Kinera II Review!

(I'm headed upstate early Wednesday morning for the holiday, so things'll be a bit quiet around here until Monday. Anyone wait on line at Jive Turkey today?) I haven't gotten around to checking out Kinera II on Myrtle yet, and have been slightly dissuaded by a less-than-favorable review I read on

However, one of our neighborhood readers loves it, and typed up a superb review with a very positive spin. Thanks to "mizbrooklyn" for this contribution: KINARA. 368 Myrtle Ave / Corner of Adelphi Street

It isn't flashy, and it doesn't have an interior decorator, but my husband and I were eagerly anticipating Kinara's arrival anyway. We'd first discovered this tiny, design-challenged storefront when it opened up deep in Park Slope: it looked a bit gritty, but the Village Voice review taped to the window convinced us to give it a try the middle of summer...with no airconditioning. We loved it, and left with bellies full of chickpeas and samosa. So we literally counted the days until Kinara's arrival in our neighborhood and ordered take-out that very week.

I'm happy to report that the wizardry in the kitchen hasn't suffered under expansion. The best deal, doubtless, is the $11.95 dinner special, which includes an appetizer, an entree, naan, rice, and assorted raita and chutney. One order is really quite enough for two, but we always end up ordering a couple of combinations, for variety's sake. I'm especially partial to the Aloo Papri ("snack w/ potatoes, chic peas, yogurt & chutney"): imagine a spicy chickpea salad...with fried, crispy potato-flour croutons...and two different dressings (a sweet/sour dressing, and a yogurt dressing). There's a lot going on in a dish like that, and it tastes especially good in winter, when you want a "salad" that sticks to your ribs. As an entree, the Tikka Masala is the real winner: super-tender spiced chicken dunked in a decadent sauce that a more modest restaurant might drizzle. In the post-e. coli world I hesitate to recommend spinach, but the Saag Panir is another good standby. Unlike many other Indian places, Kinara uses fresh spinach in their recipe, making for a brighter, tastier dish. A word of caution: Kinara's sweet and sour eggplant (an appetizer) may tempt you with the promise that "if you like eggplant - try this" -- but, well, don't. It is heavy and gooey and all around disappointing, both in Park Slope and Clinton Hill.

Sadly, when I walk down Myrtle, I often find Kinara mostly empty. I'm hoping business perks up soon - if not for sit-down service, than at least for Wednesday night takeout. Don't expect reduction sauces or artful presentation - just bring your appetite.

Have a restful holiday! We have LOTS of cool stuff in the works, and I am psyched.

PS- Why can I not figure out how to edit font and color of text in this post?? Sorry it looks crappy :(