Visitors shouldn't let Marla's no-frills decor or (charmingly) informal service throw them for a loop. For one thing, the doubles are too good to miss. These tidbits are the island interpretation of the soft bread and curried tomato-chickpea dish known in Indian restaurants as chole puri. Ask them for spicy (ordering the mild incarnation is like eating eggs Benedict without hollandaise sauce) and prepare to marvel, as the soft warmth of the bread cradles and absorbs the chickpea and spicy chutney filling. Take a gulp of Ting-a Jamaican soft drink that uses its 6 percent grapefruit-juice content to cut through spice and starch like a dagger dipped in citric acid-and everything is right with the world. If there's any over-arching problem with the menu at Marla's, it's that it ranges so far. It's critical to try the roti, but then you'll miss out on the Caribbean chow mein. And you'll want to start with doubles, of course, but that may preclude getting a Jamaican beef patty or soft, spongy coco bread, which, in addition to being delicious in its own right, is perfect for sopping up spicy sauces. On a frigid winter evening, those are the sort of problems you want to have.
Tue-Thu 11:30am-8pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-3pm, 5pm-9pm
Lunch, No Alcohol, Reservations Accepted, Takeout
Lot Available, Street