Jaisalmeri Bhindi, Amber Dhara, Valencia St., Mission District, San Francisco, $12.
Fried okra with fennel and dry mango powder, proof that a veggie dish can be as much or more flavorful and filling than a meat dish. The texture was maybe the most unique thing about it, though. Whereas okra usually comes in predictable (though alien-looking) bean pods, this almost had the consistency of pulled pork between its soft cooked fennel root and the crispy slivers of okra (and doesn’t it even look like pulled pork?). The mango powder gave it a sweet-savory flavor that made it very easy to chow down on.
A new spin on a typical Indian dish—I always like when you see something unique done with vegetables, since it’s always easier to score weird points on unfamiliar meat dishes.