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Diva Indian Bistro

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I went there tonight with a friend of mine. Got there at 8:30 and the place was packed, I think we got the last two seats in the place.

The atmosphere was pretty trendy (if you think 20-25 year olds are trendy) but a little too noisy for my taste. My friend and I had to keep repeating ourselves to be heard. I liked the lighting and the general feel of the place though, not your typical Indian food restaurant.

To eat I started out with the Nariyal Soup which is a hot creamy coconut soup with nuts and cardamom in it. I really enjoyed it, the broth wasn't too thick and the coconut flavor was apparent but not overpowering.

For my entree I got the Chicken Korma which is chicken in a cream sauce with raisins and cashews and herbs in it. I liked this as well, the sauce was the right consistency, and the flavors mixed well together. The entree also came with a decent serving of basmati rice and some sauce that I had never had before. I would have liked a little more chicken and in smaller pieces because the pieces were too big to eat in one bite but the food was served in a bowl and I had no knife so that was a little awkward. I thought the portion was a bit small for the price (13 bucks for a medium size bowl) but I've had that feeling at almost all the Indian restaurants I've been to.

My friend and I also shared some Aloo Naan (naan stuffed with potatoes and peas) which was good but not amazing.

Service was good considering how busy the place was.

Soup, entree, and half an order of naan cost me 17 bucks which I think was a bit on the pricy side for the food in my opinion but not a rip-off.

All in all, I would go there again but I'll probably go when it's a little less crowded and get one of their specials to increase the food to price ratio.

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  1. I never understand why Diva is so busy - the food is just ok, and the service isn't very good (your lack of a knife is a case in point). Next time you're in Davis Square, try Namaskar - just a block away from Diva (going towards Porter). Maybe not so trendy (they only serve wine and beer), but IMHO food and service are both better than at Diva, and the place is quiet.

    4 Replies
    1. re: phoebek

      Or walk down Day St. to Mass. Ave. and try Bangladeshi food at Bengal Cafe. Inexpensive, tasty, quiet. No alcohol though.

      1. re: phoebek

        I second passing up Diva in favor of Namaskar. I have had some great food there every time I have gone. Give them a try...they are almost always empty so I'm afraid they might not be able to keep their doors open for long.

        1. re: a l i c e

          I thought the same way back. It's amazing this comment was made in 2005 and the doors just closed a few weeks ago. Is it prescient if it takes 6 years to come true?

          1. re: Parsnipity

            LOL! Funny that this thread has been revived.

            I don't think I was being particularly insightful about Namaskar's demise. Everytime we went, the place was almost always close to (depressingly) empty. And the service was uncomfortable (what felt like 10 young male servers over the course of a meal) but very similar to what we have experience in New Delhi. I am bummed that we didn't get one last meal there. Boss naan, the Gujarati dishes...my mouth is watering just thinking about them. If there is news about the owners opening anything new, please post!

            Signed,

            Digga (formally known as "a l i c e;" problems with my profile led to the name change)

      2. Lunch buffet at Diva Indian Bistro in Somerville today. Top, Potato Fries, Tandoori Chicken and I like some of the onions that they are served on, Spicy Eggplant with Roasted Potatoes, Spinach with Chickpeas. Part of a Papadum can also be seen. Second helping was Eggplant and Spinach, The Eggplant dish was VERY good. They also offer a choice of Garlic Nan or normal. In addition there was a freshly made potato patty with condiments delivered to the table. $6 with a Groupon Now plus parking and tip. Even at full price ($8.99) this would be a pretty good value for the money I hate paying for parking! Do you tip at a buffet? I do tip, think you should.

         
        20 Replies
        1. re: Ferrari328

          I've heard rumours of slipping quality at Diva, which is troubling in light of Namaskar's shutdown. A friend was there over the weekend (at the lounge, not the restaurant), and reported that many specialty cocktails and standard-issue liquors were unavailable. Strange.

          1. re: Swankalicious

            The Lounge has posted 'public hearing' signs recently indicating that they're being sold and converted into a falafel place called Amsterdam Falafelshop. Sounds like they're winding down.

            1. re: Boston_Otter

              This is somewhat true. Amsterdam Falafelshop is taking over the lounge side. Diva is keeping the main room and going to concentrate on that only

              1. re: Snooch

                Yes, exactly. As I say, the Lounge is being sold and taken over by the falafel place. The main Diva restaurant is not changing.

                1. re: Boston_Otter

                  Finally! A Dutch style falafel place in Boston! Oh-- wait-- what is Dutch style falafel?

                    1. re: newhound

                      Looks like the toppings include "Dutch style mayo" and peanut sauce, and they do twice-cooked Dutch-style fries... and their existing location in DC is decorated to look like Amsterdam.
                      http://www.falafelshop.com/

                  1. re: Snooch

                    That makes more sense at least...it was pretty busy at lunchtime on a weekday last week.
                    Falafel would be a good addition to the neighborhood....everything tastes good fried :-)

                    1. re: Spike

                      Amsterdam Falafelshop is an absolutely wonderful place. It will be a delicious addition to the area.

                      1. re: Swankalicious

                        Sounds Israeli-style, in that you have a condiment bar to make your sandwich the way you want. Swank, is there a Boston-area falafel place you would compare it too, taste-wise?

                        1. re: newhound

                          I've been to Amsterdam Falafel in DC and it's fantastic. I honestly can't think of anywhere in Boston that compares. I guess maybe Rami's is the closest? But it's really not close at all.

                          I'm so excited for them to open in Somerville. I just wish it wasn't taking so long!

              2. re: Ferrari328

                Whoa - what happened to this place? Prior to our visit this evening, I hadn't been there in about a year and it has really gone down hill. While it was never the best Indian food in town, it was always reliably fresh food in a nice looking room. They closed off the opening to the lounge but didn't bother to repaint the whole wall so it looks very shabby. They sold off all the chairs and replaced them with plastic rattan chairs that are visibly dirty and uncomfortable. The place used to have an elegant feel, now it seems horribly run down. That wouldn't be so bad if the food quality hadn't gone down hill. Everything we ordered seemed too greasy, including the Dosa which didn't seem fresh at all.

                1. re: SJason

                  Isn't Diva owned by the same crew at the (recently closed) Cafe of India in Harvard Square? Cafe of India was pretty good for a brief shining moment, maybe, oh, sometime in 1990-1994, but not for a long while. Maybe now that they can concentrate on Diva they can push it downhill the same way.

                  1. re: SJason

                    Ate at Diva Indian Bistro last week for the first time and was very unimpressed. I don't claim to be an indian food aficionado, but it was quite clear to me that this was NOT very high quality food. I got a half order of the tandoori chicken - hands down the most dry and flavorless chicken I've had in a while. The service was perhaps the worst part of the experience - they messed up my drink order twice, for example. Never a good way to start.

                    Namaskar gets my vote in the area (down the street from Diva).

                      1. re: LeoLioness

                        And if you wanna talk downhill, Namaskar fell into the deepest of holes before it was put out of its misery.

                        1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                          Eh, I ate there a couple of weeks before closing -and it was just as good as previous visits.

                      2. re: Sara22385

                        Masala is officially by far the best Indian food in the Davis area nowadays. They are consistently great, especially compared to Diva.

                        1. re: tazia

                          My son and I ate there last night. We stuck with the vegetarian Nepali menu. Everything was quite good, and service was very pleasant.

                          1. re: tazia

                            Takeout from there has been very good. I agree. Their menu has a bit of diversity too. I just picked them out from Foodler on the strength of the menu, only to notice later that they are right in Teele Square. Do you rate it above Guru, though? I haven't eaten at either place enough to form a strong opinion.