First impressions: Don't let its humble name, nor its workaday setting fool you. Adjacent to the Highwood Metra station you'll find the Curry Hut. Soft Indian music fills a lovely room with white-napped tables against turmeric walls. Small vases with red carnations grace the tables. The full-service vest-pocket bar is tucked into one comer. A few tables with umbrellas dot a small patio if you want a drink outside.
On the menu: There are certainly the familiar Indian classics here-palak paneer (spinach with cheese), saag aloo (spinach with potatoes), curries, various tikka masalas and tandoori specialties. But here, too, are Nepali specialties that are less familiar, including yellow lentils cooked with some Himalayan spices (jhane ko dal) and a spiced chicken dish called kukhura ko maasu.
At your service: Servers are quiet, respectful and unobtrusive. None of that ridiculous "Hi, I'm Josh, and I'll be your server tonight!" These guys (they were all men when we visited) are professionals. Every thing's cooked to order, so if you're in a rush or need to make a train, ask your server for suggestions.
Second helpings: Mo mo, a Nepali dish of spiced minced chicken steamed in dumplings, is lively and delicious. They're like steamed potstickers with peppery sass. Kadhi lamb, braised with fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic and mild spices, is oily
but you won't care. It's superb. We also liked the chicken samosa and the "mix pakora," sort of like vegetable fritters. The latter is a mix of vegetables in every bite, not an assortment of individually fried vegetables. A generous mango lassi is the perfect accompaniment , though a bottle of Kingfisher beer pleased some diners.
Take a pass: We didn't try the Curry Hut special tandoori lobster; at $24.95, it was out of our price range for Cheap Eats. On the other hand, we wouldn't come to a restaurant specializing in Southeast Asian delicacies to eat lobster.
Prices: Appetizers and snatks,
$3.50-$12.95; soups $3.50-$3.95;
4 forks, don't miss it;
3 forks, one of the best;
2 forks; very good;
1 fork, good
Reviews are based on anonymous
visits by Tribune staff members;
meals are paid for by the Tribune.