As a regular consumer and cook of Indian (mostly Northern) cuisine, I didn't object to my father suggesting India Cafe as our next dining experience. He had even pointed out in the Yellow Pages that it had received a Hale Aina Award for Best Indian Restaurant. Neither of us were quite prepared to find that we both shared the opinion that the Hale Aina Award was given in error. The restaurant itself is quite difficult to find nestled as it was behind the World of Feng Shui. Its interior, though small, is tastefully decorated with hanging sari-cloths, lanterns and paintings without tackiness. The first thing to come to our table was the Assorted Mixed Appetizer. It was a tad disappointing. I recommend that only the Samosas be ordered as the other items are either un-noteworthy (Pappadums) or terrible [Idli (similar to Filipino 'puto' bread) with a very weak flavored Sambar]. Anticipating a very spicy dish, we quickly placed an order for a nice cooling Mango Lassi. It was balanced just right in terms of sweetness and tartness and served wonderfully to mask the taste of our main courses, Lamb Masala and Spicy Eggplant. The lamb meat itself tasted as if it were pre-boiled in nothing but water and tossed in a flavorless red sauce. Now, I understand that for time?s sake some shortcuts have to be made, otherwise guests would have to wait forever for a good braised korma, but is it too much to ask to at least boil the meat with an onion, a few cloves of garlic and some spices? The eggplant was equally disappointing in terms of flavor. It did deliver the heat it promised on the menu, but other than a slight tamarind tang, the sauce tasted nearly the same as the lamb?s. Overall, my father and I feel that this restaurant is undeserving of the award it was given and think that time is better spent in Maharani or even Bombay. Connoisseurs of Southern Indian (you won't find the flavors of Karnataka here) or vegetarian food can find better options elsewhere.
Pros: Samosas, Lassi
Cons: Hard to Find, Not Southern Indian, Poor Food Flavor.