Like most college towns, there seems to be a deep appreciation for food, especially food that can be deep-fried, slathered in ranch and buffalo sauce, and can have a side of fries, and Isla Vista is no different. However, what seems to make Isla Vista different from most college towns is that it tends to deviate from the typical college food diet to offer some very unique and very tasty dishes. We have an eatery dedicated exclusively to bread bowls, two Mediterranean joints, and even a restaurant that offers Indian cuisine along with boba drinks. While most eateries in IV cater to the party-going and on-the-go eating habits, these culturally diverse restaurants allow us to refine our palate and experience spices, herbs, and dishes we might have never tried before.
As I continued on my quest of tasting my way through Isla Vista, which I have now decided to dedicate my final months here at UCSB to doing, my second stop in this epic food journey was yet another unfamiliar place, a place I always walked past but never set foot into, a place called Naan Stop.
So, without further ado, here is what my stomach and food for thought of Naan Stop.
Similar to my experience at Kegg’s, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had walked and biked past Naan Stop hundreds of times throughout my four years here at UCSB, but I had reservations about stopping there to eat. I had only eaten Indian food once before, and it was absolutely amazing. Illogically, I didn’t want to eat at Naan Stop because I was afraid this experience was going to ruin the memory of the spicy, homemade curry and garlic-y naan I tried with my coworker’s family. I held Indian food at a very high standard, and to put it simply, I was afraid Naan Stop wouldn’t meet that standard. However, I am happy to say that I was completely wrong.
Amber and Siobhán, two other HerCampus interns, accompanied me again on my food journey and met up with me at Naan Stop. As we ate, we chatted about our upcoming finals and plans for Spring Break. I ordered the chicken bowl with my choice of spicy chicken curry and jasmine white rice and a mango milk tea. Amber ordered the chicken korma rice bowl, garlic naan, and a vanilla milk tea, and Siobhán ordered the vegetable korma rice bowl with garlic naan and a peach green tea boba.
The bowls were simple with our curry on top of a bed of white rice. However, while the food may have seemed simple, they were busting with flavor.
My spicy chicken curry bowl was amazingly tasty. Even with the presentation of the food severely lacking, I dived in. The bowl had whole chili peppers, moist and cooked to perfection chicken, and mouth-watering curry. I began to break a sweat after a few bites from the spices, but I couldn’t be happier because this girl (aka me) loves spice. My motto is the hotter the better, but while the bowl was pretty spicy, I could have liked it a little hotter. But oh well, it was still freakin’ delicious.
The food at Naan Stop is reasonably priced, and my whole order (which was HUGE) with food and drink was well under $10. And even now as I sit here writing my review six hours later, I am still comfortably full and content with my meal.
I would definitely recommend Naan Stop to anyone who loves Indian food and boba, and I would give my meal 3.75 out of 5 emoiji heart eyes just because of the presentation, and I wanted my curry a tad spicier. But hey if you don’t like spice, this place is right up your alley!