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Sep 7, 2009 05:26 PM

Favorite high end indian or thai restaurant

Looking for great food and great ambiance for birthday celebration for 4 people - we loved Devi and Tabla but looking to see if there are any other options. Thanks for your help.

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  1. there is no good Thai in Manhattan, high or low...

    i've never been to Devi, but based on reviews, that's what i would have suggested you investigate...i've only been to the Bread Bar part of Tabla, many years ago, and i loathed more than i can say...

    Do a search here and you'll find a few suggstions for high end Indian...some people like Chola and its rival restaurant (i'm blanking on the name), though i didn't like my one meal there...

    I've yet to have an Indian meal in NYC that was better than what i could do if i got a 4 dollar thali-to-go from one of the taxi stand places on Houston or Crosby, took it home, added more cumin and hot sauce and tossed a couple fried eggs on top...the high places like Chola seem to merely serve up the same stuff w/ an extra two sticks of melted butter and an attitude...the low end places like the 6th St joints serve up the same stuff, but w/ added artificial coloring and amid bright lights and kitsch...

    If you do the bday celebration in BKK, i can rec a great high-end Indian place there (Rang Mahal), but in Manhattan, it's a search...check out Chola...

    8 Replies
    1. re: Simon

      I like the holes in the wall, too (though you would think Pakistani food is nothing but ginger were you to base it off the place on Crosby), but there are decent-to-good South Asian restaurants out there with a little more atmosphere than a water machine and packs of digestive biscuits. Were I going very high end, I would say Devi is the choice to beat.

      1. re: Simon

        does that place lahore only get props because it's dingy? I really don't like the food there, inexpensive or not. you might do better eating at that place on houston btwn ave A or ave B, LES. same idea (narrow cabby place a few steps down, samosa chaats and whatnot). you sound pretty bitter about indian food to place those places above everything available in nyc (including the 5 boroughs?). tamarind is a good example of fancy for fancy's sake; you could seriously eat way better 4 blocks away for 1/4 the price.

        with you on the thai pronouncement. although quizkiddonniesmith's sugg. of Kittichai as a fancy bday place is good. food won't be awesome, but experience will be.

        1. re: bigjeff

          I think you're talking about Punjabi. It's pretty good and so, so very cheap.

          1. re: egit

            ya that is the smaller one right? the one a couple doors west I've never wanted to try; their stuff always looks old.

          2. re: bigjeff

            i haven't been to the Indian cab places in a while, but i think i also liked the Houston one better than Lahore on Crosby...

            1. re: Simon

              Where exactly are these taxi stand places? They sound great.

              1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                don't get too excited -- they aren't great, but they are cheap and they sometimes have decent Indian food in a style that's more like home-cooked Indian food than the absurdly greasy and/or salty and/or artificially-colored versions you get in a lot of NYC restaurants both high- and low-end...

                there is one (two?) on the north side of Houston St, between 1st Ave and Ave A...and there is Lahore (maybe not as good?) on Crosby St between Houston and Prince St...and i think there are couple others that people have mentioned...

                i've never been delighted with my takeout from them...but in the past i've made a very satisfying meal by taking the food home, adding a little more cumin and/or hot sauce and putting a couple fried eggs on top...

                1. re: Simon

                  ya, the one on houston is on the north side of the street, around essex I think, very narrow place with all the food in glass cases on the left side, a few steps down. ok for a very basic samosa chaat (just a samosa, some chickpeas, maybe some tamarind sauce, cukes and yogurt; they do have fresh whole chilis tho). there is also one near Anthology Film Archives, on the corner of maybe 2nd ave and 2nd street; this is not that amazing either but, sometimes they have a fried chicken that is damn spicy. they also have some basic chaat and sometimes have dhokla even, along with various kebabs that they reheat, generic meat patties.

                  like simon said, not amazing but in a pinch, not bad.

        2. For thai, your best bets would either be Vong or Kiitchai. For indian, you may want to check out Vermilion in midtown.

          1 Reply
          1. re: quizkiddonniesmith

            For High-end Indian, I like Bombay Talkies in Chelsea or Tamarind in flat-iron. I like Tabla but you have to prepare yourself of Indianasque cuisine, not real Indian food. For, Thai, I don't really know. Spice Market , perhaps?

          2. Devi is pretty much as good as it gets, I'm not a huge fan of Tabla. Tamarind is pretty average for what you pay. We've had some great meals at Dawat. In fact Dawat is probably second to Devi in my book.

            My favorite Indian: Saravanaas, is not high end, but if you're looking for the best, I'd say go there.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Spends Rent on Food

              I second Devi. Strongly.

              And skooldya1's suggestion of Rhong Tiam is a good one.

              1. re: Bob Martinez

                Even if you've been to Devi, I would go back...I think it's a beautiful space, and you can really have fun with the menu considering some of the sides and vegetarian dishes.

            2. Given the reasonable prices, it's not quite "high-end," but Rhong Tiam in the West Village has great Thai food (especially for Manhattan) and a sleek, attractive decor