With its colorful, industrial elements and floor-to-ceiling glass garage doors taking the place of windows or walls, it's a shame Pondicheri doesn't face out from its space inside West Ave. Owner Anita Jaisinghani, who reinvented haute Indian cuisine years ago at Indika, has traded in the white tablecloths for reclaimed wood tabletops with aluminum accents and replaced fusion menus with a focus on Indian street-style cuisine.
Going back to basics, Pondicheri has a menu of classics like papdi chaat, saag paneer samosas, oxtails, kerala shrimp and plenty of chutneys perfect for pairing with fresh naan. On Tuesdays, try the gluten-free fried chicken, coated with chickpeas and big enough to feed two, and don't miss the amazing breakfast offerings like saffron yogurt and fruit to a brioche sandwich of chicken and green chutney.
Pondicheri has Houston's only "pondi exchange," a delivery system based on the tiffin carriers of India. For a $25 deposit, get take-out in sleek, stacked steel containers that keep food warm for up to an hour. When you're done, simply return it for a clean one in its place.