Let me preface this review by saying we attended as part of a Yelp Elite event.
(Photo from Yelp.)
At the end of last year and for 2012, Yelp gave me the Elite badge. Being an Elite is pretty sweet because Yelp throws special events throughout the year which I get the chance to attend with a guest (or sometimes guests) and it is coolio to rock the Elite badge. Anyway, this was our first Yelp Elite event. It was fun and even better, FREE for us. That said, I think it's only fair that I tell you we did not pay for any of our food or beers last night, other than tipping the bartenders.
Monsoon is on the corner of 16th & I.
You may remember the location as being Bistro 33 Midtown, then Spin Burger. Once upon a time at the beginning of our days The Cyclist was a server when the restaurant was Bistro 33 Midtown, so we know the building well. You might remember the funky-schwanky white rocks and white leather booths from those days. Then later when it became Spin Burger it was a more kick-back bike themed dealio. Why am I telling you all of this about the decor? Good question. I think Monsoon finally got the space right, a little flashy, but still classy.....check it..
(These are not my photos, by the way, I pulled them from Monsoon's website.)
Let's get to what's really important. Food!
(again, none of these are my photos, they are all from Yelp from here down.)
Vegetable Samosa Spicy seasoned potatoes and peas wrapped in a pastry
Not the greatest image but you get the idea. These were tasty. The spice was present but not overpowering and although they were fried, they were not greasy. As someone who cooks, I think that fried but not greasy balance is hard to achieve, especially with something that is pretty heavily breaded or wrapped in pastry, like this is. They served it to us with the sauce you see on the right, I can't pinpoint exactly what it was, but it was good!
Mixed Vegetable Pakoras Crispy light fritters made with fresh vegetables
Nice photo! Another fried deliciousness dish. Again, fried but not greasy. There is not a lot of veggies in these, but if you are looking for a tasty appetizer this is a good one. They were nicely spiced too.
Chicken Tikka Boneless pieces marinated in tandoori spices and yogurt
OK, this is a guess. I'm pretty sure this was one of the items on the big hors d'evours tray that had different meats. I am not typically a fan of tandoori chicken. Something about the bright pink outside just throws me. It's not that I think it tastes bad, I'm just freaked by the pink. This chicken though, was good. And it was more reddish and spicy looking on the outside than pink. It was nice and spicy but not overpowering.
Lamb Something This isn't really the name of it, but I don't know what it was other than it was lamb
Yeah, that's right. Lamb Something. Pretty creative don't you think? I'm thinking of starting second career as a menu writer. So, I don't know what this was on their menu, but whatever it was, it was good. A nice tender piece of lamb, spiced generously, but you guessed it, not overpowering. The spice on everything here was done very well.
I was waiting for some naan all night. I thought we missed it because as soon as I saw a tray it would disappear just like that. But towards the end of the evening, some made it our way. I think we had the plain variety. It was warm and chewy perfection. When I go back, I'll order the garlic naan....
The Cyclist & I had a nice little date night. Here we are in deep conversation, cause that's what us married folks do...
All of the other Yelper's were very friendly, as was the staff and a gentlemen who I believe was the owner. He made sure we still had food even when the event was technically over. Although super busy, the bartenders were doing a great job and even let me keep my ticket when they thought I waited too long for one of my beers.
Oh! Speaking of beer, they've got some great choices, including Lagunitas IPA on tap.
So, if you are looking for some tasty Indian fare in a nice location, check out Monsoon! You can peep the menu on their website. Click this link for my review.