Maast Indian Creative Kitchen opened two years ago as a 150-square-foot “cloud kitchen,” set up for delivery meals only. Within six months, the family-run business had to find a larger, sit-down location to satisfy demand. We spoke with the Patel family – parents Rita and Nitin and children Karna and Kshama – at their restaurant in Alton Retail Center. Kshama explains …
You’re a family-run business?
Yes. My brother Karna went to culinary school, and my mother, Rita, learned to cook from her mother in Mumbai. Every order is handcrafted with love. My father, Nitin, and I work the front to make you feel welcomed and at home. Our recipes and flavors are humble and true – some recipes have been handed down for generations.
Describe your food.
We are an unconventional kind of Indian restaurant. Traditionally, Indian food is a family-style, sit-down-and-share kind of cuisine. We wanted to make it approachable, individual and take-away friendly. We serve burritos (or kathi rolls, as Indians call them) and parathadillas, which are like quesadillas. We also have sandwiches with all the Indian fillings, and curry bowls.
What are some of your most popular dishes?
Tandoori burrito ($14), chicken tikka masala curry ($15), Makhani Mac & Cheese ($9) and Mumbai street-style Pav Bhaji ($9). Our tandoori grilled chicken sandwich ($12) was voted one of Orange County’s top 10 chicken sandwiches by O.C. Register readers.
What experience are you trying to create?
First off, the smells will entice you as you walk in, and the food will make you feel welcomed. The design is from a childhood memory of a street flower market in India where vendors sold flowers in cane baskets and you could grab a street bite while shopping. We have cane-basket chandeliers, hanging Indian carvings and floral artwork on the walls that my mom, niece and I drew. It reads: “Together is a beautiful place to be.”