3D sculpted mural that's as beautiful as anything you'll see in a Wyland installation. In the corner, there's a private booth seemingly carved out of the wall that looks like it's Ariel's seacave.

Where am I? An Indian restaurant called Saagar. Was all of this Under The Sea theming part of the last restaurant that occupied the space? Or is the turban-wearing owner just fond of Sea World?

These are questions that I pondered as I ate until my belly ached and my burps reeked of garlic and spices. Saagar is one of only two Indian restaurants that exist in Newport Beach and also one of a few places that my largely Indian (and thus largely vegetarian) co-workers and I can go without anyone having to compromise what they really wanted to eat.

For them, there's the thick and wonderful sludge that is saag paneer; the spiced lentils called dal makhani; and aloo gobi, a stir fry of sorts full of cauliflower and potatoes blasted with spices. And for me, there was the flourescent orange of tandoori chicken; the sultry creaminess of tikka masala; and goat curry, which tastes like lamb dialed up to 11.

And then for all of us, there were fat, bulging samosas stuffed with curried potato and peas; endless baskets of freshly baked and bubbled naan covered in garlic; gulab jamun, those milky orbs steeped in syrup for dessert; and an afternoon of feeling sluggishly full, because no matter where you're from, food comas after a buffet lunch like this is universal.

Saagar Fine Cuisine of India
4248 Martingale Way
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 955-1904

Atun - Long Beach


At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love me some sludge spinach paneer.


At 8:56 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Me too! The sludgier, the better!

At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the mid 1990's the building used to house a strip club called "Mermaids", hence the decor. Food is great now though!

At 9:00 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


Wow! That explains everything! Thanks so much for the comment!

At 9:00 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


Wow! That explains everything! Thanks so much for the comment!


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