My other review on Vij's Rangoli voiced a level of hope yet incompleteness about the restaurant. And it turned out the hope was fulfilled and completeness came to fruition at Vij's. Expectations were low as most fancy well known restaurants usually leaves me hungry or broke after the experience. Not Vij's! Wow, no one told me about the complementary appys, they were so good and frequent that I didn't pay attention to their names.
I am not one for service, as I find most fine dining ventures to be uptight and pushy. I think Vij's gets around that by not having just only one server throughout the night, Vij's servers work together as a team creating a dynamic community. As a result, I never felt pushed to order more, yet always felt warmness from the staff. The special aura one feels as a result of the appys and the new approach to service, my wife and I really felt special and part of a new brand of dining experience.
Ok, the real deal, food. Many of my South Asian friends have told me the food is only average and overpriced. For those less informed, like myself, I thought the spices were well balanced and prepared with care. I believe the reason Non - South Asians love Vij's is that the competition out there is quite weak. Most Indian restaurants do themselves disservice by making their curry too liquidy. I have tried Indian food at my friend's house once and it was amazing. The main reason is that it was NOT mushy (i.e. slopped with cream or yogurt), so the veggies, spices, and meat really stood out. Curry is actually a blend of spices (which are in solid form, not liquid) and not what we think of as a mainly liquid texture. Imagine a good home cooked chicken soup full of flavor from the chicken, veggies, and other textures vs. a cafeteria chick soup where there is only 2 pieces of chicken and 3 pieces of frozen peas inside. My goat dish and my wife's veggie curry dish were solid.
Coming, coming, coming back!!