Saturday, March 3, 2012

On Azitra Restaurant

A couple of weeks ago while we were driving around looking for El Tapatio (a restaurant to avoid), we discovered there was a new Indian restaurant across the street from Flatirons Mall.  Azitra is clearly aiming at providing a more upscale Indian restaurant.  The decor is elegant earth tones, no wall hangings with elephants here.  The usual dishes are on the menu but usually with some twist.  And there is no buffet.  Overall, we enjoyed the dinner but we aren't quite sure about the restaurant so we will have to visit again before deciding whether to add it to our regular Asian night rotation.

The Good: The Chatpata Murg appetizer was very good with the pan glaze adding a nice bit of sweetness to to heat of the dish.  The little glaze that remained on the dish after the chicken was done made a nice condiment for the naan.  My medium heat chicken curry was also nicely balanced.  Northern Indian comfort food, the curry was thick, rich, with a nice hint of coconut milk.

The Bad: Melissa had a mild heat Tandori Chicken Tikka.  I don't know why Melissa gets mild dishes in Indian restaurants - she loves Mexican food and good Colorado green chili.  Apparently mild at Azitra means flavorless.  Our normal strategy at Indian restaurants is to split entrees.  After the first bite of hers, I refused to have any more.

The Ugly: Worst. Chai. Ever.  I realize that chai isn't always served as richly spiced as we have become accustomed to in America.  We learned that at our numerous means on Brick Lane in London.  Still, the chai here tasted completely unspiced.  Little more than black tea with cream.  And much stronger than I take my team.  If your taste in coffee runs to Turkish, you might enjoy the tea here.

The Scary: Big room that never got full on a Friday night.  They've been in this location for 4 or 5 months and I'm not sure whether they will survive or not.  The location is not good for a restaurant.  Its not actually on the flatirons ring road.  Instead it is in the set of building behind near Benihana's.  Flatirons is a regular shopping destination for us (and I've eaten at nearby Jason's Deli several times recently) and we had no idea this was here. This plus the fact that they are aiming at a more upscale experience and are correspondingly more expensive than the usual Indian restaurant, makes it likely this place is going to struggle.  I hope they succeed because Melissa and I would really like to have more Indian options than just Jewel of India (which we like) and Yak and Yeti which we don't.