We were there for two hours on a weeknight from 6 to 8 and not another soul was seated. Dinner service is completely a la carte (so you will have to order rice, bread, raita, etc., separately). Our meals included two orders of two each medium sized samosas filled with mild potato mixture, served on a few chopped leaves of somewhat withering iceberg lettuce. A thin yogurt and chili chutney and standard tamarind chutney came on the side. Shrimp malabar was in a very mild coconut curry sauce, not at all spicy as one would think a malabar curry to be. Shrimp, though on the sparse side, was perfectly cooked. The chicken chettinad was medium hot with a nice balance of warm spices, acid, poppy seeds, chili, curry leaves, and fennel seed. Basmati rice was aromatic, not overcooked, with visually attractive shredded vegetable touches. Unfortunately, the cucumber raita we ordered contained no cucmber. We passed on any bread but had dessert. There was no kheer available but the unadorned slice of mango kulfi was a bit grainy. Two sheres of gulab jamun were tender and quite hot.
It must be said that the property was badly in need of a good cleaning! We were put off by the dirty walls, booths, chairs, cutlery and even the menu, which had a sticker across the flyleaf instructing the customer to add $1.00 to every price. Proprietor should give it all a good scrubbing, repaint, change out the stained tablecloths, and make sure the dishwasher is working properly. Most distracting was the wide screen on the wall, loudly broadcasting an Indian entertainment program, complete with surprisingly provocative Bollywood dance productions non-stop. Small venues such as this could be a success if the ambiance matched the food: warm, flavorful, and distinctive. Even kitchy decor can succeed if it is clean and inviting. Then the cuisine, somewhat ungenerous and plainly presented at this restaurant, though good enough, should shine.
Pros: Food was tasty.
Cons: Cleanliness a problem all around, small servings, ambiance off-putting.