During an early lunch at Anjappar — the Manhattan location of a multinational chain that showcases Chettinad cuisine, native to the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu — I admired the parotta, a many-layered, griddled flatbread. So did a number of business-suited South Asian men, who used theirs to sop up sambars, curries, and the like. On a return visit our table relished the same flatbread in a kothu parotta, "chopped and cooked with vegetables, onions, tomatoes" (with goat, $15.45). The texture is not unlike stuffing, savory but, in bulk, dry, hence the accompanying onion raitha and thin curry. A close second for our favorite dish was the nattukozi roast ($17.95), a "semi dry" spiced chicken reminiscent, noted one dining buddy, of rendang.
Also pictured: a South Indian vegetarian lunch ($10.95), one of several lunchtime thalis whose curries change daily, at the chef's pleasure. My curry — greenish-yellow, featuring snake gourd, with a bitter edge — is shown to poor advantage compared with the fried mushroom appetizer sitting on top.
These premises were long occupied by La Petite Auberge. The only decorative elements that remain from that French restaurant are the fanlights, now painted in peacock colors.
116 Lexington Ave. (27th-28th Sts.), Manhattan