A festive mood dominated a reception tonight to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Anita Jaisinghani’s innovative Indian restaurant Indika. A crowd of Houston’s in-the-know turned out for the party, congratulating Anita on her first decade in business and wishing her the best for her second. “It’s hard to believe we’ve been here ten years,” she kept saying over and over.
Then again, as many at the birthday reception surely understood, “here” was not always here. Indika was born in a much humbler abode far out Memorial, where rumors of this little restaurant serving Indian food that went beyond the handful of familiar dishes started almost immediately. Today’s abode on lower Westheimer, part of a Restaurant Row that includes Dolce Vita and Feast, is far more striking than humble.
All through the reception, servers moved among the crowd with creative Indian hors d’oeuvres, the best of which was a kind of sweet potato cake topped with bright green cilantro sauce. As expected, however, one of the liveliest scenes was the one around the petal-strewn bar, where mixologists shook and stirred when they weren’t pouring wine and champagne. All the better to toast Anita in honor of Indika, the restaurant that did so much to deepen and broaden our appreciation of one of the world’s greatest cuisines.