Went out to dinner for the first time at Tantra on Saturday night. I have never been. A search on this board draws up old posts of both yay and nay - I seem to think majority in favor of the place - back in 2002.
I am no expert on Indian food - but I thought Saturday's dishes were very good. My date and I went vegetarian so we ordered some basmati rice and several dishes a la carte, along with one entree - to split. Saag Paneer (spinach with tofu and cheese) was very rich. Tofu was hard and not real pleasing texture wise (even for this tofu-eater). Okra stewed with tomatoes and onions were a hit. I loved this dish, and not just because I love okra. The okra was fresh and was not cooked too long, so it had a nice pop to it while eating, and the dish was perfectly seasoned. Stewed roasted eggplant was not what I was expecting texture wise (I was expecting pieces of eggplant), but instead was more of a thick puree of eggplant - quite spicy. My companion ordered the cocunut curry and substituted the shrimp with tofu. Ended things with a mango rice pudding - which was very mango-ey. Garlic naan not much to write home about, and neither was the tamarind rice we ordered. Tofu with curry and okra were stars of the show.
All in all, a very good meal. Chef is vegan, oddly enough. We had difficulties getting seated right away, but we were late for our reservation - so no issues there. Wait staff very attentive and corp of busboys were on top of everything the entire night. I also cannot remember going a restaurant lately that was as nicely decorated and lit as Tantra was. Flat screens with old bollywood films in the lounge area were a really neat twist on the decor.
Silverlake Indian - I would go back - just for the okra.
3705 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Cross Street: Griffith Park Boulevard
Phone: (323) 663-8268