Welcome to the Northern Virginia Restaurant Blog.

Restaurant reviews in Tyson's and surrounding area... mostly

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Alborz Persian Restaurant - Vienna, VA

8417 Old Courthouse Rd.
Vienna, VA 22162
(703) 288-4500

In the ever-changing scene on the corner of Chain Bridge Road (Rte 123) and Old Courthouse Road in Vienna, near the famed "toilet bowl building," is a welcome addition to the NoVa restaurant scene - Alborz Persian Restaurant. Alborz is situated in the space of the previous Koi Asian Bistro, which we reivewed here back in 2012. Over the last 3 years, Alborz has created quite a following of clientelle.  We were invited here by a devoted fan of the restaurant to join a group of diners and enjoy a deliciously prepared array of dishes.

Alborz did not disappoint both in the selection and the flavors. The added bonus was warm hospitality, excellent service, friendly and attentive staff, willing to acommodate every request with utmost professionalism.

The savory dishes are described in detail in captions below each photograph. 

This was a wonderful dining experience and we recommend to anyone who enjoyes Middle Eastern food in general, and Persian food in particular, to come to Alborz.  We certainly will be back.

There are two notes that you should be aware of.  On the plus side, there is plenty of parking behind the restaurant. On the minus side, there is no alcohol served in this restaurant.  We didn't inquire regarding BYOB. Although this is certainly not a showstopper for the restaurant, but good to know in advance to temper expectations.  

 Wonderfully delicate Persian Ice Cream made with saffron, rose water, cardamom and almonds between two thin wafers - splurge on this dessert, it's worth it!

 Crispy rice from the bottom of the rice pot, not for everyone, but a delicacy for those who enjoy it.

Delicious kabobs served with roasted tomatoes:
Jujeh Kabob - delicious marinated charbroiled Cornish hen
Koobieh kabob - juicy charbroiled seasoned ground beef

Kabobs were accompanied by the Alborz house salad - a mix of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese and Greek calamata olives  

Gheymeh bademjan (beef stew) - sauteed beef and split peas cooked together in tomato sauce 
and topped with eggplant

 A heaping plate of Basmati rice topped with saffron

 In addition to the Alborz house salad, kabobs were served with the Salad-e-shirazi - freshly chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and onions marinated in lime juice

A "must" go-with for any kabobs is the Must-o-khiar - compbination of yogurt, 
chopped cucumbers and mint

Happy Norooz! Persian New Year, a celebration of the arrival of Spring.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sibarita's Restaurant - Bolivian food in Arlington, VA

2716 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 276-1050

We are very fortunate to live in Northern Virginia, where there is such a rich variety of wonderful restaurants that offer a sampling of ethnic flavors without the hassle of getting on a plane.  Sibarita's is one of those restaurants that reminds us how lucky we are!

We probably would never have tried Sibarita's if it wasn't for a Groupon. We are happy we did!

Sibarita's is a small unassuming standalone one-story house with a small outdoor patio for warm-weather dining.  It definitely fits into the category of "ethnic dives" with its shabby furniture, cultural decorations and unique menu offerings.

The most fitting description of the food is "Bolivian comfort food" because of its prevalent featuring of grilled meats, fried eggs, rice, large (and we mean LARGE) french fried potatoes and giant (and we mean GIANT) corn kernels.

When you first walk in, you may feel somewhat claustrophobic in the small bar area with a low wood bench covered with animal skins (where people like to pose for photographs).  We were greeted by a cheerful host dressed in simple drab a la Che, who led us upstairs to the cozy dining room with orange walls and vent pipes along the ceiling. The TV screen beamed a football game, but was largely ignored by the full room of diners enjoying their large samplings of beef.

The main draw for Sibarita's clientele is undobtedly meat, meat and more meat!  Looking around at what others were eating, we quickly concluded that if you have friends who love meat as much as you do, your best bet is to get together a group of 4 and come here for the "Pique Macho para 4."  This carnivore's delight is brought out as a heaping plate of grilled meat (looked like flank steak) and chorizo with huge french fries, some fried eggs sunny side up, tomatoes, onions and jalapenos.  You can get one ample portion for yourself for $14.95, or an ampler portion for 4 for $39, which is a great deal.  The other popular options for groups of 4+ seemed to be the Parrillada Familiar ($54), which is grilled beef, chicken and chorizo, also with rice and large french fries.  Anyway you cut it, this is a meat lover's paradise, or rather a meat-and-potato lover's paradise.

We did not take that route, as there we were only two of us and besides, we are not big beef or chorizo eaters.  Instead, we began our meal with an appetizer with the unusual name "K'Ally" Con Pan.  This consists of two large pieces of grilled bread, chimichurri sauce, garlic and olive oil, a tomato and cheese salad and giant corn kernels, which are prevalent on the menu.  One word - bland, but nonetheless it was interesting to try!

As our entrees, we chose the Silpancho and Pollo Saltado.  The Silpancho, very popular here, was a sight to behold.  For one thing, the portion is large enough that it could be shared by two people.  It can best be described as a "sheet of grilled beef" topped with a couple eggs sunny-side-up.  The beef blankets over a bed of rice and several huge french fries, which are present in most other menu selections.  The Silpancho was accompanied by a side plate of Salsa Cruda, which is the Bolivian Pico de Gallo. The Pollo Saltado consisted of small pieces of grilled chicken with onions and jalapeno slices with a side of rice The flavors of both dishes can best described with the same word as the appetizer - bland. Fearing this, we asked for the Pollo Saltado to be prepared "extra spicy," which they did, and only because of this request was it less bland than it would have been otherwise. But again, was fun to try.

If you are not the carnivorous type, you will find two wonderful things about Sibarita's:  One is its wonderfully cheerful and attentive staff.  They are friendly, highly accommodating, are very familiar with the food and most importantly, they look like they really enjoy the interaction with the diners and the food they serve.  Second, and this is really THE BEST THING ABOUT SIBARITA'S - THE LLAJUA (a.k.a. Llajwa) PREPARED PERSONALLY BY BRENDA.  Llajua is a Bolivian salsa (yes, we learned a new word!). It is absolutely, positively, mouthwateringly delicious!

Would we return to Sibarita's? Honestly....probably not, but not because they are not wonderful.  It is just not for us.  Would we recommend that you go?  Yes!!! Go at least once! Don't return, if you don't like it, but do go to check it out!!!  Go either for the large helpings of meat, or for Brenda's llajua, or just to see what Bolivian comfort food is all about.  We are sure you will walk away satisfied.

 Cozy dining room with TV screens

Bottomless peanuts

 K'Ally Con Pan appetizer $6.75

Brenda's fantastic llajua (Bolivian salsa)

Silpancho beef dish $11.99

 Pollo Saltado chicken dish (prepared extra spicy upon request) $10.95

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Pulcinella Italian Restaurant (revisited, even though we said we would never return) - McLean, VA

6852 Old Dominion Dr.
McLean, VA 22101
(703) 893-7777

Based on Trip Advisor reviews back in December 2010, we tried Pulcinella Ristorante in McLean. It was, after all, rated #1 out of the then 62 McLean eateries. Since 2010, restaurants in McLean have nearly doubled to 112 and Pulcinella finds itself now at #22 (according to TripAdvisor.com). We wanted to try the #1 restaurant for ourselves and were disappointed, to say the least. But when we found ourselves in the geographic area near Pulcinella, we threw caution to the wind and decided to give "The Italian Host" (subtitle, per its website) another twirl, hoping that 5 years was enough to address the myriad shortcomings many people pointed out over the years.

Bottom line: Aside from the consistency in the kitchen, there has been not much improvement in the areas they needed to improve.

As we wrote in 2010, “Judging on food alone, this place is exceptional. Too bad dining experiences are not based on this one element.” Back then, we wrote it was nothing short of a disaster; however, while not a disaster during this experience, certainly there is plenty of room for improvement.

The pluses:  Our table, though not the same we sat at 5 years ago, was wobbly, but not wobbly enough enough to knock our glasses off the table as it was previously. Cutlery and napkins were on the table upon arrival and the bread and drinks came out pretty quickly.

The minuses:  After we had read through the menu and ordered our meal, the waiter noticed that we did not receive the night’s dinner specials supplement. Would’ve been nice to know about the specials before studying the menu and selecting our entrees....  While the bread and butter were brought out with the drinks, the olive oil was brought to the table quite a bit later AFTER we already ate our bread...  And there is more.

A salad came out with dressing “on the side,” not how everyone else's salads came out, even though we did not order it that way. We chalked it up to the noisy dining room and the server mistakenly hearing “on the side” instead of something else. We did not return it, as it takes little effort to pour dressing on a salad (about as much as it would have taken the waiter to confirm he heard the order correctly... or not).  

Food delivery and server check-ins were regular this time, and the bill was accurate, in contrast to our last experience.

On to the food. This is Pulcinella's strong point and they do not disappoint.  The Ravioli alla Panna (Spinach Ravioli), usually prepared in a very heavy cream sauce, came in a nice light cream sauce, which was quite good. The Vitello alla Parmiglana (Veal Parmesan), was delicious, moist, tasty, served with perfectly al dente pasta. The Chicken Fettuccine seemed to be the only “miss” of the night. While the pasta and cream sauce were nice, the chicken lacked taste and, while grilled well, needed something—salt? Pepper? Lemon? Not the best effort there. 

Our review from 2010 said, “Needless to say, we do not think we will ever return.” We did. And while there was some improvement five years later, it was not enough to want to come back. But who knows, maybe if we find ourselves in the area again and want to check it out five years from now...  we'll let you know.

Veal Parmigiana

Chicken Fettuccine

Spinach Ravioli

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Argia's Italian Restaurant - Falls Church City, VA (revisited several times)

124 North Washington Street
Falls Church, VA
(703) 534-1033

We were happy that Northern Virginia Magazine selected Argia's for its feature restaurant in the Taste of NoVa last week! Argia's is a local restaurant in Falls Church City that we enjoy visiting, so we invited our friends and braved the cold to have lunch here.

After about a half a dozen meals here since its re-opening under new ownership in 2013, we know to expect a good meal and great service. We wrote about it last summer.  Staff is usually friendly, attentive and efficient. Food is better than decent. One of our barometers for a good restaurant is the consistency of our dining experiences to this establishment and Argia's definitely passes that test, so you know what to expect when you come here.

On this particular Saturday afternoon Argia's was hosting two large parties in its large dining room, with over 50 people total. Good thing we made a reservation! We got the only table out in the bar area, which is a bright, sunny area, and was quite nice.  However, the wait staff was frazzled trying to service the large parties, so our service fell somewhat short of the typical excellent this time, which we are writing off as a hickup.

There is one important factor that truly value in Argia's, which is the flexibility of the chef and the billing structures. Not only can they accommodate individual orders within larger parties, but whenever we have requested something that was either not on the menu, or a substitution of any kind, the kitchen has accommodated our requests happily, flawlessly and deliciously. Seems like the management instills in its employees the importance of treating each individual customer like family and the chef is the perfect manifestation of this spirit.

Ask any regular customers and they will rave about the baskets of warm bread that are generously dispensed from the kitchen. The bread, notably baked on premises, has somewhat of a gritty texture, and is delicious and fluffy, with just the right hint of herbs. It is served up with some delicious olive oil.  The Mista Salata and Caesar's Salad were fresh and only lightly dressed. The cup of Minestrone soup was quite good. The Pappardelle and Trout entrees were also good and fresh.

We were most pleased when the owner Salina came over and chatted with us, proudly telling us that Argia's was chosen as one of the winners of the Taste of Falls Church last year.  Well deserved!!!

Prix Fixe Menu January 12 - 18, 2015

Minestrone Soup and Mista Salata

Caesar's Salad

Pan Roasted Trout entree

Papperdelle with Roasted Pulled Chicken entree

Awards wall

Front dining room (the smaller dining area) and bar

Friday, January 23, 2015

Will Thomas, FOX 5 reporter presents: "Will You Eat There?"

DC FOX 5's Will Thomas offers a weekly spot on the newscast entitled,  "Will You Eat There?"

This series is fun to watch and offers a unique competition and review of the selected establishment.  Check it out at:  http://www.myfoxdc.com/category/293968/will-you-eat-there

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Chuy's Tex-Mex chain restaurant new to NoVa - Fairfax, VA

11219 Lee Hwy
Fairfax, VA 22030

Something in the food at Chuy’s made a detour between Austin, TX and Fairfax, VA.  We say this because it seems that if you ask anyone they’ll tell you that Chuy’s is a staple in the Austin, TX area.  So, if you’re making Tex-Mex and you’re in Austin, it’s GOT to be GOOD.  Right?  Uh, no. While the décor was pleasant and the service was tolerable, the food was quite average and certainly not the best Tex-Mex we’ve ever had.  As a matter of fact, some of the best Tex-Mex meals that we've had outside of Texas were in the south of Spain at a place called Restaurante Casa Texas México, very “autentica comida mexicana.” But we digress.

It’s a shame, because NoVA is seriously lacking good Tex-Mex. Some places come close like El Tio in McLean, which we reviewed here, and even Anita’s in Vienna, which we've also reviewed here. Chuy’s sounded promising, but in the end we think it compares only with other national chain Tex-Mex brands, like On the Border and Chevy’s, which have had a long-time presence in Northern Virginia.

Following the schools of decorative fish that adorn the ceiling, the reception area centers a break - to the left is the restaurant's several large dining rooms and to the right the bar. On a Saturday evening, the restaurant was quite crowded with large families with children, groups, and couples, with a wait of about 20 minutes, so after evaluating whether or not we wanted to wait, we grabbed an available table at the bar. We loved the many dog portraits on the walls, but that was about all that we loved about this restaurant.  

An opened car trunk section holds the bottomless chips, salsa and queso available to anyone who wants to get up to refresh their obligatory chip and salsa portions when the wait staff is running behind, which seemed to be almost all the time.   

Chuy’s is obsessive with cleanliness.  They work it into conversation, the silverware is wrapped in a “Sanitized for your protection” paper envelope, and go out of their way to use a small plastic shovel to refill the chip bowl.  Ironically, one of our knives was spotted with dried food and needed replacement. 

Our server seemed rather disinterested in engaging with us when we tried to enlist her help in explaining the differences among several dishes. Instead of helping us, she kept eyeing some of the other diners, even as we were ordering, so we are assuming there was something more interesting happening a few tables away. The fact that our dirty dishes were piling up as wait staff zoomed past us without noticing, we think is because they were very busy, although it is certainly no excuse, and frankly, don't recall service this weak at Chevy's.

The chips and salsa were enough for appetizer. The salsa was relatively good, though a bit watery. It may be a pleasant alternative for those who don't care for the deep red tomato-y standard. It was light with tiny diced veggies. A watery salsa may not be for everyone. 

We ordered pretty standard Tex-Mex entrees - a beef fajita and the #1 Combination, which included an enchilada a taco, and a flauta. We asked that both the beef taco be substituted with chicken.  This did not happen on their first attempt, so they brought the chicken taco somewhat later when reminded that this is what we asked. Despite a long list of signature sauces on their menu, even those with 4 chillies were quite bland. There was really nothing wrong with the food, it was the same that could be expected from any of the old familiar chains in the area, like Chevy's, which is bound to be Chuy's main competitor here.  Even their logos look similar!

Will we go back?  Probably not. At least, not for a long time. For a better meal and better service in a restaurant of this kind, we will still go to Chevy's or On The Border.  However, we certainly believe that competition improves quality in everything, including of course restaurants, so we welcome Chuy's to Northern Virginia!

 Chips bar

 How can you not like a place that features our best friends?

 Happy Hour info


 Bottomless chips and salsa

 Signature Sauce selection

 Combination Deluxe $11.99

 Beef Fajita $14.99

Dirty plates piling up

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Tara Thai - Falls Church, VA (re-visited many times)

7501-E Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22043
tel : 703.506.9788
E-mail : tarathaifallschurch@gmail.com

Just a quick update that Tara Thai in Falls Church is still awesome. We have reviewed it previously, but just wanted to let you know about the consistency of the food, the service and the overall quality of the dining experience in this neighborhood strip mall restaurant.

For those who like ethnic dives, Tara Thai does not have the ethnic dive vibe.  Its large windows let in a lot of light, its aquarium decor is well-maintained and bright, and its staff all speak excellent English, are cheerful and knowledgeable.  Just needed to get that part out of the way, now on to the restaurant.

There is no dish here that is not absolutely delicious.  It's one thing to have a great selection on the menu, it's quite an added bonus to execute each dish the same way every time for a reliably undeviating experience when you've got the yearn to satisfy that specific craving. Tara Thai Falls Church is a hit every time.

Service is also consistently attentive, friendly and flawless.  Staff here are clearly knowledgeable and happy, while courteous and efficient.  

Last night we decided to stop by for happy hour. Their menu selection is typically listed on the wall. All drinks are half-price (wine, beer and cocktails) and there are about 8 appetizers that are also heavily discounted. Their wine selection during happy hour is limited to only "white or red," so if you'd like a wider selection from their well-stocked bar, be prepared to choose from the non-happy hour menu.  The happy hour appetizer selection is available only at the bar and a few tables nearest the front door. Theoretically, sitting so close to the entrance on a cold January night can feel drafty, but the vestibule is heated and insulated perfectly, so it's quite a comfortable location.  

We have mentioned in previous blogs that the Num Tok (beef salad) here is excellent.  This is an appetizer for those who enjoy intense flavors.  A particularly savory flavor is in the liquid that remains in the cradle of the plate once the beef, red onion, green onions and cilantro garnish are gone.  Their fried calamari appetizer is also excellent.  It comes glazed in a medium-intensity sweet and sour sauce, which is more on the savory side, with diced onions, green peppers and red peppers.  The Spring Rolls are delicate and perfect for finger-food type of snacking with a deliciously-mixed Cosmopolitan or a nice wine.  The Curry Puffs (two to an order) are delicate fried and potato-ey, accompanied by a clear sauce with small jalapeno pieces, which is more sweet than spicy.

The happy hour  section can get quite crowded, but luckily, Tara Thai accepts reservations for that section, which is quite unusual and definitely welcomed!

One thing that we did notice over the many years we have been regular customers at Tara Thai in Falls Church is that the entree portions seem to have gotten smaller.  The small mint that used to accompany the bill was discontinued several years ago.  There were some other changes, that appear to have been a result of needing to meet the bottom line.  Though these small changes are noticeable to folks like us, we still consider Tara Thai to be a wonderful place for a great dining experience and a terrific meal.

We could not sign off without noting that not all Tara Thai's are alike.  We have visited the Tara Thai in Ballston, VA (Arlington) several years ago. Our experience there was nowhere close to the one in Tara Thai Falls Church.  It is no wonder that Tara Thai in Ballston closed.  We have also visited Tara Thai in Vienna, VA and reviewed it here. Our experience there was also far inferior to what we describe here for Tara Thai Falls Church.  Be mindful of these differences and please do not judge them all by your experience in one.

 Cosmopolitan with what's left of the Num Tok appetizer (sorry was too excited to dig in before remembering to take a photo)

Spring Rolls appetizer

Friday, January 9, 2015

Rabieng Thai Restaurant - Falls Church, VA

5892 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, A 22041
(703) 671-4222

After the first few bites of almost any dish at Rabieng, all the other Thai restaurants seem to kinda blend into a grey background.  The variety and quality of flavors at Rabieng's, combined with its unpretentious calming atmosphere, are tough to beat.  In this post, we are not going to go into extensive comparisons of Rabieng with its parent restaurant Duangrats, which incidentally we found to be inferior to Rabieng, or its well-deserved raves and ratings in the Washingtonian, Zagats, and USA Today, which you can find on its webiste.  To remind our readers, our blog is mainly about our particular dining experience(s) in the restaurant, and all dining experiences at Rabieng for us have been consistently great.

Rabieng is a small unassuming 2-story restaurant that is easy to miss around the corner of a strip mall in Bailey's Crossroads, an area rich with top-notch ethnic dives in Falls Church.  There are only about 7 or 8 booths and 2-3 tables downstairs, all decorated with a fresh orchid stem, where patrons are seated first before the hosts offer upstairs seating.

The Fried Calamari and Plantain Tempura appetizers were terrific. Fried Calamari is served in a bowl on top of lettuce.  When the calamari is gone, the lettuce turns into a salad with the remainder of the sauce as a dressing.  The sauce is somewhat on the sweeter side, but is sweet and sour and definitely has a kick! Plaintain Tempura is basically fried bananas (or plantains), a dish that by its nature is on the sweeter side with a crispy outer layer and a soft delicious middle.  Roasted cashews are a wonderful side to any of Rabieng's dishes, and are prepared in a subtle and simple way.  A bit of a disappointment was the Beef Nam Tok salad, where the meat was quite limp and flavorless, even when covered by herbs and sauces.  This is probably the only dish we wouldn't order again, and actually prefer the way it is prepared at Tara Thai in Tysons, where the meat is a bit firmer and more savory.

All entrees at Rabieng are delicious. We have tried many of them over the few times we have visited on our own and with friends. On this particular afternoon, we tried the Chef's Signature Specials. The Chicken Horapa comes sauteed in a gentle roasted chili sauce served on a bed of noodles.  If you prefer your noodles al dente, you might want to tell them in advance. The Bhram, which is chicken breast pieces sauteed in a peanut sauce, comes out stew-like on a bed of napa cabbage, rendering the cabbage slightly wilted, yet crispy enough to give the dish a pleasant texture.  Both entrees are very well-prepared and well-seasoned, although those with a penchant for more heat can add the delectable fish sauce that they serve upon request.

Our server Nit was efficient, pleasant, knowledgeable and attentive. So was the rest of the small team of servers. Can't ask for better.

We will definitely be back to Rabieng!

Btw, if you decide to be a little adventurous in your own kitchen and want to replicate some of the dishes you tasted at Rabieng, a small aian Asian Grocery Store next door, incidentally also owned by Duangrats, offers all the spices that can make this possible.

 First floor

 Modern and clean

 Second floor

 Stairs leading to second floor

 Fried calamari appetizer

 Beef Nam Tok salad and Plantain Tempura

 Roasted cashews appetizer

 Chef's Signature Specials: Chicken Horapa (top) and Bhram with chicken (bottom)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Saffron Indian Cuisine - Falls Church, VA

1077 West Broad Street
Falls Church, VA 22046
(703) 992-0077

WE WELCOME a terrific addition to Falls Church City's Indian food scene - SAFFRON took over the now-closed Curry Mantra 2 in the West End Plaza Shopping Center.  We were not fans of Curry Mantra 2, despite its seemingly popular appeal to those who prefer a more modern version of Indian food, both in flavor and presentation. So, we were happy to see Curry Mantra 2 close its doors in NoVa to re-open in DC in Spring 2015. Good luck, Curry Mantra 2!

Goes without saying, that, in our humble opinion, Saffron is heads above its predecessor. Since we began our blog in 2010, our long-standing neighborhood favorite for traditional Indian food has been Haandi in the Giant Plaza (Falls Plaza Shopping Center) in Falls Church City. Saffron may well offer some competition to Haandi, located right across the street.

The service at Saffron was great.  Azad, a knowledgeable and very pleasant maitre d', took our order and, throughout our meal, was attentive. He supervised several cheerful and very polite wait staff, who assisted in serving dishes, clearing plates, and ensuring our water glasses were always full.

There were happy diners of all ages and demographics, families, couples, and singles, eating here early on a Saturday evening. On a cold evening, the atmosphere in Saffron was warm and amiable.

The food, both in taste and presentation, was also great  While we waited for our food to arrive, we snacked on the traditional Papadum served with the standard Indian dipping sauces / chutneys.  Our appetizer order of Samosas came out quickly, it was hot and delicious. The Chicken Tikka entree served on a rectangular white plate was perfectly moist and seasoned just right. It comes with an order of plain Naan, but we also ordered a Cheese Naan, which as delicious, though a bit greasy. The saucy, stewey Chicken Vindaloo, served in a bowl, was also terrific, with just the right seasoning and a very slight tinge of sweetness.  Hint for those who want an even spicier version of the Vindaloo: Order it as a "10." It was absolutely excellent in its flavor, poured over rice.  It is typically prepared at a "5" spice level, so if you can handle the double hotness, you will love it. Overall, the food was wonderful, and priced quite reasonably.  Our total bill came to about $41.00, not counting the tip.

For the most part, the restaurant has not been remodeled since Saffron took over this space. The main positive feature of the restaurant's layout is its open kitchen with a very strong exhaust system. The relatively small dining hall seats about 50 at its tables along walls and one middle row. We hope that the new owners address the somewhat sea-sickening askew placement of dining tables in the middle row, which is a relic of the previous restaurant's layout.

Most of the wait staff remained from the predecessor restaurant, though definitely were much better trained, more responsive and seemed much happier and more knowledgeable about their jobs than when they worked for Curry Mantra.  The chef, who apparently, worked for a short time in Curry Mantra 2, then left, has returned to cook at Saffron.

Overall, we can't say enough good things about Saffron.  Our experience there was very pleasant. We will definitely be back!

 Askew placement of tables can lead to sea-sickness, but try not to think about it...

 Incomplete renovation...

 Vegetable Samosas

 Paneer Kulcha (Cheese Naan) and Chicken Tikka

 Chicken Vindaloo

Hooray for round plates!