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Linda and I drove down to Artesia today to eat at one of our favorite Indian restaurants, The Great Ashoka, on South Pioneer Ave.  Ashoka was, alas, closed for renovations. 

We headed across the street to a Pakistani place, Shan Restaurant (562 865-3838), we'd seen but never gone into.    

This isn't meant as a restaurant review at all.  Suffice it to say the place had its strong points and weak ones as well.  My general recommendation is that if you're going for the lunch buffer come early -- they don't refill the chaffers as often as they should -- but the biryanis and a few other things make it worth the trip.

So much for the wind up, here's the pitch:  I had, for the first time, something called mirchi ka salan, it's a "curry" where chillies are the star, rather than an accompaniment.  The gravy, in addition to onions, red chillies, and the usual masala suspects was strong with peanut and cocoanut.   The chillies in this particular version were jalapenos.  (I later learned that a chili close enough to a serrano to be its clone was more traditional.)

It was hot, complex, spicy wonderful.  How good?  Sooooo good.  When it comes to vegetarian curries and chillies in general it was a paradigm shifter.

Anyone else tried it?