Over a year ago, Taste of India opened to generally great reviews and even better word-of-mouth. Now with Kabob House, La Crosse has yet another quality Indian (and Pakistani) restaurant.

Located in the Village Shopping Center (in the former site of JavaVino), the Kabob House is in a prime location for the weekend shopping crowd and the internationally curious. Inside is a rather spacious dining room of four- to eight-person tables that surround a half-circle bar. The walls are a colorful collaboration of purple, blue, red and orange lightly adorned with artwork. Most notable was the atmosphere. The staff was welcoming and helpful, happy to explain the dishes to anyone not familiar with the style of cooking.

Due to an oversight of assumption, I found myself in the midst of the Kabob House’s lunch buffet. Though initially hesitant because of a troubled past with buffets, I was delighted by the variety of samples offered by the chefs. Located along the long bar in the middle of the dining room, the buffet offered salad, fresh vegetables, appetizers, rice, soups, naan and sauces, and a sampling of eastern stalwarts such as chicken korma, lamb curry and beef kabob.

Their buffet is a fantastic example of how to offer small portions of the flavors offered in the full menu to anyone who might be afraid of ordering a big meal at dinner. In fact, I fully recommend the buffet for those who are even seasoned veterans of the international restaurant scene. It was that good. Through two plates, I tried the mild and creamy chicken korma, a subtle, spicy lamb curry, the Pakistani ground beef kabob, a delicious take on green chicken that avoided going heavy on the mint and cilantro, and a very spicy chili chicken. Each dish went well with the rice or naan, and a small bite of custard worked well as a palette cleanser to keep all those flavors from running together.

Not every dish put out for the buffet is offered on the full menu, which makes the buffet an even more interesting opportunity to try something outside their advertised repertoire. But make no mistake, the menu itself is verbose and offers something for everybody. I certainly plan on making repeat appearances to try it out.

La Crosse is experiencing a bit of small food renaissance in these past few years that I have been all too happy to actively participate in. The Kabob House is yet another fantastic feather in our foodie cap and those that appreciate trying new things should set out for lunch or dinner, fully confident in the wonderful experience that awaits.