Tuesday, June 19, 2007


For the second time in a row, our restaurant exploration group went out to our chosen restaurant only to find it closed. This time, the Kauai BBQ Grill was not only closed, it was shut down, about to be replaced by Tina's Cucina. Fortunately, in downtown Mountain View, there are plenty of interesting restaurants and a few we haven't explored, so we headed down Dana Street toward Temptations, an "Indian-Chinese Fusion" restaurant on Castro Street just bayside of Dana.

Temptations is a small place, but they seated the six of us immediately at a high table near the front of the restaurant. It's a very pleasant place to eat, decorated in a generic Asian style and not too loud for conversation. The service was fairly attentive, faltering only when Mark asked about a house specialty, which the waiter didn't seem to understand. Still, the menu is pretty extensive, with an Indian section, a fusion section, and a Chinese section.

We ordered chicken vindaloo, hot garlic chicken, hot garlic shrimp, the vegetarian ginger dish (minced vegetable balls in a ginger sauce), and chicken tava as our entrees. The coktail [sic] samosas were quite good, and the Orinoco Brazilian mojitos, I'm told, were quite satisfactory. Temptations has a nice full bar, and I'm sure the drinks are a big attraction.

All the main dishes we tried were very good, and surprisingly spicy, as the coktail samosas were not spicy at all. For me, with my more sensitive palate, the ginger veg and chicken vindalu were right on the edge of acceptable, and I was warned not to try the hot garlic dishes (though it seems the chicken was spicier than the shrimp, for some reason). The chicken tava was, I think, the least spicy, though it was hard to tell after having tried the ginger veg.

We were all impressed that they actually carried out the fusion aspect of the cuisine. The hot garlic chicken/shrimp and the ginger veg dish seemed to be Chinese-inspired dishes with Indian flavoring to the spices. Many of them were heavy with onions and peppers, recalling Chinese dishes more than Indian, but all the sauces were very Indian in nature.

The other excellent feature was the assorted bread basket, which is a menu item as it is in most Indian restaurants. This one included butter nan, tandoori roti, and onion kulcha, all of which were quite good. Unfortunately, we'd finished most of it by the time the spicy food arrived. But I'll be honest, the spice didn't linger too long, and the tastes were good enough to keep me eating. We'd definitely come back here to try some of the more unusual dishes, but for pure Indian food, we'd likely stick with Shivas or Monsoon, up and down Castro from this place.

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