There are two very popular themes in recent films: chefs and geezers, and I can relate to both. Now co-producers Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg have successfully blended the two themes in The Hundred-Foot Journey and added a dash of French countryside for even more zest.
Journey is warm and fuzzy. A foodie film. A tender romance. Oprah says, “I loved the fusion of food and culture, of family and romance.” Dame Helen Mirren, who plays Madame Mallory, the snooty owner of the small town French restaurant, concurred. “Food is a wonderful way for human beings to learn to live with each other.”
In the film, a Mumbai family renovates an old building and begins serving classical Indian food across from Madam Mallory’s exquisite Michelin-rated, French restaurant. What follows is a clash of cultures, characters, and cuisine brought on by the competition.
I thoroughly enjoyed the film. But, then I’m one of those who cooks an Indian meal for myself at least once a week. I’m encouraged by having some wonderful seasonings I got at the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul this spring. For an even quicker (and, yes, I have to admit it, tastier Indian meal), I can always stop at the House of India on Delmar, where Kumar, the owner, dishes up an ample and reasonably priced lunch buffet.
If you’re not sure whether you like Indian food or you have a friend who is squeamish about trying something new, this is the place to begin your taste adventure. It’s less than a hundred-foot journey from the parking lot to the front door. The food is not spicy hot, unless you choose to make it that way. But it is addictive.
House of India, 8501 Delmar. Open Mon-Sun 11:30a-2:30p. Mon-Thu 5p-9:30p; Fri-Sat 5p-10p; Sun 5p-9p.