What are the best Indian restaurants in the Houston area, both north and south, upscale and hole-in-the-wall? As a new resident of Houston and a lover of Indian food, I'd like any suggestions. Of the places I've tried:
Indika--amazing Indian cuisine with Texas influences---truly innovative and some of the best upscale Indian I've had (equal to Devi in NYC, better than Tamarind in NYC). Even the nan has grown on me. Also, with free nana, raita, and dal, a very nice surprise!
Udipi Cafe: very good chat house, great flavors, super dosa.
I know about Himalaya, and it's next on my list (if it wasn't closed on Mondays, I would already have tried it!)
There was a recent thread about indian restaurants the week I moved here, but it was incredibly disappointing. (Older threads are similarly disappointing). First, this recent thread degenerated quickly into a conversation about Thai restaurants. Second, so many people commented with statements like: "I don't really like Indian food, but...." or "There are so many good options in Hillcroft. Try any of them." This is going to sound very testy and/or incredibly snobby (because I am about this sort of thing), but Indian chefs, like in all other cuisines, have varying degrees of skill. I'm looking for the best from knowledgeable Indian foodies only. Additionally, while buffets are okay, I'd prefer places with great a la carte menus (due to the fact that my wife is an Indian vegetarian and thus with limited options on buffets and also because the mark of a great chef is the menu preparations).
Again, I apologize for the snootiness and the semi-rant, but I get a little offended by comments (and there were many of them in the past Indian food threads) that don't recognize the same complexity in Indian cuisine that exists in Italian, French, New American, BBQ, and other cuisines.