India House deserves a pat on the back not only for its culinary excellence but for its success in creating a yellow and red motif that's less McDonald's and more, well, homey. White tablecloths, wood accents and traditional Indian carvings balance out the bright colors, and vases of fresh flowers and potted plants make the space as warm and inviting as your grandmother's kitchen. You can even catch a bit of the cooking action taking place behind a glass window.
Enter the House door, and the distinctive smell of Indian spices promptly saturates your clothes. Watch out for scurrying waiters balancing large trays of sizzling tandoori chicken while you make your way to a table (try to snag one by the large front windows for a view of Grand Avenue). A complimentary basket of naan with curry sauce will tide you over while you cruise through the menu—145 options of vegetable, chicken, rice and lamb dishes. Portions are sized to share, so order a couple of dishes to enjoy family-style. Prices range from $3 to $40, with most items costing around $16.
If a quick lunch is what you're after, India House can do that too. Its $14 lunch buffet includes a rotating selection of 14 dishes from the regular menu such as chicken curry, saffron rice and mattar paneer (cottage cheese cubes and green peas), samosas. lamb pasanda and gulab jamun, an Indian dessert made of fried balls of milk pastry soaked in saffron syrup.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Albrey Nuss