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Raaga (Santa Fe)

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Raaga (Santa Fe)

Erich | Jun 29, 2011 09:12 PM

Well, I had to be up in SF at a meeting all day, so I made reservations for afterward at Paddy Rawal's Raaga (544 Agua Fria Rd., Santa Fe, 505.820.6440, very small parking lot onsite, use Sanbusco's) (this used to be a good Japanese place, name slips my mind at the moment - right near Sanbusco shopping mall). Turned out we were late getting over there, but they were totally cool and let us in right away.

The room is nice, but not particularly well cooled (Santa Fe continues to cling to the delusion that it's not hot there, thermometer at 94° F notwithstanding), and I came away from the place smelling like fried food from the not especially well ventilated kitchen.

Our busser was on us immediately with water, and our server JD was right behind him with menus and a drink (beer/wine only) menu and a friendly demeanor that lightened what had been a long day. The busser returned with finger towels and palate-cleansing shotglasses of lassi or something, and Gina ordered a Pino Grigio ($8). (I was driving home - I got a diet Pepsi. $1.95.)

We ordered vegetable samosa (two large ones with a lettuce, sweet carrot garnish and a nice ramikin of dipping sauce) that came steaming hot and delicious within five minutes ($4.95). Followed that up with Chicken Korma (we ordered it "hot" - the third tier of their 4-tier heat-levels - "lava" is the top - and did not find it especially picante), which came with basmati rice and was absolutely delicious ($14.95). It might have been the best I've had - better than Devon Street in Chi. It was really quite good. We also got a cheese-stuffed naan ($3.95) and Gina got another glass of wine (some sort of Rose de Gris, $10). (She was happy with both the wines - I didn't ask her much about them.)

Anyway, we got out of there for under $60 after tax and tip, and felt it was not only a real value but also a pretty astonishingly delicious meal. Service was great throughout the meal, with a large number of bussers, our server and the owner swinging by to take care of things every two minutes or so. Downside was returning home to find that I smelled like a deep frier - next time I won't wear a business suit.

Go check it out - Raaga has gotten good reviews in the press, and I understand why. We will be back soon.

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