New Indian restaurant adds spice to Claremont

Daddyji, an Indian restaurant, opened Jan. 25 at 201 N. Indian Hill Blvd. in Claremont. The brand new restaurant in the Claremont Village started out as a food truck business before the owners decided to take it to new heights. / photo by Jonas Holt
Daddyji, an Indian restaurant, opened Jan. 25 at 201 N. Indian Hill Blvd. in Claremont. The brand new restaurant in the Claremont Village started out as a food truck business before the owners decided to take it to new heights. / photo by Jonas Holt

April Cambero
Social Media Editor

Daddyji, a small, but busy authentic Indian restaurant had a “soft opening” on Jan. 25 in Claremont, at  201 North Indian Hill Blvd.

The restaurant, which started as a food truck,  gained popularity and decided to take their business to the next level. 

A savory aroma filled the air on a recent visit, while customers were cheerfully chatting and waiting for their meals to arrive. The restaurant is decorated in an eclectic but modern style with a homage to their beginnings with a food truck mural on the wall.

Indian music and the sounds of the cooking staff preparing each meal echoed throughout the restaurant. The door constantly opened and closed as customers were arriving to dine in and pick up their takeout orders.

The staff is friendly and attentive when greeting guests and interacting with them. The manager, Jasleen Gill, made the experience feel intimate by making sure to check-in on each table. 

The menu is extensive with the most popular Indian dishes available to order, such as chicken tikka masala, butter chicken, samosas and garlic naan. 

Still new, some dishes were not ready yet to showcase, but they still had many different meals to choose from.

When the meals arrived at the table, they were served in small gold bowls with the basmati rice as a side order that could easily feed about two people. 

The dishes were steaming and displayed in a professional manner with garnishes on top. Each dish was seasoned to perfection and spiced to the correct level. It is easy to see that Daddyji puts thought and life into each dish as they were all delicious. 

Customers were excited to see the new restaurant and even happier to try the food. Historically, Claremont has had many other cultural restaurants aside from Indian. 

To see that Claremont introduced and welcomed Daddyji made customers feel good.

Realtor and longtime Claremont resident Patricia Samuelson sat and ate with Susan Guntner, a graphic designer who also lives in Claremont. 

Samuelson said she was “thrilled” to be there. “Please no more Mexican food. Hello, I’ll go to Pomona for that, not Claremont.” 

“Exactly my choice of words,” Guntner added.

Customers enjoyed the food as well as the environment. 

Guntner favored the Butter Chicken. 

Samuelson noted how many restaurants they have seen in the area, and they have long awaited a local Indian restaurant. She favored the environment and sees herself returning.

Students were also interested in the new restaurant. They stumbled across it on their search in the village for a meal, and were intrigued by how busy the new place was.

Friends Natalie Lessin, Scripps College freshman neuroscience major, and Joy Joseph, a friend visiting Lessin, were walking in the Claremont Village for the first time. They were looking for a quick bite to eat and came across Daddyji.

“The food was really good and they were really fast,” Lessin said.

They enjoyed the food and environment and mentioned how they plan on visiting more restaurants in the village after this good experience. They also said they would definitely come back to dine again at Daddyji.

While eating at Daddyji, I enjoyed multiple dishes such as chicken tikka masala, butter chicken, garlic naan and channa masala. My favorite dish by far was the mildly spiced, but full of flavor chicken tikka masala. 

Pricing at Daddyji ranged from $7- $8 for appetizers such as samosas, paneer pakora and coconut shrimp fry. Main dishes, such as vindaloo, tikka masala and coconut curry, ranged from $14- $20.

April Cambero can be reached at april.cambero@laverne.edu.

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