Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Thali, Too, I Missed You

It's been awhile since I've visited Thali, Too, the all-vegetarian Indian restaurant tucked behind the Yale Bookstore.  So today's lunch was a pleasant ending after a morning spent wandering around the Yale Art Gallery.

Thali, Too features chat and other Indian "street fare" not often found at most Indian restaurants, so we started off with the Masala Papad, a fried chickpea flour wafer topped with tomato, red onion and cilantro salsa.  While typically these flavors appeal to me, I kept wishing there was a little tamarind to cut the heat of this particularly spicy onion.

The second light dish was Aloo Bonda, a split pea batter fried dumpling filled with potatoes, mustard seed and curry leaf.  These were tasty on their own, though strangely paired with a ketchup-like dipping sauce.

For my entree I ordered a stewed eggplant, similar to Baigan Bhurtha, but with a richer flavor and creamier texture that took some getting used to, though I think the verdict is a "like."

My dining companion ordered a rice noodle dish which was described as a "coconut vegetable stew," which sounded like a comforting entree for a chilly winter afternoon.  Expecting it to arrive in a soup bowl, we were both surprised to see a plate of noodles arrive at the table.  But the roasted asparagus on the side made up for the bewilderment.

All in all, Thali, Too is an enjoyable experience for a vegan since the menu is clearly marked with non-vegan items, and everything else is "safe."  Service is always courteous and attentive, and it's even a great place to dine alone since there's seating with a window overlooking the kitchen, so it's almost like getting a free show with the meal.

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