Thursday, December 16, 2010

Palo Alto: Dinner at Darbar

On Saturday night, E, M, J and I had dinner at Darbar in downtown Palo Alto.   Darbar is a place where Stanford students are almost guaranteed to see people they know (three of them during our dinner, in J's case).  It's also a popular choice for group events like hall dinners, since - having been to a hall dinner and also having organized a birthday dinner there - the management is very good at arranging a long table.

Chicken tikka masala

Chicken sagwala

There were plenty of empty tables when we arrived around 6pm, and given that we were pretty hungry, we decided to share four dishes: chicken tikka masala, chicken sagwala (chicken in creamed spinach), mattar paneer (peas and farmer's cheese), and chana masala (chickpeas).  E and I had mango lassi, which arrived along with the complimentary appetizer of some fried potato slices with two chutneys.  Who doesn't like fried potatoes?  Anyway, our main dishes were served relatively quickly alongside individual ramekins of raita and dal.  After another minute or two, rice and naan were set down, and we dug in.

Mattar paneer

Chana masala

The food isn't as nuanced or as refined as that of Amber India, but it's still pretty good.  I think our four dishes were different enough to provide some contrasts within the meal.  We all ate heartily - borderline too heartily, as is a frequent tendency with Indian food - and still had some leftovers.  The total bill, including a generous tip, broke down to less than $20 per person.