Friday, January 21, 2011

Shiva's Indian Restaurant, Mountain View CA

Nice, nice, not thrilling, but nice”, is what Mel Brooks’ character said in the History of the World Part I, and this just about summed up my assessment of Shiva’s.  Eight out of a scale of ten, two missing.  Shiva’s makes a buttery smooth Seafood Curry, with prawns and sea bass, in a mellow sauce of coconut milk and curry leaves, a “Madras” curry kind of concoction.  It makes a decent Rogan Josh, that if you tasted it, you would know was made in a good Indian restaurant in the United States-- you would keep grabbing the chunks of meat by their throats with pieces of soft naan and pop them into your mouth.  Glance through the menu and there are the usual suspects, the lifers—Dum chicken biryani, vindaloo, tikka masala.  Come on!  In Mountain View, California?  Even Westchester county has bolder Indian restaurants, that are experimenting with new things. This is the place where, driving from San Jose to SFO circa 1994, I saw my first billboard ad with a web address pasted across it.  The valley where things of the future are meant to take place now.  The food was well made, no doubt about it.  The place has ambiance, great service, even Kingfisher on draft.  It is the well trodden path that I am tired of. 

We thumb through the menu, halting at an interesting dish named Gangtok Chicken, and I asked the waiter whether this was, indeed, a Sikkimese dish as the name suggested.  He did not vouch for it.  Gangtok’ey gondogol.  We move on.

We started off with appetizers—Manchurian Gobi, increasingly popular and the only Indo-Chinese dish on the menu.  Crisp, colorful Papri Chat. Rich and creamy kulfi.  Masala chai that could have had a bit more punch to it.  A polished restaurant in a polished town, you cannot find much fault with the food.  Yet it lacked that bit of eccentricity, that twist in the food, maybe the slightly off-kilter chef like the one at Mana Thai in Mt. Kisco, or Sushi Nanase, that would make it worth remembering for the long haul.
Shiva's Indian Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I visited this restaurant on Mother's day after reading good reviews about it on yelp. I strongly DON'T RECOMMENED this restaurant unless you want to spoil your mood and event. Food was HORRIBLE, cold and most of all SPOILED which is dangerous to health.
    Owner/manager had no interest in rectifying the issue. He was not at all apologetic. In fact he said that why we are complaining as there are lot of other food available to eat. Basically he was saying that they don't care. They have enough customers coming to restaurant (who probably don't care about service and don't know about the good Indian food taste) and don't need more business. He has no concept of customer satisfaction.