Best Of 2012: Indian/Curry
Every head in the house turned when my Tandoori chicken arrived, sizzling and popping and looking all plump and orangey-red. I noticed a little jealousy among my tablemates, though that might have just been the spice-laden steam literally bringing tears to their eyes. But once we started in on our meals at Mirch Masala — cleaning up extra sauces with spongy naan, and washing it all down with Indian beers, and wine — each plate commanded a laser-like focus from its owner. I don't think anyone shared a bite of anything. To prevent this situation from unfolding during your visit to this perennial Best Of finalist, consider the daily lunch buffet: $8.95 for an admirable selection of meat and vegetarian options, plus dessert. I know of at least one woman who regularly travels from the far reaches of Woodland Park just for the privilege. — Kirk Woundy
Holding several past Best Of victories in the last decade (and generously sharing its delicious rice pudding recipe on its website), Mirch Masala's expansive Indian lunch buffet ($8.95) rivals its competitors easily. As do evening entrées like curries, tandoori meats, biryani, and rich paneer plates.