iso spicy indian, warm atmosphere
Two old friends, chow-loving, from NYC/SF, visiting next week. One wants Indian, the spicier the better. The other will be tired from three days of grueling travel and work, but happy to have a rare kid-free, non-allergy-prone dinner (the son is deathly allergic to nuts and eggs so parents can't even eat those items when home).
So: Indian, spicy, warm ambience that's fancy enough to count as a Grownup Dinner but mellow enough to linger.
I was thinking Diva in Central Square, Rani in Brookline, or Tamarind Bay. Any votes or write-ins greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Rani might be closest to what you want in terms of spiciness -- the food is quite good and Hyderabadii cuisine is probably as spicy as it gets around here, short of Tamil food, which requires a trip to Lowell or Ashland.
Tamarind Bay was not up to par for my last couple of trips, but in the past their food has been quite refined and flavourful and draws from many parts of India.
I'll second what limster said re Rani and Tamarind Bay -- have liked both when I've gone. However, I'd avoid Diva (it's in Davis Square) -- my experience was not especially good there, and it's from what I've seen not a board favorite.
I'd vote for Tamarind Bay - they have responded well when we've made special requests re spice - my husband and I like super spicy, not-dumbed-down and yet we've been w/friends who are spice-phobes. T.B. has made everyone happy on several occasions and I think the room is nice.
If you'd consider Nepali/Indian, Kathmandu Spice is great, and can make things hot. The spicy soy nuts they serve as a complimentary amuse are terrific. It's in Arlington, and the bonus is that parking is easy!
India Quality is EXACTLY what you're looking for. Spiciest vindaloo on the planet, great friendly service, warm atmosphere, and just all around great food.
Thanks everyone, for your assistance. Great ideas for the next few Indian outings!
I think Rani will work best, from atmospheric, geographnc, and culinary perspectives - it's also a personal fave of mine because they have two, sometimes THREE okra dishes (thanks, Hyerabadi cuisine!), and can be really spicy.