Judging a book by its cover, from the outside, Chaat Bhavan looks like a place for a quick bite. The anonymously squat, square architecture of the building, the plate glass windows and its location in Sunnyvale along a stretch of El Camino populated by other fast food joints further support the idea—as does the name “chaat.” In Indian cuisine, chaat is fast food, served from food trucks or street carts.

Inside the restaurant, however, the white tablecloths, as well as the modern, clean lines of the simple decor, hint at somewhere a bit more luxurious—not too upscale, but a hybrid of casual snacks and sit-down dining. And the menu bears that out.

Chaat Bhavan offers a wide-ranging vegetarian menu that does include an array of Indian fast food snacks, but also wraps, thalis (assortments of small plates) and a variety of familiar Indian dishes such as aloo gobi (potatoes and cauliflower) and sag paneer (spinach and fresh cheese).

Portions of even the snack-oriented fare were substantial enough for a meal. The dahi papdi chaat ($4.99), a snack of light, crispy crackers topped with potato, chutney and yogurt, hit the right balance of sweet, sour and salty—as well as crunchy—with hints of cilantro and mint, as well as bits of cucumber.

The paneer tikka skewers ($7.99) arrived still sizzling on an iron plate, reminiscent of fajitas. Large cubes of paneer (at least the biggest I’ve ever seen) came with a nice char at the edges. The garlicky, slightly spicy tang of the tikka sauce offered a perfect contrast to the subtly creamy, rich cheese. Chunks of skewer-roasted bell pepper and onion complemented the firm bite of the paneer.

The masala poori ($6.99) pairs puffy deep-fried bread with diced potatoes that have a subtle spiciness that can sneak up on you after a few bites. The bread helps cool the heat from the potatoes. But diners seeking a bit more spice can add the sliced jalapeño that’s served on the side.

Also packing a twinge of heat was the masala roti ($1.99), a chewy whole-wheat flatbread with spices baked into it.