I'd sort of given up on Zaroka (New Haven). The dishes seemed like the standard fare, and if I wanted the standard, mainly North Indian fare, I went to Darbar in Branford (better, and cheaper). Swagat is great for South Indian, and there's Thali for the fancy stuff. What to do with Zaroka?
Then I had to organize a large group dinner, and Zaroka was the best option since they have an extra room downstairs. As I discovered when planning the buffet, they do *other* things beside the standard "pick your meat, pick your sauce" stuff on their usual menu. They'll do interesting things like beans thoran (french beans, spicy, with coconut), potato eggplant... some of this stuff makes it onto the extra menu of daily specials, but one can also just ask for it.
It turns out that they're prepared to cook much more than is on their menu, and usually do so for Indian customers who know what to ask for. The best part is, if you show that you're interested, they (or at least the manager, Ram) will suggest more interesting dishes and even get excited about coming up with options when you name an ingredient.
Anyway, it turns out that there was a hidden gem in the standard, boring restaurant -- who knew?