Wandered into Desi Deli today, expecting the usual steam-table of unispired Indo-Pak fast food. I'm a sucker for these places, even if they're never all that great, because they allure me with the promise of potential greatness, e.g. Cuisine of Pakistan on 9th at 38th, Haandi on Lexington at 27th, and the famous and blah Pakistan Tea House on Church.
Desi Deli, on the other hand - at least based on my one visit - is turning out truly delicious food. First of all, I think this place is properly Indian, rather than Pakistani or Bangladeshi (correct me if I'm wrong). I had four vegetarian entrees with/over basmati. Chick peas were soulfully delicious, eggplant with green peas was unusual and unusually good, malai kofta was flat-out the best I've ever had. Even the salad was edible and fresh, unlike the usual steam-table salad which I discard. One slight dissapointment was the saag, which was over-pureed into a drinkable and lackluster sauce. Still, it served an important function as flavor and color foil to the other dishes.
Seating is reasonably comfortable, the telly is playing ubiquitous Indian music-dance, and there's a bowl of fiery green chilis on every table. YES!