We went to Namaskar to eat-in for the first time on a Fri night (usually get take-out during the week) and we were both shocked at how crowded it was! Is this the usual scene on the weekends? Food was as delicious as always. We started with a cold app that neither one of us has ever had (Bombay Bhel). Small, crisp, puffed rice in a tomato-y, cilantro-laced light sauce (almost salsa-like). Very refreshing, probably even more so during the summer months. He had the chicken kadai (tandoor-prepared chicken in a tomato-based sauce and spiced with ginger, garlic, onions), which he reports was delicious. I had the Gujarati-style ringan bataka (eggplant and potato in a sauce with spices I could not distinguish). A bit murky and grey looking. Before you write off this dish, though, let me report that it was delicious -- very sutble flavoring. The menu described cilantro being included; however, I had difficulty picking up on its inclusion. As an accompaniment, we had the boss naan (with green chillis) one of our favorites there. Topped it off with Brooklyn IPA for him, Victory Hop IPA for me (I've always been amazed by their unusual beer selection...nice to have something other than Kingfisher and the like).
Sat night we checked out Diva Lounge, which finally opened after years of ? Well, who knows what the hold-up was, but we were very disappointed in the results. The interior made me feel like an extra in Woody Allen's "Sleeper." The panels of plastic, lit from behind with, I believe, LED lights, cast a most unflattering light on everyone in there. It's a very narrow room, some funky-looking booths up front and tables in back (ours was already very wobbly). Limited beers on tap (Guinness, Sam, Harpoon), full liquor license. The food menu sounded quite nice and from spying on neighboring tables, looked quite appetizing (typical for a lounge these days, with small shared plates of Indian-Asian-y fusion). I made the mistake of ordering a specialty cocktail, the Zen (sake with star fruit puree). It tasted like watered-down o.j. and had chunks of ice floating around in it. I bit down on more than a few chunks. Service was non-existant, although the manager/owner did try to get stools for our party of 5. Well, in any case, we may return and try the food. I don't want to judge a place in its first week and its nice to have an alternative to a pub in the 'hood. I just hope the mini Diva empire does not put Namaskar out of business.
Happy Eating in the New Year! (Year of the Dog)