Biju’s Little Curry Shop in RiNo is a dining exponential. The month-old, fast-casual kitchen offers only a few items but the iterations are endless: Order a combo bowl with Indian-spiced meats and curried veggies, or stick with one protein or just vegetables. Change up the rice, ask for a wrap (chef-owner Biju Thomas is currently sourcing different flatbread, as the Indian chapati he opened with wasn’t big enough), add dhal, herbed yogurt, mint-tomato chutney, flaming-hot bird’s beak chile sauce, and crunchy cabbage slaw. Ask for it all or skip anything along the way. No matter how you build it, the final effect is a fresh take on Indian.

This is the food Thomas, who spent his childhood in Kerala in southern India, was raised on. The cuisine reflects a part of the country that celebrates culinary diversity thanks to influence from Great Britain, Portugal, and Eastern Europe. This is not the fare of Indian buffets: it’s lighter, fresher, more textural—even healthy as there’s no cream or butter.

The response, says Thomas, has been overwhelming. Since day two, he’s had a steady stream of 120-some diners for lunch and dinner (original projections called for 50 to 60). Some people come back multiple times a week. And the draw is wide: customers have driven down from Bailey and Fort Collins to eat at the curry shop. Thomas even fed a carload from Kansas City as they passed through Denver on a road trip.

Expansion has always been part of the plan and Thomas is actively looking at sites. He expects to open two more locations—one in Denver, one in Boulder—in 2015.

Don’t miss: Thomas, who keeps company with talented chefs and wine guys—including the Frasca crew—stocks an unusual and ever-changing selection of beer and wine at unbelievably reasonable prices.

1441 26th St., 303-292-3500

Related: Coming Soon: Biju’s Little Curry Shop

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Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.