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Latest news from the Clay Oven


  • OC Register Best of 2015: Food that made us swoon this year

    December 30, 2015

    Main Entree: Chicken Tikka Masala at Clay Oven in Irvine: This Irvine Indian restaurant has been around for ages, yet somehow I never had the pleasure of dining there until this year. The meal was exquisite – from the presentation to the service and the flavors. The creamy red masala sauce was so good, I wanted to lick the copper serving pot clean. I controlled myself, and instead, ordered more sourdough naan to wipe the bowl. 15435 Jeffrey Road, Suite 116, Irvine; 949-552-2851, clayovenirvine.com

  • Getting Chile at Irvine’s Clay Oven - Orange Coast Magazine

    August 4, 2015

    Clay Oven in Irvine may be 30 years old, but it’s remarkably fresh. Certainly the global consciousness of owners Geeta and Praveen Bansal contributes to its currency—their frequent travels are chronicled in chef Geeta’s food blog, which features interviews with an international roster of top chefs. And last September, Bansal cooked at the James Beard House in New York. I love her simple dishes, as well. But a restaurant’s longevity is dependent on having a loyal clientele. Clearly, Clay Oven’s regulars love the sophisticated, modern touches Bansal brings to her food...

  • Watermelon Curry - Hallmark Home & Family

    August 3, 2015

    Chef Geeta Bansal is in the kitchen cooking up a colorful and tasty dish!

  • Clay Oven Restaurant's Chef Geeta Bansal Celebrates National Watermelon Day

    August 3, 2015

    Clay Oven Restaurant's Chef Geeta Bansal showed KCAL9's Josh Rubenstein a few ways to cook with watermelons.

  • Global Fare - Modern Luxury - Riviera - Orange County

    July 1, 2015

    When chef Geeta Bansal, known for her popular Irvine restaurant, Clay Oven, suffered a temporary illness that took her out of the kitchen two years ago, she decided to launch a dining blog to keep her hands in the business. Gastronome Geeta has since turned her into an international celebrity of sorts. She takes a journey almost every month, just to keep up with invitations to interview her culinary contemporaries abroad. You’ll find her jetting from Spain to Peru, Mexico City to France and Germany to Scandinavia—with stops in between in Chicago and New York. She recently returned from Monaco, where she cooked with the royal palace’s chefs and may return later this year to participate in a charity event...

  • Mother’s Day Brunch at Clay Oven

    April 24, 2015

    Join Clay Oven on Mother’s Day Sunday, May 10 and treat Mom to a three-course prix fixe brunch fit for a queen. Brunch begins at 11:00 a.m. and is priced at $40.00, excluding tax and gratuity.

  • Clay Oven Offers Tandoor-Cooked Thanksgiving Turkeys For Pre-Order

    October 30, 2014

    For the past 22 years Geeta Bansal's Clay Oven Indian Restaurant in Irvine has been making turkeys in its tandoor for Thanksgiving. And every year around this time, they offer it for pre-orders. It's a downright tradition. This year, a bird goes for $74.95 and serves at least six. They're skinless and marinated in a herb and spice blend before being roasted in the superheated barrel-shaped ovens. They're also stuffed with an spice and vegetable infused basmati rice, and comes with a cranberry chutney on the side, because, hey, what's a Thanksgiving turkey without some sort of cranberry sauce. If you want the whole spread, sides like spinach with paneer, cumin sweet potatoes, pumpkin achari, smoked eggplant bhurtha, and okra can be ordered to accompany your bird. Also, the restaurant is offering lamb chops, venison, wild Boar, elk, and Berkshire pork racks if you'd rather feast on a four-legged beast instead. To reserve your bird, call them at (949)-552-2851.

  • Irvine's Clay Oven meets New York brownstone

    September 25, 2014

    As sommeliers poured a 2011 Malbec into wine glasses and suited waiters greeted guests, Geeta Bansal stood behind a stainless steel counter and delicately sprinkled a mix of black rice, rye and black salt atop an elk, foie and radish appetizer. "This is dirt," said Bansal, who is known for her modernized version of Indian cuisine. So known, in fact, for her innovative menus, flavors and aromas that the 50-year-old restaurateur has been invited by the prestigious James Beard House in New York City to prepare a dinner featuring her approach on Indian food. Bansal, the chef of Clay Oven in Irvine, will join the ranks of celebrated chefs Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse and Nobu Matsuhisa in taking over the kitchen in the Greenwich Village brownstone to prepare food for 65 to 80 people on Saturday night......

  • Chef Geeta on KCAL9 News at Noon

    August 17, 2014

    Tune in to KCAL9 News at Noon, Monday August 18th to see Chef Geeta demonstrate our Shiv Challenge dish as well as dishes from her upcoming dinner at the James Beard Foundation in NYC on September 27th.

  • Chef Geeta Invited To Cook At The James Beard Foundation in New York

    August 16, 2014

    Our Executive Chef Geeta Bansal has been invited by the James Beard Foundation to serve a special dinner showcasing her cuisine at the James Beard House in New York City on the 27th of September. We are thrilled for this honor and recognition of her achievements and talents! Tickets for the event are available at the link below. The Art of Spice Saturday, September 27th, 2014 The James Beard House, NYC www.jamesbeard.org/events/art-spice

  • Try the 'world's hottest chile' at Clay Oven

    July 25, 2014

    Nothing says "satisfying comfort food" quite like 1.2 million Scoville units (that's the heat of 400 jalapeno peppers combined), right? No? Well, according to chef Geeta Bansal at Clay Oven in Irvine, this kind of heat is definitely on the menu. She's serving a dish featuring the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chile. Some, including Clay Oven, call it "the world's hottest chile pepper," a tiny red ball of fury, featuring a bumpy texture and a telltale tail. Unfortunately (or perhaps not), the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion is not the hottest pepper, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. It was dethroned in December 2013 and replaced by the Carolina Reaper, which can reach a whopping 2.2 million units on the Scoville scale. Regardless, Clay Oven's lamb dish featuring the scorching chile, called the Shiv, is sure to pack a punch and test the guts of diners. Shiv is a reference to the name of the Hindu god of creation and destruction known for performing a fiery Tandav dance. I predict diners at Clay Oven will perform a fiery dance of their own after trying the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion. Diners who successfully finish the entire plate will receive a certificate of congratulations and a chance to win Clay Oven’s Thanksgiving tandoori turkey. Whether that chance is worth the pain remains to be seen, but a person who can stomach a chile of this Scoville magnitude should definitely earn some serious bragging rights. According to Bansal, the dish is not just about the heat. "When combined with the other ingredients, the Shiv features a wide spectrum of flavors like salty, sweet, spicy, piquant and astringent," Bansal said in a statement. The Shiv is available at Clay Oven through Sept. 30, for those who dare.

  • Riviera Magazine | 10 Chefs We Love

    July 1, 2014

    Geeta Bansal - The Clay Oven owner’s journey to the culinary world wasn’t easy....

  • Clay Oven in Irvine Schedules 2nd Pub Night July 14

    June 26, 2014

    With the craft beer movement gaining in popularity and its inaugural pub night a sell-out, Clay Oven in Irvine will host its 2nd event on Monday, July 14 from 4pm - 8pm...

  • The Los Angeles Times | Clay Oven's Spicy Habanero Lamb Vindaloo

    June 14, 2014

    If you love spice, you can't go wrong with this vindaloo, which packs more than a little heat. Chef Geeta Bensal was happy to share her recipe with us, noting that her restaurant's habanero-spiced vindaloo is "made with our own home-grown habaneros."

  • OC Beer Blog | Pub Night at the Clay Oven

    April 30, 2014

    Behind the door at Irvine’s Clay Oven Indian Cuisine, beer is winning. One of my predictions of 2014 was that local craft beer would soon start appearing in high end restaurants to compliment their line up of chef driven menus. Tonight? IPA’s, Belgian, German and local beers are being poured next to a custom menu....

  • KTLA 5 | Around the World Cooking with Chef Geeta Bansal

    March 26, 2014

    Allie Mac Kay was live in Irvine at Clay Oven Restaurant and took a look at some Indian, European, and South American cuisine with Chef Geeta Bansal.

  • Chef Geeta on the SoCal Restaurant Show

    December 14, 2013

    The long running Clay Oven in Irvine (26 years plus… is the OC’s classic Indian (Northern cuisine) restaurant. It’s also a true family affair. Geeta Bansal (our guest) is the proprietress / executive chef along with her husband, Praveen, who is the gracious proprietor / sommelier...

  • Tastes & Travel | A Grand Philanthropic Event To Raise Funds For The Hoag Hospital Foundation

    November 1, 2013

    Chef Geeta Bansal of The Clay Oven Restaurant, Bloomingdale’s Fashion Island, and so many of Geeta’s closest culinary friends were on hand for an amazing evening of Food and Philanthropy. This was a celebration of life and the fight against breast cancer. Geeta has been involved with the Hoag Hospital Foundation for many years, and is also a breast cancer survivor herself. The Hoag Hospital Foundation is near and dear to her heart, and she was able to bring together so many of her good friends to make this special evening—-well—extraordinary...

  • OC Foodies | Clay Oven Debuts New Lunch Menu

    August 5, 2013

    One of the OC's most popular, critically acclaimed Indian restaurants, Clay Oven in Irvine, has announced a new rotating lunch menu with most items under $12.95. Executive Chef/Owner Geeta Bansal, who travels the globe meeting with world-famous chefs to "bring their secrets to her kitchen," said that the menu will emphasize the use of fresh, seasonal, high-quality ingredients at affordable prices...

  • Cool, Hot Watermelon From Geeta Bansal of Irvine's Clay Oven

    July 3, 2013

    For a restaurant open 27 years, Irvine’s Clay Oven feels remarkably fresh. Owners Geeta and Praveen Bansal project the enthusiasm we associate with fledgling restaurateurs—the good ones, anyway. They travel frequently, bringing home ideas and influences from some of the world’s best chefs. Recently in France they met Paul Bocuse, and, closer to home, Michael Voltaggio at Ink in Los Angeles....

  • Great Taste Magazine

    July 1, 2013

    From the use of a tandoor to preparing her cuisine by way of the traditional Indian method dumphukht (slow steam cooking), Chef Geeta Bansal’s cultural background permeates her profession. If the walls of Clay Oven in Irvine could speak, patrons would hear the chatter of Bansal’s ancestors as they gilded their dishes of curries, chutneys and goat in beloved spices...

  • OC Weekly | Spice Up Your Thanksgiving With A Tandoori Turkey From Clay Oven Cuisine of India

    October 24, 2012

    If you've got a foodie family that won't scoff at anything other than white-meat roast turkey, gravy and mashed potaters, let us suggest this exotic Thanksgiving option....