i went to babu on mcdougal on tuesday -- i think it's owned by the same people responsible for kathi roll, but it is a formal restaurant, not a take-out place.
it is a basement space, but quite inviting: low lighting, banquettes, etc. the host is incredibly genial -- there's no way you won't be utterly charmed by him.
their menu includes indian, anglo-indian, and chinese-indian dishes : i think it's modelled to reflect the diverse cuisine of cosmopolitan india.
there's one first course dish in particular that is outstanding: puffed rice with mustard oil and vegetables, served in a little paper bag. holy moly, you guys, this was totally awesome. for my main course, i had chicken manchurian -- quite good as well. but that puffed rice dish: it totally killed me. my dining companion wouldn't share, so i can't report on his main course: a noodle dish with chicken -- except to say that he seemed to really like it.
a side note: there weren't that many other people in the restaurant (maybe six other tables), but many of the other diners were indian. i know little about what constitutes "authentic" indian cuisine, but usually this is a sign that the kitchen isn't modifying things for american palates.
total bill for 2 appetizers, 2 main courses, and one glass of wine was just over fifty dollars.
you heard me: hie thee to babu!