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Dec 8, 2006 11:18 PM

Indian in the E. 50's (Ada, Chola, Amma, Dawat, Mint, et al)?

Are any of these places worth it? They seem much more expensive than our stand-bys in Gramercy (Chennai Garden, Pongal), the couple of places we like in the East Village, and certainly Jackson Heights (we live in Queens). I've always been curious about the "higher-end" places in the E. 50's - are they remarkably better, or maybe just a little better and a lot more expensive, or none of the above?

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  1. I used to frequent Ada years ago, back when I used to spend more time in that 'hood. I can't speak to its recent state, but back then the food was absolutely delicious (if overpriced)... I liked the modern atmosphere, though we were almost always the only ones there, and the service was attentive and gracious, if a little bit formal.

    Chola did not seem as fancy, nor as expensive, but the food was very good.

    I'd be curious to know what more up-to-date diners think.

    You might be better off leaving the neighborhood and heading to Devi.

    I'm ebarrassed to say this, but I have yet to find a non-fancy Indian joint (in this city, anyway) whose food rises above "pretty good. "

    1 Reply
    1. re: Yaqo Homo

      For non-fancy Indian whose food rises above pretty good you'll need to go to someone's house!

    2. I heard Amma was great by multiple neighbors, but we aren't huge Indian fans, so I don't know.

      1. There is a new Sino-Indian place named I-Chin on East 50th that I am planning to looks really nice. I had a great meal at Amma when they opened but I think they changed chefs at least once...they had a big-name chef at one point...

        3 Replies
        1. re: erica

          Just looked at their menu on; looks good. If you go in for Desi Chinese, I recommend Tangra Masala in Elmhurst (Queens) - (but not the second Tangra in Sunnyside). Excellent paneer chili, among other things. It's a lot cheaper than I-Chin too.

          1. re: erica

            Chinese Mirch is better than I-Chin - same people, diff nabe.

            1. re: erica

              Have enjoyed lunch at I Chin twice and like it, more things I still
              want to try. But vegetarians beware, limited offerings for you.

            2. Chola is very good. It's not even that expensive. Great weekend brunch buffet w/ extras brought to your table.

              1. I was at Dawat a few months ago and wasn't particularly impressed. I admit that most of the time when I want Indian I go to Brick Lane or somewhere on 6th ave since it's closer to me, so I guess I can't say I'm particularly experienced. I thought the food was better prepared/presented and had a better flavor, but not all THAT much better. I would be interested to hear other's opinions who have more experience than me. Thoughts?