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Marigold in Palo Alto: For a good night's sheep, try the Lamb Bir-yawn-i

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Marigold in Palo Alto: For a good night's sheep, try the Lamb Bir-yawn-i

katya | Oct 11, 2005 08:28 PM

The boyfriend contributed some other great titles for this post. So I’ll include the rejected titles here:

Marigold-diggers gave us the wrong bill and charged my credit card twice!
David Bowie said it best: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Channa
Marigold Thali not inthalible [ed: infalible]
Butter chicken-- it goes in your mouth, not in your butt
Welcome to the Dhalhouse
Chicken Tikka WASSSSSSUP?!
Marigold-- Seekh elsewhere for good kabobs

Usually when I don’t get around to writing a review until nearly a month after my visit, I just drop it. Not so with Marigold in Palo Alto. For you I’m going to suffer through trying to remember what I thought of what we ordered in order to spread the Marigold gospel.

We ordered the perennial favorite, $12.95 Chicken Tikka Masala (CTM), which isn’t that surprising given my girl boner for this dish. The sauce was perfect – creamy, but not too creamy, with spices that gave the sauce a deep flavor. The chicken consisted of really nice, big white meat chunks. This is definitely one of the better renditions I’ve had.

I’m not a lamb fan, so I had to pass on the lamb chunks in the Lamb Biryani ($10.95). However, the rice part of the dish was phenomenal. It was the best biryani I’ve ever had, with good basmati rice and lots of little nuggets of nut and veggie goodness. I believe this dish was the table favorite.

We also ordered my all-time favorite Indian vegetarian entrée – channa masala (chickpeas in spiced sauce) – for $9.95. The other day I was contemplating channa masala (as I am wont to do), and I was thinking that there are two types – a nice, but very subtle channa (or chole) not good at standing on its own, but wonderful at complementing samosas or aloo tikki. Chaat Café serves this kind. Then there are the more robust channas with thicker tomato-based gravies and heavier spicing that stand on their own. Marigold’s definitely falls into this category. This seemed to be the second favorite dish of the night.

We also shared a Maharaja Thali for $16.95. This included tandoori chicken (really nice and juicy and not at all dried-out), seekh kabob (I abstained – lamb!), butter chicken (nice flavor), dhal (which I don’t remember offhand), and lamb curry (lamb again!). In addition there were accompaniments of rice, naan, raita, salad, papaddum, and kheer (I know it’s usually runny, but this was extremely so), and well as a beverage. My friends weren’t big on the seekh kabob and the reviews were mixed on the lamb curry. My only recommendation to the proprietor is that the raita and kheer looked exactly alike, and it might beseech them to identify them to the diners. I mention this after I dipped my salad in kheer.

All this food is served in a well-appointed smallish rectangular room that is a cut above your usual Indian restaurant décor. The servers was efficient and kept our water glasses filled. There was some confusion with the bill though; initially we were given another table’s bill. After this mix-up was fixed, we put down two credit cards to split the bill, and received two pay slips for the same card (none for the other). This is a small quibble though since the server was very apologetic and it was a minor inconvenience.

Marigold serves your usual Indian standards (CTM in da house!), and also some unique dishes – including several Indian/Chinese entrees like Chili Chicken and Paneer Manchurian. There is also an extensive list of interesting breads. Unfortunately I can’t remember the naan that came with our meal, but I’ll assume it was good…

Almost all dishes hit the mark and as a result I nominate Marigold to be perhaps my favorite Indian restaurant in the Bay Area. I will need to research this further. And by research I mean eat here several, several times. It’s a hard job but someone has to do it… you know to further science and all.

Marigold
448 University Avenue (across the street from Kipling intersection)
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Tel 650-327-3455
(There’s also a new location on Santana Row.)
http://www.marigoldcuisine.com/

Beverages include lassis (mango or salt), mango juice, South Indian coffee. I don’t see a wine list on their web site.

Lunch
M-F: 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Sat. – Sun.: 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Dinner
Sun. – Thurs.: 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sat. – Sun.: 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
I took this information from their website. I suspect that they’re actually open Fri. – Sat. 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. for dinner.

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