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Review: Masalawala & Sons

One of Brooklyn's toughest reservations sits on an unremarkable block in Park Slope—its insides, however, are anything but.
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One of Brooklyn’s toughest reservations, Masalawala & Sons sits on an unremarkable block in Park Slope. Its insides, however, are anything but. Diners are greeted by marigold garlands, murals reminiscent of South Asian truck art, and a playlist that’s a rotation of '80s Bollywood hits. The star of the show is its Bengali menu, largely anchored by an ingredient that’s indispensable to Bengali cooking: shorshe, or mustard. It's the oil that shimmers atop the khichuri (one-pot meal of rice and lentil), the paste in the bhetki paturi (banana leaf-wrapped fish), and the tempering on the yogurt chutney. It’s an unfamiliar flavor to many diners, but that’s the kind of boundary-pushing we’ve come to love about Unapologetic Foods—it's is the fifth in the company’s lineup following runaway hits like Dhamaka and Semma. While the food does most of the heavy-lifting, there’s a moment of theater when the daab chingri (prawn curry) arrives in its coconut “utensil” and is served up with an artful choreography. It’s a fun diversion before you get back to the main act—refilling your stainless steel plate.

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