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Tamarind: A Case Study in the Effect of a Restaurant’s Clientele

Last night, I had a borderline miserable experience at a seemingly wonderful restaurant with wonderful company. This was entirely because of the two bizarre parties sitting on either side of me.

To my right sat the singlehandedly most irritating young woman I have encountered since my freshman preview days at Penn. For about 45 minutes straight, she yapped about Ivy League Law Schools and how she didn’t get a good enough LSAT score to get in but she’ll talk her way in, about how long and lovely her companion’s hair was and what sort of conditioner she used, about how she went to such a good school but that her LSAT score doesn’t reflect that, about how wonderful Harvard Law is and she wishes she could go there – all with a shrill sense of Upper East Side pampered rich girl entitlement and no brains. Maybe I sound harsh, but it took all my self-restraint not to approach her and give her a stern talking to about self-esteem and not basing her entire life’s accomplishments on money and a brand name.

To my left sat a strange couple: a pretty middle-aged woman and a goofy looking older man who simultaneously kept telling the woman she was cute and engaging her in arguments. Conversation topics ranged from how tough the New York private school system is to her finger nail polish to how cute the woman is when she eats. Cute, cute, cute.

Needless to say, these two parties managed to color the entire experience in a restaurant known for its subtle and modern interpretation of classical Indian Tandoor cuisine. I was disappointed.

Objectively, the restaurant itself is very serene. White walls, white furniture, and soft white lighting give a sense of peace to the interior. The servers are all quiet, polite, and attentive. Even the bar was tranquil. The entire space smelled deliciously of spices, tantalizing me from the get-go.

The menu is extensive, featuring numerous appetizers, classical Tandoor dishes, and then about 10 dishes each for Chicken, Lamb, Meat, Seafood, and Vegetarian options. In addition, there are six types of rice to choose from as accompaniments to your meal. My boyfriend John and I, both having a penchant for very spicy dishes, selected the Lamb Vindaloo and the Murg Kolapuri. Both were satisfyingly hot, rich, hearty, and subtly seasoned. The Tamarind Basmati rice added even more zest to the ensemble. It was altogether too much food for the both of us, and we ended up leaving quite a bit behind.

Tamarind is ideal for business lunches, family get-togethers, large groups of acquaintences, etc. It is fancy enough to make a good impression and spacious enough to accommodate bigger parties. The food is not only presented impeccably but also very palatable.

Tamarind on Urbanspoon

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