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Sajna redux (long)

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Sajna redux (long)

David Sprague | Apr 25, 2002 08:27 AM

Finally traversed the three whopping blocks over to this joint, which triggered a major debate a few weeks back, and what a long strange trip it was.

When we were seated, the second floor dining room was a little more than half full. We should've expected some trouble when our table of three was offered two menus, the explanation being "people have been taking them home with them." But since we were given a plate of crudites, Indian style (carrots, celery, cuke and raw beets served with a dry spice mix for dipping), we munched and shared.

Then the strangeness started. Many disgruntled noises from two separate large tables (both groups were Indian families) led to lots of doting and apologizing...but, we noticed, no food. As such, we weren't surprised when, 30 minutes after ordering (two appetizers, three main dishes and two breads for a table of three), we FINALLY got one basket of garlic naan.

One of my dining companions noted that the naan had actually been sitting on an empty table for at least five minutes before it was delivered to us. This seemed to be the order of the day. Food brought up from th kitchen and set down in a corner while the staff argued about what table to serve it to.

By the time our main courses arrived--15 minutes after the naan--we were likewise disgruntled, but the chow ALMOST made up for it. Bhindi Masala was note-perfect. Dry, nicely spiced and cooked just enough to make the most of okra's natural texture. Dal was terrific and a navratan veg dish was not bad either (despite the surplus of canned corn).

As we were finishing, we noted to the waiter that we'd never received our appetizers, so could he please remove them from the bill. He said that would be impossible, since they were in the works, and we'd get them "soon." Only a ten minute lag, and they weren't bad, but once you've sated yourself on main dishes, appetizers ain't quite the same.

He suggested we come back when they were "not so busy" for a better experience. A doomy thought indeed.

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