Thelewala Heats Up MacDougal Street’s Indian-Street-Food Scene

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Photo: Melissa Hom

When it comes to highest restaurant turnover, it’s a toss-up between West 8th Street and MacDougal Street, where holdouts like Mamoun’s and the Olive Tree Café are exceptions to the rule. The strip’s latest arrival, Thelewala, is an Indian-street-food challenger to the Kati Roll Company down the block, specializing in “The Famous Nizami Rolls” of owner Shiva Natarajan’s native Kolkata. These are stuffed with fillings like minced lamb, lime paneer, and chicken that the menu ensures is antibiotic-and-hormone-free. There is also a small chaat selection and a curry or two, and the spot’s name means “street food vendor” — a job title that doesn’t quite apply to Natarajan, who came to the States to earn an MBA before launching a restaurant group that now includes Chola, Dhaba, Bhojan, Tadka, and Little Thai Kitchen.

Thelewala Menu [PDF]

Thelewala, 112 MacDougal St., nr. Minetta Ln.; 212-614-9100