I went to a restaurant in my neighbourhood called Chai which touts itself as an "Indian, Persian and Middle Eastern" restaurant -- yes this is my rant for the day -- I just about had a cow when I saw the menu: $27.00 for a veg. thali with 3 items!!! What effin' recreational pharmaceuticals are they on??? Thalis are supposed to have multiple items. That's the whole point. One item is an entree, two is positively parsimonious, three is still stingy, five to seven is about normal. You shouldn't have to pay extra per item unless you truly are wet behind the ears or like being gouged. A true Indian would consider that criminal behaviour - and I do! Obviously I'm not their target audience. They go for a new age yuppie with more bucks than brains - it's only my opinion so don't get your panties in a twist if you're a frequent visitor to Chai. I just can't stand the wholesale theft of my culture, whether it is the "Namastes" after yoga class, the bindis on foreheads just 'cause Madonna donned one, my cuisine or whatever else this culturally vacant society sees fit to rip-off and re-brand as its own.
First of all there wasn't an Indian in sight which is always a really bad sign if you're after authenticity and trying to avoid the fusion confusion nonsense that dominates this town, and second the menu, which had obviously been written by a professional copy writer, begins with the Ayurvedic benefits of the spices used in their food. Ummm duuuuuh! All Indian food uses the same spices such as turmeric, coriander, cardamom, cumin, chili powder, cloves, cinammon etc. many of which are blended to form what is commonly known by caucasians as "curry powder". So you can go and eat in any ol' hole-in-the-wall and derive the very same Ayurvedic benefits without the extortionate prices.
To add insult to injury there was some caucasian "dude" in his "Indian" garb with long blonde hair in a pony tail... 'scuze me while I barf, sitting in a perfect lotus position on a raised stage looking like some sanctimonious Fabio-type git in front of his exhorbitant thali. Meanwhile, at the table next to the one my girlfriend and I had just been seated, there was a group of forty-something women extolling the virtues of all things organic. This prompted one of the self-approving members of the group to raise the empty bottle of wine to the server that had just seated us, and start a debate on whether or not the wine was organic or not (and I use the past tense as the bottle was off course empty so the debate was entirely academic at that point). I think the irony of the debate was entirely lost on her. Anyways, there was no way that I was going to sit and listen to this rube while facing git features and wait for my twenty seven dollar thali. Eff that - we left. No doubt they are doing very well as I've just seen another location sprout on Main Street.