Last night, Amy and I made a trip with one of her blogging friends and his wife to Nirvana. We had never been to Nirvana before. However, several people had told me that Nirvana was one of the top Indian restaurants in DC, so I thought taking our friends there was a sure thing.
I'll start with the positives first. The appetizer platter we ordered was pretty good. It came with with amiri khaman (steamed lentil cakes), khandvi (chick pea flour pinwheels), khasta kachori (fried puffed pastry with chutneys), and aloo tikki (potato patties with peas and coconut). I especially liked the aloo tikki. Sadly, the appetizer platter was the only real highlight of the meal.
Two of us ordered tomoto-based curries. They tasted like someone had mixed canned tomato paste and sugar with vegetables and cheese. I swore I was eating a bad vodka sauce at a mediocre Italian restaurant. There was no sign of fresh tomato at all in the sauce. I ordered undhio which was something I had never seen at an Indian restaurant and sounded interesting. The menu said that undhio contained seasonal fresh vegetables (potatoes, peas, onions, peppers) and chick pea dumplings simmered in a spicy sauce. Pretty much the only accurate part of that statement was the spicy part. The potatoes were overcooked and dry and the peas were undercooked and hard. I didn't finish it.
At the risk of making a lot of people upset, I have to say that Nirvana was really average and none of us were really impressed with the food. I was really confused. I have talked to many people that really love this place. Tom Seitsema of the Post even gave it a really positive review as well. The only thing I can think of is that people have only been to Nirvana at lunch time for their buffet and have not eaten there for dinner. Either that, or Nirvana was really having a bad night.
At the end of the meal, I asked everyone, "So. What did you think?"
Everyone responded, "Eh," and shrugged their shoulders.