Based on a review in last Sunday's NY Times We tried Saravanaas at 81 Lexington Avenue, yesterday after a matinee getting there around 6 PM. The restaurant was clean and new but sterile and lacked character. Two other tables were taken. The wait staff hovered in the back engaged in their own conversation so I felt I was interruping when I needed something. They were polite and nice.
We have eaten lots of Indian food in many different places including India with very little exposure to the southern cuisine. My favorite was the Kaima Idli. The idli were firm and the sauce spicy and tasty making a nice compliment. Both the Sambar Vada and the Onion and Chili Utthappam were too greasy and the hot peppers overpowered the other spices. We ordered a Masala Dosa but they brought a Paper Masala Dosa which was as long as the table was wide with a small scoop of potato hidden in the middle.
We decided on ice cream for dessert. No Indian ice cream only Italian and they were out of pistacio.
I do not recommend this restaurant.