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  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Lunch/Takeout Indian West Village Cheap Eats Off the Charts

There’s nothing big about Lassi—a new urban Punjabi takeaway shop on Greenwich Avenue. In fact you may miss it if you walk by and turn away to answer your cell phone, or shuffle past a song on your iPod. It is a lean space—a white-washed exposed brick rectangle with the wingspan of a small child—about the size of a “cozy” studio apartment that might be priced somewhere around $450,000. Yes, the space is small, but man, those flavors are BIG. Lassi’s chef, Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez —who is making recipes based on the homestyle Punjabi dishes of her longtime friend Purva Sudan—has been known to make a mean sweet or two (her desserts at L’Impero and Judson Grill earned her 3 Stars from The NY Times) and is not shy about FLAY-vah. It is present and accounted for in every bite of every dish on her tiny little menu, which makes it is a joy to consume the food at Lassi. This is the sort of stuff that makes you go weak in the knees.

My first taste came last week, on Saturday, on my way home from a long (and much needed) run along the Hudson River Park. I stopped by to say hello, quite sweaty and unappealing, actually, but happy to see Heather, who I must disclose is a close friend. She couldn’t have cared less about my less than lovely appearance, and like a grandmother feeding her young, started preparing lunch for me. I was still sweating and starting to scare off guests, and so I tried to stop her. “Heather, I am sweaty and gross. People are going to leave your store and never come back. I should go. Really, I should not eat here now.” In classic grandmother form (other than the fact that she is young and gorgeous), she waved her hands in the air, and ignored me. “So, you won’t eat it now,” she said in that, I-don’t-care- what-you-say-you-are-getting-fed tone. “You’ll need to eat something later. So, you’ll take it home and warm it up for dinner.” With that she disappeared into the kitchen with Purva to assemble my sustenance for later. A few minutes later, after an unfortunate pond of perspiration had formed by my feet, I was sent away with a hug (only people who really love you hug you when you are sweaty), and a bulging brown paper shopping bag.

I could barely wait until I got home to open my care package. Once inside, I tore open the fat sack and peered inside. My head was rushed with a fabulous wave of cardamom, chile ... [more, click below]

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