Lunchtime buffet good. Picture bad.

Billing itself as “Solano County’s #1 Indian Restaurant”, Torch of India’s tagline might be a bit of an undersell in SoCo. Because while no one doubt’s Vacaville’s contribution to the expansion of chain restaurants, culinary mecca isn’t usually among it’s descriptors.

Number one is number one, though. And not to be scoffed at. With a sunny new coat of paint on the walls, a solid opening lunch buffet ($8.95) featuring Makhni (butter chicken!), Jalphrez, tandoori, pakora, saag paneer and lentils, along with fresh salads and steaming naan, the Torch is off to a bright downtown start.

Inside the former Kabab and Curry, the bar has been removed to make way for the lunch buffet, and the interior brightened up. Bollywood videos on flat-screen tv’s set the mood, providing instant conversation starters should dates/co-workers/online meet-ups turn dull. (You can brush up on the dance moves here) or here.

The new owners are from the northern region of India, so there’s lots of rich cream sauces (Kashmiri lamb cooked in a cream mint sauce), lamb, tandoor, kabab and clearly-marked vegan and vegetarian dal, masala and curries. The menu runs for eight full pages, so there’s clearly more tasting to be done. Much more tasting. Plus, the beer and wine license is about a week away, as are the belly dancers.

Stay tuned for more tastes, but for now, here’s to being number one. Wherever you’re from.

Torch of India, 507 4th St., Santa Rosa, open M-Sat for lunch and diner (closed 2:30 to 5:30pm) , Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30pm. 569-7500