Dining in a big group can be difficult; too many opinions, preferences and dietary restrictions. At a recent bridge tournament, I found myself standing on the sidewalk on Moody St, negotiating a restaurant choice. The loudest voices called for Indian food, so we went to Santa Banta (my choice was Moody’s deli, for their excellent pastrami). The restaurant was virtually empty, so we had the undivided attention of all the wait staff. They gave us a complimentary appetizer, small fried balls of samosa filling. They were tasty, but too salty.
I ordered my usual, palak paneer ($15) and was really pleased. It actually tasted of fresh spinach and the paneer was appropriately firm. The garlic naan ($3) came piping hot and was perfect for scooping up the curry. The rice was a letdown; it was hard and tasted stale. I did not try anyone else’s food, but one dining companion called her gohbi aloo “outstanding,”
They also gave us dessert on the house, a few petite gulab jamun and rasmalai, which was a nice end to the meal.