Whenever I have a craving for chicken tandoori and other delicious Indian dishes, I head over to either Bukhara or Chola. They're located right next to each other on East 58th Street bet. 2nd & 3rd Ave. Each restaurant offers a $13.95 buffet with nice ambiance, a full bar and very polite service.
I can't decide which one I like better so I go to both at different times. This week I had lunch at Chola and tried to note the differences between both restaurants.
Chola offers the usual type dishes found at buffets but brings two pieces of chicken tandoori to your table along with a potato dosa, fritters and three dips with hot delicious paratha bread. The cabbage dish had a good fiery bite to it. Their desserts are rice pudding with chopped pistachio nuts and sweet balls in honey (forgot the name).
Bukhara offers more grilled vegetables at the buffet like slices of red and yellow peppers, onions and eggplant. Their chicken tandoori is found at the buffet but it never seems hot enough. Their other chicken, veg and lentil dishes are very good. What I prefer at Bukhara are the desserts - they have a carrot-nut pudding that's really tasty and not too sweet along with a rice pudding.
For atmosphere, both places are more comfortable and a far cry from Curry Hill and Little India. Anyway, if you're around the East 50s I strongly recommend both places; especially for the buffet.