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East 50's Indian lunch

I'm planning to have lunch in the east 50s tomorrow. I usually go to Chola but I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations. I'm ready for a change if there is anything comparable or better out there.



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    1. I am a particular fan of Darbar Grill, mainly because of proximity. Even still, their lunch buffet is very good and offers a plethora of options from aloo tikki to dosas to Goan fish curry. They were doing tastings of regional Indian cuisines earlier this month, so I would check before going what they plan on offering for the lunch service.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JungMann

        I must try Darbar--it's just down the block from me. For Chola fans who don't want a buffet, Tadka (same owner) works from pretty much the same recipes. The real deal there is at dinner--main course, side dal or bean, side veg of the day, rice, naan, all for $15. For lunch you don't get a side veg (you do get dal), and the main course is smaller, and it's $9.95.

      2. I like the Agra. It's not in the 50's but close on Lex between 62nd and 63rd upstairs. They have a good lunch special.

        1 Reply
        1. re: vinegarhill

          just walked by it is so weird looking and scary! but . . . it's good? I'm curious since I end up in the area occasionally; any god recs? the prices are a little high but is it worth it?

        2. Tadka is very good, but tiny. Brick Lane is also now on the same East 53d street. Again small. Chola really is one of the best around. However, Bombay Bistro recently opened on East 52d, between Third and Lex. They have a very good buffet according to many. I haven't yet tried it yet but will have to do so.

          1 Reply
          1. re: comiendosiempre

            I tried Brick Lane once. Couldn't compare to Tadka.

            1. If your interests are northern-frontier cuisine - Try Yuva. I go there for their Raan and other grilled meats.

              12 Replies
              1. re: anil

                That's exactly where we ended up. I didn't think it was quite as good as Chola, but I like the fact that they have tandoori chicken at the buffet. At Chola, they serve you one piece of tandoori chicken, but it is not at the buffet. These days tandoori chicken is my go to Indian buffet dish because its not as heavy as the sauced dishes, and I tend to eat a lot at buffets.

                1. re: LloydG

                  I have not tried their buffet; I'd prefer Chola's buffet because I do like south indian offerings during lunch and mixed with some north indian fare,Chola is a better value @ buffets.

                2. re: anil

                  This thread is timely for me.

                  I was curious about Yuva because there is a coupon for 20% off food there in the current issue of NY Magazine. Has anyone else had a non-buffet meal there?

                  1. re: erica

                    Yes, several dinners...the dishes are unusual, delicious, and quite generous. Nice service and surroundings. We think it is a winner. To start, with the papdum, they put out a large tray with about 12 small dishes of dips, from super-spicy chutney to sweet mango. I love the Haryali Kabab, which is boneless chicken marianted in cilantro and mint, then roasted. It's enough for dinner and leftovers to bring home.

                    1. re: City Kid

                      Sounds good! If you plan to return see if you can find a copy of NY Mag (the "Cheap Eats" issue) so you can tear out the 20%-off coupon!

                    2. re: erica

                      I have not tried Yuva's buffet :-) Only their dinner. Here are my suggestions: Their Raan (if you are a two three just share it. Other grilled meats like kebabs are also good. In veg, I order their kali daal (black lentils) and breads. Rest of their entrees and appetisers I am not interested it. This restaurant fills a niche in my desires for NWF cooking.

                    3. re: anil

                      just spent on time on the site; looks amazing! so they are/were affiliated with the indian joint in tribeca, salaam bombay (had a few meals there before it closed, it was aight). lloydg, what did you order for a lunch there? those grilled lamb dishes sound amazing!


                      1. re: bigjeff

                        Not only does their menu look great, but I actually stayed to hear the end of the cool song they were playing on the website! I am there next week for sure. Tyvm for the suggestion.

                        1. re: bigjeff

                          We had the lunch buffet, which included tandoori chicken, chicken dopiaza, lamb saag, lentils, green beans masala and a few other things I can't recall. There were also some pakoras and the usual salad. The cost was $14 pp. Some of the dinner offerings sound good, but I'm only ever in that neighborhood for lunch.

                        2. re: anil

                          looking at the site, I had the impression that Yuva did NOT have a buffet available at all; is that correct? and if so, is it lunch only? dinner? cost?

                          anil, I was thinking to order just that exactly; it looks/sounds amazing.

                          1. re: bigjeff

                            I have only had dinner at Yuva -- about 3-4 times -- and have never seen a buffet. All of the food from appetizers to entrees to sides like bread and raita have been fresh and excellent. Nice modern surroundings and great service. Seems to be popular with Indian families, probably a good sign.

                            1. re: bigjeff

                              Yuva has a buffet lunch, around $13.95, but it's pretty much standard Northern sauced dishes, none of the frontier kebab stuff that seems to be their forte.