If Madras Pavilion has a claim to fame, it’s the distinction of being an Indian restaurant that’s also kosher. But its unique menu merits a nod. The food is vegetarian Southern Indian—and hot and spicy. What other Indian restaurant can say it brings together the kosher club, the vegetarians, and the chile-heads?

The way the kitchen uses chilies is like turning a burner to simmer, igniting the food with a mild but persistent warmth. It’s a smart way to give vegetarian food a kick. Even something as potentially innocuous as uppama, the Cream-of-Wheat-y porridge with vegetables, contained a smattering of red chilies that left a lip-warming tingle.

This is one of the few places locally to offer dosas, the broad crisp-edged crepes. Along with the usual potato, onion, and cauliflower fillings, Madras does radical versions such as the Chinese, an oddly satisfying crepe wrapped around noodles, julienned carrots, onions, and cabbage in teriyaki sauce. Its vadas—doughnuts made with a batter of puréed lentils and the random whole black pepper—were greaseless and absolutely delicious.

Indian places aren’t known for atmosphere, but Madras makes an effort, with exposed wooden beams and some stained-glass light fixtures that could almost be called Tiffany-esque.

Get contact information for Madras Pavilion.

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