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Opinions on the little cafe above Kalustyan's?

Folks-

A few of us are thinking of a mellow easy dinner before Wednesday Night's Top Chef finale.

We'll be watching near Curry Hill (that's what Lex and 27/28th is called, yes?) so we thought Indian would be a good choice.

I'm specifically intrigued by the cafe above Kalustyan's. How is it? Any specific recommendations? We're not looking for fancy -- just yummy.

Or is going to that cafe a mistake? Is there somewhere else on the block that beats the curry out of that place?

Lastly, apologies if this has already been covered, but with the recent redesign the search function has taken a temporary step backward (can't sort by date, no highlighting of relevant terms) and it was hard to turn anything up.

Thanks!

-Peter (visiting from the Outer Boroughs boards)

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  1. I think the 'upstairs' may be too limited a selection to turn into a dinner. Try Rice at the corner. Have only been there for breakfast but I suspect it's fine.

    1 Reply
    1. re: serious

      I agree - I've gone up there on buying trips and it doesn't seem like a place conducive to a "real" meal.

    2. they make a killer (very heavy, very smelly) mujaddara sandwich. I haven't tried anything else there but what I really loved about it was that while i was eating I got to eavesdrop on these two cute older men who worked there enthusiastically trading recipes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: melon

        Mujadara! Most definitely. But lunch, not dinner.

      2. I had lunch at the cafe once. It was tasty and hearty, but serious's suggestion is a good one - Rice is really good. I recommend the black Thai rice with edamame, topped with chicken satay. The Ratatouille is great too.

        1. As people have indicated, the upstairs area of Kalustyan's is not really a cafe. There are only two tiny tables, so it's basically a take-out situation. Certainly not an option for a group dining experience.

          I haven't been back to Rice since shortly after they opened. While that experience was fine, I've heard that things have recently gone downhill.

          You might want to consider Copper Chimney, on 28th St., b/t Lex & Park Av. S. Good food and nice atmospherics.

          http://www.copperchimney.com

          I haven't been to Saravaanas, but it has gotten much praise on this board. The cuisine is Southern Indian vegetarian. It's on the *northeast* corner of Lex & 26th St. (Note: Do not confuse it with the Saravana Bhavan across the street. They are *not* related.)

          http://www.saravaanas.com

          1 Reply
          1. Wow. I love Chowhound -- so many answers so fast!

            Ok, so upstairs Kalustyan's may still work. Maybe only a few of us will go to dinenr before hand or maybe we'll get takeout.

            Thanks for the suggestion, b've been to Rice plenty in DUMBO and NoLiTa. It's fine but we thought Indian would be fun. So what about other Indian choices on the block? Not fancy, just yummy.

            Peter

            2 Replies
            1. re: Peter

              Not sure when you are thinking of heading over there but I think Kalustyan's closes at 8pm. If you get there in time, definitely get the mujadarrah sandwich/platter. I prefer the platter and like to get my own pita/lavash since the ones they use aren't very good.

              If you are looking for a sitdown restaurant, I definitely recommend Saravaanas. Great south Indian. Note, it is vegetarian only. I really like the onion and chili utthappa and the thali.

              1. re: Peter

                do saravanaas, that place is great