Suvir Saran's India venture, Veda, suffered from bad reviews when it opened. Maybe it was the hype of a foreign-returned Indian who'd made a splash in New York (with a hip and stylish joint called Devi). Or maybe it was just that Indians don't like to pay a lot for Indian food, unless it's sanctioned by a five star hotel. But by and large the verdict was: It's not worth it.
I beg to differ.
I stayed away from Veda on the strength of the nay sayers for what must be a couple years, but now that I've finally tried the joint, I have to say that the food is pretty damn good. Definitely better than most of the Indian restaurants in town (especially where the vegetarian is concerned), and WAY better than most of the new "Western" and "fusion" restaurants of the Tabula Rasa-Blanco-Nu Deli ilk (by and large terrible). I didn't sample too much from the menu, so I might be wrong. But it's definitely worth a try.
Also, the bar is a very cool, chilled out place to relax -- very much like New York in ambiance, without too much noise -- and the drinks are comparatively cheap. Where most of the snooty joints in town are charging Rs. 200 for a 12-oz beer (which they incorrectly call a pint), Veda only charges Rs. 90. Cocktails are Rs. 275 or something, compared with as much as Rs. 450 elsewhere.
It ain't cheap, I know. But it is cheaper.