Restaurant Review: Little Goan Indian Cafe

Quick tip: go for the naan. As a takeout order. Which you call in two hours before you need it. That’s about it.

The service is ridiculously slow. Two servers on a Friday night, especially when they ask you if you have reservations, is a sign of poor planning. We waited 15 minutes for water, and decided to order at the same time since we weren’t sure if we’d get another chance.

Sitting by the door to the back office/restrooms, etc. was definitely an experience. There was a one way mirror on the wall, through which we could see the spooky shadows of two to three kids slowly beating each other up; bodies would slam into the wall, we’d hear the rhythmic thumping of a body part getting hit, feet would slam into the glass, then slowly slide their way down, heads would bob eerily then get choked out of sight…it was like an odd shadow play of a reality show.

That was probably all meant to keep us in our seats, and overlook the extreme delay in food. My poor niece kept asking when her dish was arriving.

The food: samosas were bland. Tandoori paneer in a green pesto was bland. We doused everything in the two ubiquitous chutneys, which oddly, we had to ask for (which then, I see now, does NOT make them ubiquitous). The xacuti dishes were bland and we had to add liberal pinches of salt…see a pattern here?

The only thing I went back for seconds on was the naan. Hence my quick tip. For a slow order.

I will not be returning.

2007 Novato Blvd
Novato, CA 94947

Restaurant Review: Monsoon Cuisine of India

I have eaten at some great Indian-fusion restaurants in large cities (Manhattan, the SF bay area, Chicago, etc.) and was excited that Monsoon touted itself as one.  I have been there a few times, twice for dinner and twice for their late night happy hour.  I prefer the dinner seating…service is friendly and quick, and the wait staff are pleasant.  The late night happy hour lacks the same friendliness: the bartenders tend to keep to themselves or talk to one of their friends, and the customers are mostly inebrieated and look at me as an easy mark when I walk in, not an appealing atmosphere.

The food is good…I used a groupon the first time I went, and the server pointed me to a couple of entrees on the menu that she recommended as being a good value for the groupon.  She was very helpful in deciphering some of the complicated-sounding cocktails on the menu as well.  Some of those drinks are no longer being served, more’s the pity.

Samosas are delicious, as are the chaat masala-dusted fries, and my friend loved the tamarind wings.

1020 16th St
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 469-9999

Review: Chaatney

Considering I’ve been there three times in the last five days…yes, I believe I’m a fan.

While it has the same owners as Mylapore (in the same plaza)http://www.yelp.com/biz/… , the strategy of owning two vegetarian Indian restaurants in the same plaza works.  How?  Because the cuisine is very different.  Mylapore is traditional South-Indian food while Chaatney is primarily Bombay street food, snack style, quickly prepared, blasts of flavors.

And given that I’m a South Indian from Bombay, this is like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for me.

The restaurant is small, galley style, bright and airy, with cheerful colors and large abstract paintings on the walls.  The servers are helpful and quick to respond, for the most part.  They need to work on eye contact, they seem so shy, it was hard for me to get their attention when I wanted to order more food or get my check.  The food is beautifully presented (see my pics: http://www.yelp.com/biz_… ) and delicious.  They have hired an award-winning chef and it shows.  I tried the bhel puri, dahi sev puri, pani puri, puri combo, malai kulfi, gulab jamun, and the masala chai.  All hit the spot.  The food is generally served chili-hot, so if you can’t handle the heat, ask for it to be spiced mild.

The little two-seater table immediately to the left by the windows as you walk in is my regular seat…if you are sitting there and you see me come in, I’d appreciate it if you found somewhere else to sit.

Chaatney
1750 Prairie City Rd
Folsom, CA 95630
(916) 985-9600