My Montrose: Anita Jaisinghani of Indika
1. Why did you choose Montrose as the location for Indika?
We wanted to get out of the suburbs, and we didn’t know a lot about inner city. I just knew I wanted to be inside somewhere. We wanted to buy some land; we didn’t want to rent. And Montrose…I didn’t want to be in a ritzy area, I wanted a place I was comfortable walking around. When I started to actually come here during construction, I thought “I like this area!” I had no idea what Montrose was. I just thought it was this pocket of Houston…I mean I just didn’t know. But during construction, I thought “I think I want to live here,” so I sold my house and moved here and I love it.
2. What do you love about Montrose?
I love everything about Montrose. I love the proximity, and that we can get to all these places [easily]. I love the park [near Indika]; it must be the best thing ever. I love how different everything is; there’s nothing uniform. It reminds me a little bit of India, actually, more than anything else that is in Houston.
3. What’s the biggest change you’ve seen to Montrose?
The growth of businesses…the whole street has kind of come alive, I feel. There was nothing over here or across from us, and that happened awhile after we opened. The street has gotten more and more populated. We see more people walking here than we ever have before.
4. What’s your favorite thing about living in Montrose?
That I can walk places. I love to walk, and I ride my bike here all the time. I can walk to the park, which is so awesome. It’s also got a bit of grittiness to it, and I like that. It’s nothing like the Stepford wives, cookie cutter suburbs I had been used to before that.
5. What do you think the challenges to the neighborhood are?
I’m appalled that not enough people are redoing houses. But that’s the U.S. In India we don’t tear anything down until something like nature tears it down, so I don’t like that. But it’s also a sign of progress.
6. What should people be eating at Indika right now?
Our kale salad comes from a kale farmer right outside Houston. It’s a kale and blueberry salad, and it’s the season for his best kale right now.