Mela Indian Restaurant

★★★★☆
Zagat Award Winning Indian Cuisine
  • 578 Tremont St

    Boston, MA 02118

    Map & Directions
  • 617-859-4805

About Mela Indian Restaurant

3.7895 19
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.

I'm of South Asian descent and have grown up on Indian food at home. Being in Boston for school I definitely miss home cooked meals and Mela's $13 brunch is terrific. Their masaladosa's are great and little station to make your own pani puri is creative and addictive. I highly recommend it! I can't speak of their other meals--but, brunch is fantastic!

2
★★★★★

I'm of South Asian descent and have grown up on Indian food at home. Being in Boston for school I definitely miss home cooked meals and Mela's $13 brunch is terrific. Their masaladosa's are great and little station to make your own pani puri is creative and addictive. I highly recommend it! I can't speak of their other meals--but, brunch is fantastic!

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Was desperately in need of Indian restaurant in good location to give treat to my international friends . I reached there. but I was dissatisfied with the restaurant. Small one with unbearable number of people.No caring of customer. Have to wait longer for food. Moreover the food were not taste as that of other restaurants. I recommend you to try other restaurant if you can.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Was desperately in need of Indian restaurant in good location to give treat to my international friends . I reached there. but I was dissatisfied with the restaurant. Small one with unbearable number of people.No caring of customer. Have to wait longer for food. Moreover the food were not taste as that of other restaurants. I recommend you to try other restaurant if you can.

Pros: location

Cons: unhygienic food, unhelpful people

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Mela has become my "go to" indian buffet over the last couple of months. Besides the regular menu that changes daily, the brunch buffet includes soup , salad, pakoras and somasas, about 6 meat and veg entrees including chicken tikka masala and tandoori chicken, baked to order regular and garlic naan and desserts that are multiple (fruit salad, kheer and gulab jamoon), which are a rarity in the indian buffet circuit. The setting is modern, clean and in the heart of south end, which is great for a walk afterwards. Service can be a bit spotty, typically when they are slammed, which is often!! A must for Indian food lovers.

2
★★★★☆

Mela has become my "go to" indian buffet over the last couple of months. Besides the regular menu that changes daily, the brunch buffet includes soup , salad, pakoras and somasas, about 6 meat and veg entrees including chicken tikka masala and tandoori chicken, baked to order regular and garlic naan and desserts that are multiple (fruit salad, kheer and gulab jamoon), which are a rarity in the indian buffet circuit. The setting is modern, clean and in the heart of south end, which is great for a walk afterwards. Service can be a bit spotty, typically when they are slammed, which is often!! A must for Indian food lovers.

Pros: Decor, location, freshness

Cons: Often busy, some dishes a bit watery/salty

.

As someone of S. Asian descent myself, I'm very particular about eating at an Indian Restaurant. Particularly the style of "punjabi" food that is in most indian restaurants. My rule is, If I can make it better myself I wont bother. If its loaded up with cream (when did it become okay to load up amazing fresh flavorful food such as Indian food with heavy cream and dilute its flavors??) i'll move on.
But I've ordered take out from Mela before and enjoyed it, and so when two friends (who are not S. Asian) wanted to eat out Indian food, I thought why not here? I used to eat at Bukhara Grill (also owned by the same group) and thought it was great too.
The service was great, and we were immediately greeted with a small watermelon drink. I had a Iliachitini (Iliachi is the word for cardamon) which was fun.
The food was again standard. I had a Bhaingan Bharta because it is one of the few dishes without cream in it. I ordered it spicy so I did get a good amount of flavor. Nan was pretty fresh. But to be honest the food came out pretty quick....a little too quick, actually, that I'm sort of suspicious. Something tells me that Eggplant was cooked to softness earlier in the day....
But the food is NOT worth its price. It is again, standard. In fact, my husband ordered lamb and in his bowl of soupy sauce, was only TWO pieces of lamb, for around 20$!! I actually had to cook for him again when we got home because he was still hungry!!!
Although the service was great, the atmosphere is lovely, for the value its not so hot. For making me cook for my husband again when we got home...0 stars!!...balances out to 2 stars. BTW we also came to this place because it was one of the few places available last minute in the S. End on a saturday night. So others must be thinking the same thing. Put more food in your servings, and less creamy sauce and get your 4 stars like you deserve!

3
★★★☆☆

As someone of S. Asian descent myself, I'm very particular about eating at an Indian Restaurant. Particularly the style of "punjabi" food that is in most indian restaurants. My rule is, If I can make it better myself I wont bother. If its loaded up with cream (when did it become okay to load up amazing fresh flavorful food such as Indian food with heavy cream and dilute its flavors??) i'll move on.
But I've ordered take out from Mela before and enjoyed it, and so when two friends (who are not S. Asian) wanted to eat out Indian food, I thought why not here? I used to eat at Bukhara Grill (also owned by the same group) and thought it was great too.
The service was great, and we were immediately greeted with a small watermelon drink. I had a Iliachitini (Iliachi is the word for cardamon) which was fun.
The food was again standard. I had a Bhaingan Bharta because it is one of the few dishes without cream in it. I ordered it spicy so I did get a good amount of flavor. Nan was pretty fresh. But to be honest the food came out pretty quick....a little too quick, actually, that I'm sort of suspicious. Something tells me that Eggplant was cooked to softness earlier in the day....
But the food is NOT worth its price. It is again, standard. In fact, my husband ordered lamb and in his bowl of soupy sauce, was only TWO pieces of lamb, for around 20$!! I actually had to cook for him again when we got home because he was still hungry!!!
Although the service was great, the atmosphere is lovely, for the value its not so hot. For making me cook for my husband again when we got home...0 stars!!...balances out to 2 stars. BTW we also came to this place because it was one of the few places available last minute in the S. End on a saturday night. So others must be thinking the same thing. Put more food in your servings, and less creamy sauce and get your 4 stars like you deserve!

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I love this cozy, modern indian dining spot. Not your typical indian decor, but the food is very authentic & delicious. Be prepared to wait on the weekends.

4
★★★★☆

I love this cozy, modern indian dining spot. Not your typical indian decor, but the food is very authentic & delicious. Be prepared to wait on the weekends.

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I am shocked by any negative reviews of Mela after our outstanding experience : My husband and I had one of the best meals we've EVER had in Boston at this restaurant. He is especially hard to please with both a serious gluten and dairy allergy set, and Mela catered to his every request. Food was SPECTACULAR and the service was tops -- we had a waiter / waitress at our table within seconds of a request. Food did not arrive super fast, but clearly this was because Mela is not the kind of place that has lots of dishes just gurgling in the back room for days... everything tasted so fresh (we had the mushroom lamb and the coconut beef). It never felt slow, but this probably isn't where you should go if you are in a rush to get through dinner. You won't regret it.

2
★★★★★

I am shocked by any negative reviews of Mela after our outstanding experience : My husband and I had one of the best meals we've EVER had in Boston at this restaurant. He is especially hard to please with both a serious gluten and dairy allergy set, and Mela catered to his every request. Food was SPECTACULAR and the service was tops -- we had a waiter / waitress at our table within seconds of a request. Food did not arrive super fast, but clearly this was because Mela is not the kind of place that has lots of dishes just gurgling in the back room for days... everything tasted so fresh (we had the mushroom lamb and the coconut beef). It never felt slow, but this probably isn't where you should go if you are in a rush to get through dinner. You won't regret it.

Pros: Service, attentiveness to gluten and dairy allergies, freshness of food

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STAY AWAY FROM THIS ONE, we were very dissapointed with this restaurant after reading all those good reviews. We eat out twice a week and have not felt so unwelcome any place else. Though there was little space the restaurant was well layed out and clean.The food was average(i liked the gulob jamoon a lot).
THE SERVICE WAS HORRIBLE, The waitress was so RUDE.
She was rude in taking our orders, and before we could finish eating she took away our plates & fork implying we should leave now (infact we took less than 30 mins to complete our meal). The rest of the staff were really pleasing...Its just that this lady is spoiling the whole thing.

0
★☆☆☆☆

STAY AWAY FROM THIS ONE, we were very dissapointed with this restaurant after reading all those good reviews. We eat out twice a week and have not felt so unwelcome any place else. Though there was little space the restaurant was well layed out and clean.The food was average(i liked the gulob jamoon a lot).
THE SERVICE WAS HORRIBLE, The waitress was so RUDE.
She was rude in taking our orders, and before we could finish eating she took away our plates & fork implying we should leave now (infact we took less than 30 mins to complete our meal). The rest of the staff were really pleasing...Its just that this lady is spoiling the whole thing.

Pros: Ambience

Cons: Service, bland food

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Mela is one of the best Indian restaurants I've found since moving from Manhattan. The atmosphere is warm and inviting. The food is fantastic (I recommend starting with the meat samosas, then the butter chicken and lamb korma) and the wait-staff are extremely attentive.
Highly recommend!

2
★★★★★

Mela is one of the best Indian restaurants I've found since moving from Manhattan. The atmosphere is warm and inviting. The food is fantastic (I recommend starting with the meat samosas, then the butter chicken and lamb korma) and the wait-staff are extremely attentive.
Highly recommend!

Pros: Great food, nice space, cool neighborhood

Cons: No delivery!

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I was so excited when I saw that an Indian restaurant was opening in the South End. I must have been the very first customer to walk through the door. Since the opening, I have been back numerous times. All in all, I really like Mela's. The ambiance is wonderful. One of the cooler restaurants in Boston in this regard. The food is good to very good depending on what you order. I've never had a bad meal there. The Okra is definitely a proven winner. But you feel a little cheated by the pricing. You don't really get great value for your dollar here...except for the Brunch. The weekend brunch is definitely a bargain. It is well worth it.

The service is excellent...but they hover too much. Refilling your water glass after each sip is a little extreme. However, they will comply if you ask for privacy.

Best Bet: The Weekend Brunch.

2
★★★★☆

I was so excited when I saw that an Indian restaurant was opening in the South End. I must have been the very first customer to walk through the door. Since the opening, I have been back numerous times. All in all, I really like Mela's. The ambiance is wonderful. One of the cooler restaurants in Boston in this regard. The food is good to very good depending on what you order. I've never had a bad meal there. The Okra is definitely a proven winner. But you feel a little cheated by the pricing. You don't really get great value for your dollar here...except for the Brunch. The weekend brunch is definitely a bargain. It is well worth it.

The service is excellent...but they hover too much. Refilling your water glass after each sip is a little extreme. However, they will comply if you ask for privacy.

Best Bet: The Weekend Brunch.

Pros: Value - Brunch, Ambiance

Cons: Value - Dinner

.

Mela has been open a couple of years now, and until now we thought of it as convenient, friendly, well priced, and good food. On our last two visits they have gotten to another level - the service is more seamless but just as friendly; but the key thing is, the food is not only good but really interesting. The menus in so many Indian restaurants include the same things, cooked the same way, that you could fall into the trap of thinking you know all about it. Then you eat at a place like Mela, and - Wow! you notice yourself really tasting the food again, because it's subtle and layered as opposed to just tasty.

This was true right from the start - Mela's amuse bouche (a small, hot, free pakora served on a curry leaf), that evening was fascinating, both in taste and texture -- crispy lentil dough, the fresh curry leaf, and mysterious soft interesting things inside. It really is a fun way to start a meal.

Our shrimp jalfrezi (in cocoanut curry sauce), lamb korma (rich curry), and baingan bartha (a creamy eggplant dish they graciously agreed to bring as a half-portion, since I wanted a vegetable.) were each delicious, though together almost too rich. Next time I'd get something a little lighter as well.

But these dishes show what I mean by Mela's getting to a higher level. the shrimp was NOT overcooked like in most curries - it was succulent. The lamb was NOT stringy or tough or full of fat -- it was tender and obviously carefully selected. Mela's spicing levels have matured with the restaurant too, so now when you say medium you seem to reliably get it.

Finally the service was very prompt, and seemed sincerely friendly - I would say, they're sweet.

So I am writing this review because I think it's worth another visit, especially for those who had decided they know what Mela has to offer.

2
★★★★★

Mela has been open a couple of years now, and until now we thought of it as convenient, friendly, well priced, and good food. On our last two visits they have gotten to another level - the service is more seamless but just as friendly; but the key thing is, the food is not only good but really interesting. The menus in so many Indian restaurants include the same things, cooked the same way, that you could fall into the trap of thinking you know all about it. Then you eat at a place like Mela, and - Wow! you notice yourself really tasting the food again, because it's subtle and layered as opposed to just tasty.

This was true right from the start - Mela's amuse bouche (a small, hot, free pakora served on a curry leaf), that evening was fascinating, both in taste and texture -- crispy lentil dough, the fresh curry leaf, and mysterious soft interesting things inside. It really is a fun way to start a meal.

Our shrimp jalfrezi (in cocoanut curry sauce), lamb korma (rich curry), and baingan bartha (a creamy eggplant dish they graciously agreed to bring as a half-portion, since I wanted a vegetable.) were each delicious, though together almost too rich. Next time I'd get something a little lighter as well.

But these dishes show what I mean by Mela's getting to a higher level. the shrimp was NOT overcooked like in most curries - it was succulent. The lamb was NOT stringy or tough or full of fat -- it was tender and obviously carefully selected. Mela's spicing levels have matured with the restaurant too, so now when you say medium you seem to reliably get it.

Finally the service was very prompt, and seemed sincerely friendly - I would say, they're sweet.

So I am writing this review because I think it's worth another visit, especially for those who had decided they know what Mela has to offer.

.

I was pleased to see an Indian restaurant open up in restaurant row in the South End & made it a point to stop by for lunch buffet this afternoon. I was struck by the decor, which was a mix of contemporary and traditional Indian motifs - it was tastefully decorated & very relaxing. The service was attentive at filling my glass and taking my order. At $9.99 the buffet was a great value, and I was happy to see that quality was not sacrificed in the least bit - the masalas were authentic and the ingredents were fresh tasting. The curry gravies were thick and not watered down, as many buffets tend to be. The typical Indian restaurant fare (palak paneer, chicken tikka, etc) were available along with some non-typical dishes such as Goan vegetable curry & a Beef curry dish, both of which were delicious. I highly recommend this place & can't wait to try their ala carte menu as well as their $12.95 weekend champagne brunch - what a great value on restaurant row!

2
★★★★☆

I was pleased to see an Indian restaurant open up in restaurant row in the South End & made it a point to stop by for lunch buffet this afternoon. I was struck by the decor, which was a mix of contemporary and traditional Indian motifs - it was tastefully decorated & very relaxing. The service was attentive at filling my glass and taking my order. At $9.99 the buffet was a great value, and I was happy to see that quality was not sacrificed in the least bit - the masalas were authentic and the ingredents were fresh tasting. The curry gravies were thick and not watered down, as many buffets tend to be. The typical Indian restaurant fare (palak paneer, chicken tikka, etc) were available along with some non-typical dishes such as Goan vegetable curry & a Beef curry dish, both of which were delicious. I highly recommend this place & can't wait to try their ala carte menu as well as their $12.95 weekend champagne brunch - what a great value on restaurant row!

Pros: great food, attentive service, lovely ambience

Cons: parking

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The food is authentic and tasty, the service attentive and the decor is great. I've been here with groups twice and though the space is a bit small, they always work to accommodate us.

2
★★★★★

The food is authentic and tasty, the service attentive and the decor is great. I've been here with groups twice and though the space is a bit small, they always work to accommodate us.

Pros: Authentic food

Cons: tight space

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Really great Indian food, and I love Indian food. Our party had a veggie dish, 2 chicken dishes, and a lamb dish - all excellent. Our problem was the space. They have tried to cram too many tables into a very small space. The gentleman behind me (at a different table) and I kept bumping elbows, friends on the other side of our table had to watch that her hair didn't hang over the table behind her and into their food. It was very uncomfortable. Also adding to the cramped feeling was the fact that they had about 2 waiters for each table, and with too many tables - that equals too many waiters. They were litterally bumping into each other.

1
★★☆☆☆

Really great Indian food, and I love Indian food. Our party had a veggie dish, 2 chicken dishes, and a lamb dish - all excellent. Our problem was the space. They have tried to cram too many tables into a very small space. The gentleman behind me (at a different table) and I kept bumping elbows, friends on the other side of our table had to watch that her hair didn't hang over the table behind her and into their food. It was very uncomfortable. Also adding to the cramped feeling was the fact that they had about 2 waiters for each table, and with too many tables - that equals too many waiters. They were litterally bumping into each other.

Pros: food tasted great

Cons: cramped space

.

A long-overdue addition to the neighborhood. Everyone on the staff, from management to hosts to wait staff, is very friendly, willing to help, and welcoming. The menu has a lot of variety, and the food--including the breads--is delicious with a clean and crisp taste. The lunch buffet is inexpensive, and is a good place for a quick or leisurely meal. It is conducive to business meals as well. At night the atmosphere is festive, without the extent of noise so common in other new restaurants. We had experienced some minor service glitches when it first opened, but we sensed that that was attributable only to some staff inexperience, and not to attitude. Our friends and we have adopted this as our neighborhood restaurant, and are delighted.

2
★★★★★

A long-overdue addition to the neighborhood. Everyone on the staff, from management to hosts to wait staff, is very friendly, willing to help, and welcoming. The menu has a lot of variety, and the food--including the breads--is delicious with a clean and crisp taste. The lunch buffet is inexpensive, and is a good place for a quick or leisurely meal. It is conducive to business meals as well. At night the atmosphere is festive, without the extent of noise so common in other new restaurants. We had experienced some minor service glitches when it first opened, but we sensed that that was attributable only to some staff inexperience, and not to attitude. Our friends and we have adopted this as our neighborhood restaurant, and are delighted.

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The place is wonderful! The wait-staff are attentive and friendly. The food is simply delicious. I was so impressed with the dinner that I returned for the lunch buffet - SUPERB! The food is as authentic as you can get. Not greasy, not gross - but heavenly Indian cuisine. The dal is amazing, as are the lassi and tandoori dishes. We tried the mixed tandoori grill - wow! Succulent shrimp, lamb and salmon all grilled to perfection! The garlic naan is the best we have tasted. Rich and flaky with just an amazing amount of garlic! Finger licking goodness!

The first reviewer is out of his mind. Is there a rule against Arabic music? What if they played hip-hop or R&B or blue-grass, would that be a problem? This is a MODERN Indian restaurant - they can play whatever they want! I walk into a modern Chinese restaurant and they place dance music. Who the heck cares! It's the food and service that patrons come in for and it's wonderful! I will go back again and again unless they start raising their prices and cutting their portions like most other South End eateries do. Then that's when they fail and leave.

2
★★★★★

The place is wonderful! The wait-staff are attentive and friendly. The food is simply delicious. I was so impressed with the dinner that I returned for the lunch buffet - SUPERB! The food is as authentic as you can get. Not greasy, not gross - but heavenly Indian cuisine. The dal is amazing, as are the lassi and tandoori dishes. We tried the mixed tandoori grill - wow! Succulent shrimp, lamb and salmon all grilled to perfection! The garlic naan is the best we have tasted. Rich and flaky with just an amazing amount of garlic! Finger licking goodness!

The first reviewer is out of his mind. Is there a rule against Arabic music? What if they played hip-hop or R&B or blue-grass, would that be a problem? This is a MODERN Indian restaurant - they can play whatever they want! I walk into a modern Chinese restaurant and they place dance music. Who the heck cares! It's the food and service that patrons come in for and it's wonderful! I will go back again and again unless they start raising their prices and cutting their portions like most other South End eateries do. Then that's when they fail and leave.

Pros: Great Food!

Cons: No parking!

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As an american-born south-asian I have yet to find an indian restaurant in Boston that holds a candle to the authentic cuisine of my mother's kitchen. I thought Mela might offer a bright light of hope. Whatever light it held was extinguished immediately. The decor is beautiful but the arabic music bothered me. Why wouldn't you play indian music in an indian restaurant??? However, the music didn't sour our trip. It was the service.
Our waiter barely spoke English and didn't understand my Hindi (I had to explain the problem with our appetizer 3 times before he got a waitress who could understand me), we were served the wrong appetizer, we didn't get one of our orders and were charged for it, and the mango creme brulee was simply god awful (it tasted mroe like frozen sweet scrambled eggs).
On the plus side, their Machali (fish) Tikka and one of the Bindhi (okra) dishes were wonderful. My mother was even impressed by the quality of food but still pointed out that the non-indian patrons in the restaurant were given more attentive care than us. At the end of the night, I vowed to never return to Mela and after some explaining to the manager, the offending charges were taken off our bill.

0
★☆☆☆☆

As an american-born south-asian I have yet to find an indian restaurant in Boston that holds a candle to the authentic cuisine of my mother's kitchen. I thought Mela might offer a bright light of hope. Whatever light it held was extinguished immediately. The decor is beautiful but the arabic music bothered me. Why wouldn't you play indian music in an indian restaurant??? However, the music didn't sour our trip. It was the service.
Our waiter barely spoke English and didn't understand my Hindi (I had to explain the problem with our appetizer 3 times before he got a waitress who could understand me), we were served the wrong appetizer, we didn't get one of our orders and were charged for it, and the mango creme brulee was simply god awful (it tasted mroe like frozen sweet scrambled eggs).
On the plus side, their Machali (fish) Tikka and one of the Bindhi (okra) dishes were wonderful. My mother was even impressed by the quality of food but still pointed out that the non-indian patrons in the restaurant were given more attentive care than us. At the end of the night, I vowed to never return to Mela and after some explaining to the manager, the offending charges were taken off our bill.

Pros: Good indian food and decor

Cons: Trying to pass off arabic music as indian, service, fusion food

.

I compliment the decor and the service is wonderful. If you want the best Indian vegetarian food however, Mela has some work to do. Given all the fine attributes and high price point expectations are high however....the black dal has no taste and the curries are bland. If Mela brings in a decent chef the place has all the attributes to be sucessful.

1
★★★☆☆

I compliment the decor and the service is wonderful. If you want the best Indian vegetarian food however, Mela has some work to do. Given all the fine attributes and high price point expectations are high however....the black dal has no taste and the curries are bland. If Mela brings in a decent chef the place has all the attributes to be sucessful.

Pros: Great service

Cons: Average food, high price

.

When it comes to Indian food outside of the home Mela is the best I've had to date. J.A.M. and I went on a busy Friday night, waiting about 50 minutes for our table. We both thought the wait was worth it. Our appetizers and entrees were flavorable without being overwhelmening. The food came out quickly too. I loved the decor, and our server was polished, extremely polite and attentive. The only bad thing about the night was that I forgot to take my leftovers when leaving.

2
★★★★★

When it comes to Indian food outside of the home Mela is the best I've had to date. J.A.M. and I went on a busy Friday night, waiting about 50 minutes for our table. We both thought the wait was worth it. Our appetizers and entrees were flavorable without being overwhelmening. The food came out quickly too. I loved the decor, and our server was polished, extremely polite and attentive. The only bad thing about the night was that I forgot to take my leftovers when leaving.

Pros: Food, Hip, Fun

Cons: Wait time for a table

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Mela ranks high on my list of South-end favorites after only one visit. The wait staff was prompt and friendly. Upon walking in, I was encouraged to see that about 30% of the patrons were themselves Indian - a good sign of the authenticity of the food. The wait wasn't too bad on a Friday, but I'm guessing that as this place becomes discovered, that will change. They also do carry out, which we intend to try at some point. The prices are a little higher than you'd expect, but it's on Tremont St and the food is worth the price.

2
★★★★★

Mela ranks high on my list of South-end favorites after only one visit. The wait staff was prompt and friendly. Upon walking in, I was encouraged to see that about 30% of the patrons were themselves Indian - a good sign of the authenticity of the food. The wait wasn't too bad on a Friday, but I'm guessing that as this place becomes discovered, that will change. They also do carry out, which we intend to try at some point. The prices are a little higher than you'd expect, but it's on Tremont St and the food is worth the price.

Pros: Terrific food and tasteful decor

Cons: Parking

Editorial from

Tableside hot stone cooking is the stock-in-trade of this handsome contemporary Indian eatery on the South End's Restaurant Row. Brought to you by One World Cuisine---which corners the market on upscale subcontinental boites in Boston,…

 

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