i was at jai-ya thai (3rd ave, 28th st) the other day - noisy, cramped but easily one of the best thai restaurants to the indian palate. the restaurant was PACKED with indians! it was very amusing to watch each indian table order: everybody, but everybody wanted some alteration to whatever dish they were getting and the waiters face bore that resigned-i've-heard-this-now-for-the-thousandth-time- expression-but-no, sorry. HILARIOUS!
how cultural is this habit? indians feel very free in asking for alterations on dishes - to the extent that once in mexico the cook belligerently asked me to join him in the kitchen if i was going to get THAT detailed. my wife laughed her head off but we had a memorable meal. (i wanted an accompaniment of thecha with my dish, which is an indian accompaniment of garlic, small green chili and salt ground together. perfect accompaniment to many a mexican dish)