Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Naya Restaurant and Lounge

I have to admit, when I think of eating Indian food, I usually just think about ordering in, not going out. I was recently invited to try the menu at new-ish Indian restaurant Naya. Given it's close proximity to my house and it's promise of "new" Indian food, I just couldn't pass up this comped media dinner.

Esi 008

There is an interesting contrast at Naya. The lounge is dark and sexy while the main dining room is soft and white. I arrived too late to sample many of the appetizers that were being passed around the lounge, but the fried peanuts were enough to whet my appetite. I had a few sips of the Dancing Lotus cocktail ($12). With Belvedere, Cointreau, lychee juice, and pomegranate. I wish it had been a little heavier on the pomegranate and lighter on the Cointreau and lychee juice.

Esi 005

We soon moved to the dining room to begin the tasting. The green salad ($8) was bright and refreshing.

Green Salad

I'm not the biggest fan of regular potatoes, but the sweet and tangy dressing of the Sweet and Sour Potato salad ($8) masked the blandness of the potato without being overpowering. This is one of the lightest potato salads I've ever had.

Sweet and Sour Potato Salad

One of my favorite dishes of the night was the Sprout Street salad ($7) with chickpeas, potatoes, tortilla chips, sprouts, and sweetened yogurt. It had great textures and flavors and again didn't feel too heavy.

Sprout Street

Next up was the Four Flavored Chicken ($12). The types were blackened, green, red, and malai tikka. The chicken was full of flavor, but a little dry. This was a rare instance I would have preferred something saucier.

Four Flavored Chicken

The last appetizer was the Silky Lamb Kabob ($11) with charred minced lamb and garlic mashed potatoes. Once again, the lamb had great flavor, but I would have preferred some sort of dipping sauce because it was a bit dry. The fried onion on top was a forgettable, but if you enjoy mashed potatoes (I do not), you would like this garlicky version.

Silky Lamb Kabob

For our first entree we had the Butter Chicken Masala ($16). It's actually a cornish game hen in the buttery tomato sauce, but it hit the spot. It comes with "Naya Rice" which is a lightly seasoned white rice. It comes with a lot of the entrees.

Butter Chicken Masala

The Everest Lamb ($17) is a warm and comforting dish with tender lam ossobuco, onion-tomato glaze and Naya rice.

Everest Lamb

We were next greeted with a couple of side dishes. The Yellow Lentil Stew ($8) was delicious as was the Fenugreek and Green Pea Curry ($8)

Fenugreek and Green Pea Curry

Yellow Lentil Stew

It was then time for a couple of seafood dishes. I really liked the Cognac Prawns ($20) with jumbo shrimp, onion-tomato masala, cognac and a reduced balsamic glaze served with the ever present Naya rice. Some people felt it was too sweet, but I thought it had a good balance of saltiness and spiciness to balance out the sweetness.

Cognac Prawns

The last seafood dish was the Apricot Patagonian Seabass ($26). It's Chilean seabass with apricot curry and black rice. I thought the curry was more like apricot jam and a bit too sweet, but the seabass was perfectly cooked and paired well with a slightly different kind of rice.

Apricot Patagonian Seabass

Coconut Moile Baby Eggplant with mustard chili, coconut curry sauce, Naya risotto ($15).

Coconut Moile Baby Eggplant


We were also treated to garlic and regular naan ($3 each), but by this late in the game, I was full of the meatier dishes and Naya rice to give it too much thought which is a shame since garlic naan is one of my favorite foods ever.

Garlic Naan

Eggplant

Coconut Moile Baby Eggplant

I really should have paid more attention to the desserts, but I was entirely too full by this point. The chocolate samosa was bursting with chocolate goodness, but I was not a huge fan of the other pastry which was a bit too soggy for my tastes.

Dessert plate

Chocolate Samosa

Naya is a beautiful restaurant. It feels like you're at a fine dining establishment, but with a very relaxed and casual vibe. Many of the dishes are vegetarian and will cater to a wide variety of tastes. This new Indian cuisine is alright with me.



One year ago: Thomas Keller Oreos
Two years ago: Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Cheesecake Layer
Three yeas ago: Slow Roasted Tomato Soup



Naya Restaurant and Lounge
3705 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90026
(323) 663-8268
Website

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4 comments:

Georgia Pellegrini said...

I'm totally checking this out next time I'm in town!

vanillasugarblog said...

i would be happy with just fresh Naan!
wow. what a great spread--very jealous as i love indian food, very much and its been years since i've had any, let alone any kind of takeout.

marla said...

Sounds like a FUN night out :)

Joanne said...

I've had exactly one gourmet indian meal in my life and it was amazing. Definitely one of hte best meals of my life! This all sounds delicious!