Hearts brim with joy (and mouths water) at the thought of eating at the beloved India Palace. Yes, steaming-hot green chile is what many of us live for, but at India Palace they


make the vindaloo so hot you'll need a shower after dinner. At downtown's only Indian restaurant you can get that familiar endorphin kick with an entirely unfamiliar flavor or return to favorites like the red-tinged tandoori chicken or a creamy curry. Don't miss the Kashmiri naan. This puffy, fluffy flatbread dotted with cashews, pistachios, raisins and cherries has a surprise in every bite. Dishes like the rich, creamy and slightly sweet lamb korma make falling off your diet a joy. And although vegans may have to pick out pieces of homemade cheese and watch for creamy sauces, the long list of vegetable dishes, including eggplant, cauliflower, okra, garbanzos, lentils, spinach and peas, makes India Palace a paradise for vegetarians. The courtly service at the Palace is almost superfluous; the food is so good we'd eat with sporks if this were only a takeout window serving saag paneer in Styrofoam containers.

227 Don Gaspar Ave., 986-5859,

. Lunch and dinner daily. $$