Someone should burn this place down for the good of humanity
(Please note: NaanStop does not condone arson or criminal actions, however we would get out and take selfies instead of putting the blaze out )
You know what? I really wanted to see how long I could go without writing anything negative. The world is full of that and I did not want to perpetuate the cycle. I wanted this site to be 100% about my journey and adventures of Asian food and travel and sharing those experiences with the audience. So far, that’s been exactly what I have been able to do. Truth be told there’s a lot that goes into this behind the scenes that never gets written or published. On a week I travel for work I am normally gone for 4-5 days at a time so I eat out quite a bit. Not every restaurant that I dine at will make the cut to get an article. I feel this careful curation keeps the content relevant, exciting and offers only the most exceptional finds to the viewing audience. Plus, who wants to see pictures of Cheerios?
Which brings me to the star of the show on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Ladies and gentleman, I bring to you India Palace of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tulsa’s oldest Indian restaurant.
Let me start this article off on the proper tone I’d like to convey throughout this post — Go fuck yourself India Palace.
Now, let’s be real — Oklahoma is not known for well, very much, especially in the culinary arts department. Nonetheless, bills have to be paid and work wants to send me so off I go. I try to go to every city I visit with an open mind and allow the city a chance to present it’s best features before I make a proper judgment. Over the years I’ve actually been able to find some quality restaurants in some less than ideal places (Ex. Rochester, NY – Thali of India). So, off I went.
Now, let me preface this by saying I’m sure if I wanted deep fried mayonnaise balls or an NRA membership that Oklahoma would absolutely have me covered but we all know what I was craving so off my search went. I stumbled upon the reviews of the plethora of Indian restaurants in the area. Ok, who I am kidding there was like 4 and one of them also served spaghetti. So, yeah…. Barf.
India Palace, I’m going to be real frank with you here, you weren’t even my first choice. I initially wanted to go to your competitor who I actually drove all the way to only to find out they were closed. None the less, I looked up the directions to my side bitch and off I went. Mistake number 1.
I strolled into your establishment thinking ok, this has all the hallmarks of a quality Indian restaurant. Everything looked, felt, smelled and acted the part (well except the random fireplace that didn’t work with a table in front of it, that was kind of weird). Your waiter came by and I placed my order. Mango Lassi, Samosas, Extra Spicy Chicken Korma and Garlic Naan. The waiter gave me a slight condescending smile as I ordered the curry extremely spicy. I figured this meant that I was in for quite a treat. Little did I know this was life’s way of getting me back for telling my dog he was getting a treat only to take him to the Vet.
The Mango Lassi, like this restaurant, tasted like it gave up on its dreams too. The samosas were in my mind what eating a raw, unseasoned potato surrounded by an Indian cardboard factory would taste like. They could not even make chutney right. I’m not joking. I don’t know what the hell the black liquid they served was but that was not tamarind chutney. No need to worry though, there’s a side order of stale papadum to wash that taste out of your mouth.
Which brings me to our main course and where I’d like to focus our next few minutes together on:
This dish is sadder than Schindler’s list. I’d rather watch Sarah Palin spend 10 minutes trying to explain quantum entanglement than be within a half mile radius of this “entree” ever again. There was a split second after my first bite into this atrocity that I looked around the restaurant for Ashton Kutcher and the camera crew to pop out and say I just got punked. Seriously India Palace, I genuinely have to ask the question for the audience — Are you trying to be this bad on purpose? There’s no way in hell you just so happened to not notice everything tastes like fancy feast cat food. If I could sum up this restaurant using modification of children’s book titles, I would call it “The Little Engine that Can’t”.
Now audience, I know you’re thinking wow Andrew, that’s a bit harsh on them. Surely it couldn’t be that bad. Let’s play a game together called, you’re wrong, oh yes it can be. From the minute they brought the dish out I smelled a repugnant odor in the air. Was I having radiation flashbacks from playing too much Fallout 4? I glanced up from my meme collecting to wonder what it could be. Turns out, my food. As I began serving myself what they called Korma I started to wonder…. Why on earth is this entire thing extremely watery? I literally could have tilted the dish at a 20 degree angle and fixed California’s drought. The curry was also an almost bright white in color which could not be more wrong for a Korma. Nonetheless, I persevered and dove in for a taste.
It was at that moment I wanted Tyler Durden to pop out from the shadows and sucker punch me in the jaw. Boiled Chicken. Guys, they make their curry with boiled chicken. Either that or they use the tandoori as a stand for their microwave. One of the two.
To start with, the chicken was one of the most disgusting things I have ever tasted in my life. It so happened to be surrounded in a hot tub of some liquid that lacked any sort of flavoring what so ever but maintained a consistency of watery barf liquid. Now I’m starting to have PTSD from the condescending smile from earlier. Was he smiling because he knew this dish was completely in debt to Ganesh for lack of flavors or because he knew I’d experience a 404 no spiciness at all found error? I felt like what I imagined soldiers going through chemical weapons training feel during the first 30 seconds of being told to take off their mask in the training chamber. In that moment, somewhere, a baby unicorn died before being able to frolic on a rainbow in candy land.
BUT STILL, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and said that something could not possibly be this horrid. It absolutely had to be a figment of my imagination or my body just simply being allergic to Oklahoma. So, I took a breath, regained my composure and tried another bite.
Immediately following bite #2 I noped the fuck out of that hell hole and went to bed hungry. And that kids, is India Palace in Tulsa Oklahom