Noon Mirch: Love for hospitality turned into successful Indian restaurant

The mixed grill ($17.50) Includes shrimp, a chicken kebab, tandoori chicken, lamb and a seekh kebab and is served with naan.

The mixed grill ($17.50) Includes shrimp, a chicken kebab, tandoori chicken, lamb and a seekh kebab and is served with naan.

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Monica Nanda
Noon Mirch, which translates to “salt and pepper” in Hindi, is the name of a sleek, contemporary restaurant that has served the Bay Area with authentic Indian cuisine for 30 years.

There are not any salt and pepper shakers on the tables at Noon Mirch, however, because owner Monica Nanda is confident the dishes the restaurant serves are spiced and flavored to perfection, she said.

The restaurant, which moved around several locations before settling at its current location in 2017, was founded by Nanda in 1989.

“My husband asked me what I like to do, and I said something I really enjoy is having parties and when people come over, have fun and enjoy food,” she said.

With the advice of her husband, Nanda took her passion for hospitality and serving food to guests in her home and turned it into Noon Mirch.

“When being in the restaurant, I always felt like this is my home,” Nanda said. “My philosophy is that I want to treat people just how I would in my house. That’s how it all started.”

Staff at Noon Mirch exemplifies that philosophy by always being attentive to customer needs, Nanda said. Over the years, the restaurant has modified certain recipes to meet demands, such as providing vegan and gluten-free options.

The menu features Indian and Nepalese dishes. Northern Indian dishes tend to be heavier in dairy, while southern Indian dishes are usually soupier and hotter, allowing for more options, she said.

“We make sure each dish tastes uniquely different,” Nanda said. “We have all of the ingredients here, and we cook things from scratch.”

When Noon Mirch first opened, Indian food was not popular in the area, but that has changed over the years, Nanda said.

“We’ve really [gotten] to know the community,” she said. “Most people that come here have been with us for years and years. It’s really nice to see that.”

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