Shivas Bar & Grill opened this on Greenville Avenue, tucked into the same strip that used to house Jack's and then JO24. A kolache restaurant named Bohemian Cafe will open next door this fall.
But for now, the fresh smells of curry are wafting down the strip, which is nice. Other than Nora and Qariah, most the new restaurants that have opened up on Lower Greenville have had domestic leanings.
I walked in past a couple sitting on the patio spooning hunks of meat from a bowl of cherry-red curry, and I was greeted by a full bar with eight or so comfortable-looking barstools. The dining rooms is cheerful, painted a bright, mustardy yellow, and a staircase leads to a balcony with a few more secluded places to dine.
India, if you didn't know, is a pretty big country, and dishes that hail from northern borders along Pakistan couldn't be any more different that the bright, fiery dishes from the south. Some Indian restaurants tend to specialize in specific regions, but Shivas will let you explore a great deal of the subcontinent.
There's a slew of deep fried snacks, from samosas to pakoras, to crispy calamari, to the chili bhaji pictured above. The bhaji features serrano chilies, halved, their stems and seeds left intact and dipped in a thick batter and fried. If that sounds like too much heat you can get an onion version or stick to the pakoras.
Another part of the menu features curry by numbers. You can choose between a number of sauces including saag, vindaloo, korma and others, and then a meat including chicken, lamb, beef and others and then a level of heat that's just sort described in a vague sort of "I'll have it spicy, but not too spicy." The method doesn't really allow the flavors to meld as they might if a curry were prepared in a traditional way, but it does offer a lot of flexibility.
I should probably mention that the restaurant will be open till 3 a.m. on the weekends, which, if you've ever been drunk in England, you will recognize as one of life's greatest pleasures.
Shivas Bar & Grill, 1907 Greenville Ave., 469-250-1429