Meat was also not missed in kofta curry, vegetarian dumplings in a mild, thick, yogurt-based gravy. Vegetable "meatballs" tend to be too uniform in texture; additionally, when bound with potato (as they often are) they can be oppressively heavy. But Guru's dumplings were airy, tender, and thanks to the inclusion of whole and diced mixed vegetables, interesting.

All meals come with a bhajia (fried vegetable fritter), little bowls of mint and tamarind dipping sauces, and a complimentary starter of nan flatbread strips with cucumber raita. An entrée per person is plenty of food. Still the masala pappadam appetizer is a good additional choice -- if you eat it fast. Instead of being served on the side, a diced tomato/onion salsa was served as a topping. This looked great, and provided a refreshing counter to the pappadams' chili-spiked savor. But it also totally saturated the paper-thin fried crisps within ten minutes, making them about as appealing as melted-down communion wafers.

To accompany food, there are some reasonably priced Western world wines, though neither a large nor interesting enough selection to justify the "wine bar" in Guru's moniker. Best stick to frosty Kingfisher Indian beer (at four dollars it's priced the same as domestic brew) or to mango lassi. The latter was rich and sweet enough to substitute for dessert. But desserts were actually quite good, especially a version of traditional gulab jamun that replaced the standard sugar syrup in which these rosewater-flavored Indian pastry balls are usually soaking with much less cloying, whipped cream-topped vanilla ice cream. A Latina friend found Guru's kheer (rice custard with cashews and saffron) better than her mom's Cuban rice pudding.

Guru's menu goes global but plays to its Indian strengths
Jonathan Postal
Guru's menu goes global but plays to its Indian strengths

Location Info


Guru Indian Restaurant and Wine Bar

232 12th St.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > Indian

Region: South Beach


305-534-3996. Open daily noon to midnight
232 12th St, Miami Beach

Incidentally, trend-minded diners will be relieved to know that though the lasagna and meat loaf are history, Indonesian lemon fish and Argentine churrasco steak have been added to Guru's still strange list of non-Indian "international" entrées. So Miami hasn't lost its global-cuisine competitive edge. More evidence: The intensely Indian-spiced French fries accompanying the American cheeseburger were terrific.

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