Armani Jackson, Managing Editor
Karma Indian Cuisine and Lounge, near the corner of 128th street and Meridian in Puyallup, is the restaurant to go to if someone wants to experience a culinary immersion into Indian, Pakistani or Middle Eastern culture.
Karma opened Oct. 15, 2010. It opens at 11 a.m. and closes around 10 p.m., but has a lounge which is open between midnight and 2 a.m. Though some people don’t know this restaurant exists, the dining experience is well worth it despite its outright sketchiness.
Besides The Lotus Grill in the South Hill Mall, not many Indian eateries can be found in the Puyallup area. With Meridian being comprised of a multitude of the classic American fast food chains, one can be skeptical to try anything marketed as ethnic. However, stepping out of a normal routine and trying something different can result in the best outcome: the discovery of a new favorite restaurant.
Walking in, one’s almost transported to India, with intricate golden designs on the ceiling, Bollywood style music playing from speakers and a disco ball. If it wasn’t for the wet bar, mirrored ball and hookah lounge, it’d be considered a five-star encounter for someone younger than their ideal clientele.
Overall, the food was heavenly, not only for the amount of flavor and spices, but also the portion size. Between the lamb vindaloo, chicken korma, lamb tikka masala and enough garlic naan to feed a small army, the meal was filling to say the least. The servers were polite and good at keeping water continuously filled, but nothing about them was special to the restaurant. The best way to describe them is like a stock character in literature: predictable and could be easily replaced. It took about 10 to 15 minutes for the food to be served, which is rather fast for a sit down restaurant. That seems too long for people who are really hungry, but it’s understandable for the complexity of the meal. Appetizers can be ordered, but the meal size is too big to be eaten on a semi-full stomach.
The menu contains traditional Indian food such as curry but also accommodates vegetarians and vegans. People can choose a base meal and then decide which protein they’d prefer (chicken, lamb, shrimp or fish). The menu also includes soups and salads. These are relatively close to what an American palate is used to, like tomato and lentil soup or green salad (iceberg lettuce, mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumbers and broccoli).
The best beverage to ever come into existence is the Nimbu Paani. This is basically sparkling ginger and lemon juice with a whole lot of sugar. Refills on the drink weren’t offered so they may or may not have been free. Regardless, it takes the entire meal to finish one and another one wouldn’t be necessary unless someone can down that much acidity in one go.
The food is a bit on the pricey side, running about $14 for a lamb dish and $13 for chicken. The garlic naan and the drink were about $3 each, and one can order a normal dinner-sized meal for about $21 after tax. The restaurant does offer a military discount of about 10 percent for anyone with a military ID. Lunch specials are available for about $4 cheaper than the full-size meal from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., but it’s required that people explicitly say they want the lunch special. A person can order just about any meal as a lunch special and it includes rice, salad, an appetizer, lentils and the vegetable of the day along with the decided entree.
In the end, the price is worth an occasional culinary trip to India. The food was authentic and 110 percent satisfying.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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