Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.
The Truck: Kasa Indian
The Cuisine: Indian rolls and rice plates
Specialty Items: Kati rolls (Indian wraps)
Worth the Wait in Line? At peak lunch time, a total 12 minutes from the end of the line to food in hand.
Walking up to the order window for the first time at Kasa Indian truck can be a little intimidating. There are a lot of choices and I am at my most indecisive when I am hungry. Scanning the menu, there are a half-dozen choices curries, from lamb to saag paneer.
Then the choices multiply when you need to figure out if you want a kati roll ($5, roti flatbread rolled around a choice of filling) or samosa ($2.50). Sometimes the answer isn't one or the other, but all of the above: The Truck ($11, two rolls with filling of your choice with samosa)
The toasted roti flatbreads, which have a chew that is less tortilla and more like compressed naan, make flavorful holders for the fillings and provide crucial folds to hold the chutney and yogurt sauce in place. The chicken tikka masala and gobi aloo, the standards on the menu, are by far the best choices for the rolls.
The gobi aloo is buttery and pungent with curry powder, and onions that elevate lowly potatoes and cauliflower to a craveable status. The chicken tikka masala may disappoint some expecting chicken chunks steeped in a spiced sauce; here the marinated chicken is more like what you expect from tandoori style joints, that is to say, coated in spices only. In the kati roll though, it works perfectly, especially doused with the side sauces.
If there is any issue with the rolls, it's that not all the fillings are suitable for that kind of eating, and there's no way to find out until you've ordered. The saag paneer (spinach and cheese curry) became a huge mess, as did the lamb curry and chana masala (garbanzo bean curry), all of which were better suited for the rice plate ($8, with choice of one main item).
The samosa that came with the meal was great too, perfectly fried, adding a nice textural contrast to the meal. They don't always come out piping hot (which is when they're at their best), but are still a nice addition to the meal.
While I wish they offered more guidance about which items work best in each format (roll or bowl), having so many choices will either overwhelm you or make you happy. If it's too much, just do what I did: get the lunch set and try a few items at a time to find your favorite combination.