That’s the mantra of OM, the new “it” restaurant in the Warehouse District, showcasing the dream dishes this culineer discovered when revisiting his homeland. Deep with spices he’s blended — up to 20 in a single sauce — they’re destined to take our love affair with Indian food to the next level. (And, guess what? Scan the menu and not a single curry to be seen. Curry, he explains, simply means “sauce” — not always hot and certainly never, never created with a pinch of an all-purpose powder.)
Those of you who memorize these annals of gluttony may remember that I have a thing about lamb. Well, OM’s is in a class by itself. It’s a Colorado rack cooked Kashmiri style, which begins with a rub of ginger, garlic, black cardamom and black cumin, the single spice that brings me in the door. Then the baby chops are braised in a hearty fennel-tomato sauce. The bones are balanced on a slope of saffron-blessed basmati rice and pate of smoky eggplant. All I can say is “Om” (official definition: an absolute, ultimate state of peace).
Well, hold on a minute. First, bring on the salmon — an emblem of Iyer’s credo that melds products from the USA with the seasonings he’s grown up with. He sears the fish with sharp turmeric, then gently poaches it in a bath of coconut milk and malt vinegar (East meets West again), along with red chilies for a seductive hint of heat, garlic and scallions for depth, and a toss of grape tomatoes. Ready? Ommmmm…..
Add a bread ($4) from the tandoor (our naan stuffed with green chili and potato seemed cooked at too low a temperature to reach nirvana) or the griddle, as perfected in slim, little lentil cakes topped with tomato, onion and curry leaves.
We also shared a side order of peanut-stuffed eggplant ($7), just because. I’ll crawl through sniper fire for that dish alone. In fact, next time I’ll skip committing to an entree ($14–$27) and play the field with the sides — new potatoes with garlic and red chilies; spinach with golden raisins; squash with fenugreek; a cardamom-Thai chile soup sweet with red bell peppers pureed with cashews, green cardamom and chiles and cooling with yogurt.