At first, I didn't want to go this restaurant. I can't stand it when my boyfriend Sasha, who was born in Moscow but lived in Los Angeles for ten years, tries to educate me by taking me to smelly ethnic restaurants. I've put up with Vietnamese and Chinese food and a bunch of other weird stuff. I even agreed to eat hummus once after he yelled at me. But I was not happy about being forced to eat at a new Indian restaurant called ADZHANTA that opened up on Malaya Gruzinskaya, next to the Apelsin club. I had never eaten Indian before, but I could imagine that it was gross, probably full of insects and frogs and things. But seeing that he was in a bad mood, I didn't put up resistance. I knew that if I did, he'd start yelling at me, calling me an ignorant peasant, saying that he felt sorry that I grew up in Russia eating only mayonnaise and pickles. This would cause me to tune out and then he'd start yelling at me for not listening to him. Anyway, I decided to be nice about it. Plus, I could always use it to my advantage later.
When we came up to the front door, two dark men dressed in clothes that looked like stuff people wore in Aladdin opened the door and greeted us with smiles. I thought they were Tajiks, but Sasha said that they were real Indians. We went on a Thursday, around 8 p.m. The place was almost empty, but the interior was very classy. It had high, vaulted ceilings, columns and beautifully decorated ceilings. It was the kind of place I wouldn't mind just sitting, smoking a kalyan and chatting with my girlfriends. Maybe eat some sushi.
An Indian waiter brought us our menus. My boyfriend grumbled about it being expensive, but I understood that this meant that ADZHANTA wasn't going to have crappy food like all those cheap holes-in-the-wall places he takes me to when we go abroad. My Russian Date instincts proved right.
For drinks, he had a bottle of Indian beer called Kingfisher (250r) and I chose an expensive glass of red wine, a Chilean Cabernet (570r).
I had no idea what to order so Sasha chose for both of us. They brought out two pieces of vegetable samosas (330r) first. Sasha didn't like them, saying that they had no taste whatsoever. But when I took my first bite, the samosa exploded in my mouth with taste and spice. But it wasn't overpowering like I expected. It was just right. I liked this Indian perazhok so much that I finished the entire thing!
The Palak Paneer (580r), a dish made from fried spinach and cheese, came out next. It was green and disgusting. It looked like the weeds that float in the lake next to my grandparent's dacha. I refused to eat it and slid it over to his side of the table. Sasha liked it a lot, said it was the best thing we ordered and scraped the bowl clean. Watching him eat that gooey cheese and green stuff was just disgusting!
The Dal Punjabi (240r), a stewed lentil dish, looked like something I could eat. But my idiotic boyfriend ordered it extra spicy. He said it was not spicy at all and that it had no flavor. I didn't believe him. I hate spicy food, so I refused to touch it.
The Vegetable Biryani (510r) looked like plov. I love plov! So decided to try it, and it was great. Sasha, on the other hand, complained that it was not spicy enough and that they used canned string beans to make it. I don't know what he was talking about. He thinks he's such an expert on world cuisine, but I know he has no taste.
Whoops, I forgot to mention the Vegetable Raita (150r), the cucumber and yogurt dish they brought out to drown out the spice of the Dal Punjabi. Sasha didn't touch it, saying he had no need for it because the meal didn't contain a single spicy dish. I on the other hand, enjoyed it greatly. If there are two things I enjoy, it's fresh cucumbers and kefir.