Prayer Flags Galore... Flavor? Not So Much.
I was hopeful. The reviews looked good and I had heard a couple people say nice things. Again, I was hopeful... and in the end I was totally disappointed.
The first thing that struck me was that even though the place was empty when we arrived at 6 pm on a Monday night, we stood at the entrance for several minutes before anyone greeted us-and that was a delivery driver headed out the door. Finally the manager came out from behind the bar and said hello. He did not even bother to walk all the way over to us but rather hollered for us to follow him.
We chose to sit inside & were quite pleased with the lovely atmosphere. Very bright & comfortable. They had a few children's books for us to look at even though I had to go get them from the front-they were not offered.
It took several minutes for our server to come by. Keep in mind that there was only one other table of guests. The complimentary papadams were very good! Light, crisp and almost buttery in texture. My whole family enjoyed them. The four chutneys they came with were mediocre.
Because we are gluten free we opted for more traditional Nepalese dishes rather than trying the noodles that I had read such positive reviews about. I chose a shrimp vindaloo, one of my favorites and my husband went for something new to us-the Jal Frezi with chicken. For our children we ordered chicken pakora as their meal.
The pakora came out quickly even though we ordered it as a meal. It was fresh & hot but its only distinct flavor was that of old grease. My kids were starving & ate it anyway.
When our dishes finally came I was surprised by the lack of presentation. The soup, rice and entree were all in white bowls, crowded on a white plate. The vindaloo looked rather unappetizing to begin with - chunks floating in an orange goop. The sauce was certainly spicy hot but had no real complexity & tasted like canned tomato sauce with some cayenne tossed in. The potatoes were mushy and the shrimp had the texture of pencil erasers. The soup was under seasoned as well. I wanted to send it back but our server did not come back to ask how the food was (another server had delivered it to our table).
The menu boasts that the Jal Frezi is suppose to be "spiced with cumin, garlic ginger, and coconut in a tomato onion cream sauce" but the only flavor was that of overly sweet coconut & tomato that the bland chicken was swimming in. My husband decided to salt the heck out of it go for it anyway as we were short on time & very hungry. He did note, "I have never had to salt Indian food like this."
My husband flagged down a busser and we sent my dish back. With no apology they took the Vindaloo only, leaving the rice & soup to get cold on the plate. I asked for the Mushroom Mutter with chicken instead. Several minutes later it arrived, again with no apology. In fact our server never even asked what the problem had been or how I liked my new dish. The manager did not stop by either which I would expect when someone send a dish back.
Unfortunately, the Mutter was pretty awful too! It consisted of 4 small pieces of overcooked bland chicken and a half dozen slices of mushroom swimming in the EXACT SAME SAUCE as my husbands entree. There was NO flavor difference at all!!! Frustrated & hungry I picked out the chicken, ate it with my cold rice.
It took another 5+ minutes for someone to take our dirty dishes, and tired of waiting I went ahead and packed up the kids while my husband waited for the bill. I had the kids strapped in the car and complaining that they were still hungry before my husband even got the bill! We drove away feeling downright angry & disgusted by the lack of service & the horrible food.
It is a shame that such a lovely restaurant featuring beautiful artwork would offer such terrible fare. The fact is, all the Tibetan Prayer flags in the world cannot make up for the complete lack of intention and attention... We will not be back!
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