Went to Mela last weekend....the food was good, but over priced. I got the palek paneer, a rather ordinary dish. Here it was rich and creamy and the cheese tasted so fresh I thought it must have been home made. Fellow DC got one of the goat dishes; good, but was bone in, a little messy and fatty (but isn't that goat?). The downside to the entire evening was the service. They were so attentive, it was intrusive. Not sure if it was cultural or just bored wait staff. We were there early, around 6ish and the place was more empty than not. It seemed like every time I took a sip of wine they came over to top off my glass. Which is annoying in itself ,but more so when the bottle of wine is in the middle of the table and he has to reach across us all to get it. Our conversation was interrupted so many times I felt as if I had dinner with them and not my companions. In their defense, I must state that we did not have a reservation and perhaps they were trying to usher us out - but every sip of wine??? The joint was jumping when we left, there were a lot of people waiting.
I would try it again to see if it was a fluke, if I wanted good Indian and didn't mind the extra cash.
The constant interruptions is a common cultural trait in South Asian restautant waitstaff, I find. (Sometime I'll tell the story about the time in India when we had the entire 10-person waitstaff of the restaurant standing around us in a circle, staring at us eating ...) If the place is mostly empty the waiters tend to dote a bit on each customer. I'd just tell them to back off.
Pretty consistent with my experience:
I thought the one Bengali dish I had was the best thing on the menu. But the prices are a distraction, and the seating on the bar side of the restaurant is quite cramped.
After two interruptions with that wine business, I would have said, "Thanks, we'll pour our own wine from here out." Even well-intentioned service can still be bad service sometimes.