Arun’s Indian Kitchen offers tasty Indian food in a no-frills, fast-casual venue in Boca Raton

Arun’s Indian Kitchen in the 5th Avenue Shops in Boca Raton.

The newest restaurant from top Indian chef Arun Sareen dishes up the cuisine of the Indian Sub-Continent in a strip mall storefront. The food is authentically spiced – unless, of course, you prefer it otherwise, and the meat and poultry in various dishes are as tender as can be.


Indian cuisine is getting hot in our part of South Florida with the addition of Arun’s Indian Kitchen/Taco Masala in Boca Raton.

The new fast-casual eatery at 1930 NE Fifth Ave., in Boca Raton’s 5th Avenue Shops strip mall, is the third operation for chef-owner Arun Sareen, who started with a hole in the wall takeout joint on Sample Road in Coral Springs in 2014 (another location is in Lauderhill). He has since become known as the region’s top Indian chef. Sareen’s restaurants appear regularly on Yelp’s national list of top eateries. He’s been cooking in South Florida since 2009.

The Boca eatery, open since last August, serves up the food of the Sub-Continent in a no-frills environment, a bit unusual in that most Indian eateries in the area tend to be tablecloth establishments.

You’ll walk through the dining room filled with grey metal tables and chairs and aromas wafting from the kitchen to order at the counter. Arched white brick walls with dark wainscotting are decorated with posters. Once at the counter you’ll place your order and be asked how spicy you want your food (it’s not dumbed down unless you ask). Beverages are available in a cooler to the side. Then, you’ll be given a wireless pager that will vibrate and twinkle when your order is ready. There also are four outside tables, each with two chairs, under an overhang.

The food comes from the kitchen in no-frills style, too, served in plastic bowls on red cafeteria-style trays with plastic utensils.

Be that as it may, Arun’s food is a step above the competition.

Though from northern India, Sareen serves up a panoply of staples from throughout India — samosas, tandoori and tikka dishes, biryani, kormas, fiery vindaloo from India’s south, naan bread, butter chicken with mango lassi to drink and galubjamun for dessert.


Chicken korma.

Lamb tikka masala.

An order of two samosas ($3.99) arrived crisp and greaseless. The flaky pastry pockets were stuffed with an aromatic blend of herbs, spices and pureed potatoes.

Naan ($1.50), the tandoori oven flatbread, arrives soft and fluffy. Whole wheat roti ($2), a round flatbread, on the other hand, was crispy – more akin to matzo.

The counter at Arun’s Boca, where orders are placed and picked up.

Lamb tikka masala ($14.99), ordered at heat level 8 at a recent dinner, had just enough Scoville (heat) units to make it interesting. Tender, small cubes of lamb were swimming in a rich, creamy yogurt and tomato-based sauce. In Hindi, tikka means chunks of meat on skewers, while the Indian word masala describes the spice blend. The lamb in this dish may have been the most tender I’ve ever dined on.

Chicken korma ($13.99), a dish well-suited to those who don’t indulge in heat, arrived in a sweetish sauce with onion undertones. Korma typically involves meat or vegetables braised in a relatively mild velvety yogurt sauce made with a blend of nuts – almonds, cashews and coconut – that is seasoned with aromatic spices.

Chicken vindaloo ($12.99), among the hottest dishes in the Indian kitchen repertoire, a dish from Goa in Southwestern India, was ordered with a spice level of 7, which provided plenty of tang and heat. The poultry was incredibly tender.

Lunch special (clockwise): rice, kheer, mango lassi (not included ), naan and chicken vindaloo.

A wide range of beverages is available, including Indian beer and soda, but my preference to tame the heat of the food is lassi, particularly mango lassi ($3.99 for a large),  a lip-smacking creamy blend of Indian yogurt (dahi) blended and slightly sweetened with fresh mangoes. It’s available, along with a vegan version described as a mango coconut milkshake ($4.99 for a large), pre-made.  Alas, my serving would have benefited from an additional stir.

A lunch special is available Monday through Friday. For the price of an entrée, you also get naan, rice and dessert (a tiny container of a sweet, rice pudding with notes of cardomon called kheer).

Arun’s Indian Kitchen offers up legit Indian food in good-sized portions with plenty of flavor – and heat, if you want it, at reasonable prices. Come for the top-quality food, not the atmosphere. (Note, the restaurant is closed on Mondays.)

Arun’s Indian Kitchen & Taco Masala – Boca Raton

1930 NE 5th Ave. Boca Raton FL 33431

(561) 672-7138


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