It's nice to know I don't need to get on a plane back to India to enjoy a plate of decent dal in PDX. The Bollywood serves the "people's food" of India, simple, fresh and undeniably delightful. Most Americans think Indian food is all tandoori chicken and curry. Fact is, these are the banquet foods served only in high-end restaurants or wedding parties on the subcontinent. I was in Assam province in the Spring at a street cafe, eating whatever was being served on the banana leaf in front of me; no utensils, no problem. Except for the warm beer, eating in India is nothing like eating Indian food here, until Bollywood. There is nothing pretentious about the physical plant. Amid the chaotic decor, aromas from the kitchen fill the place making it all the more homey and inviting. Lot's of vegetarian options, with a focus on the standby beans and potatoes. The spicing is classic. The plates and cups are metal, much like you'd find on a corner eatery in Kolkata. Order at the counter and have a seat. Get a paneer, a chaat and a dal with a side of paratha to soak up the sauces. They have a short selection of beer and wine and the former is cold and cheap. There are always specials and you should just order them. The plates are small, so if you have a big group, order a bunch. Then sit back and enjoy the ride...
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I currently live a few blocks away from Bollywood and it is one of my go-to's when I don't know what to eat. Their food is fantastic and the setting is amazing. The food is super authentic and just awaits. I usually get a curry chicken thali meal, Vada Pav, and whatever is on the specials menu. Tip: try the mango lassi's, they don't disappoint.