“What the Fearless Critic books and apps have that UrbanSpoon and Yelp don’t is a complete lack of bullshit.”
“I’ve spent years driving around with Zagat...but I think I’ll replace it with this Fearless Critic guide.”
–Leslie Brenner,
Dallas Morning News
Fearless Critic restaurant review
New Haven
Food
Feel
Price
9.0
7.0
$35
Indian
Casual restaurant

Hours
Sun–Thu 11:00am–2:00pm
Sun–Thu 5:00pm–10:00pm
Fri–Sat 11:00am–3:00pm
Fri–Sat 5:00pm–2:00am

Features Date-friendly, outdoor dining, veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted

www.thalitoo.com

Broadway District
65 Broadway
New Haven, CT
(203) 776-1600
Thali Too
This South Indian vegetarian restaurant beats out its pricier sibling—what a treat

Thali’s South Indian vegetarian sister, Thali Too, has taken La Piazza’s place next to the Yale Bookstore, making it extremely convenient for Yale students and their visiting parents. One of the most remarkable aspects of the place is the diversity of its clientele. It’s even surpassed Yorkside Pizza as “the librarians’ cafeteria.”

Nothing on the menu costs more than $10, which adds significantly to Thali Too’s appeal, as well. The staff, and the pacing of dishes, can also be slow—this is not the place for a quick bite—but it is worth taking your time and savoring each dish.

Most of the menu comprises small dishes called tiffin or chaat, mainly in the $5-$7 range and easily shareable. The “Dean’s Dosa” is too large to fit on most tables in the restaurant. Slightly smaller but charged with flavor is the spicy onion rava masala dosa, served with coconut chutney, sambar, and chili oil. The modest-sounding upma—steamed cream of wheat—is surprisingly flavorful, soothing, and filling, kind of like an Indian congee.

Bhel poori is like a firecracker on a plate: a multicolored cylinder of a Rice-Krispie-ish poori, onions, tiny crisp lentil noodles, and tamarind sauce. Tempting but less successful is the “Paneer Wok 65,” a dish of stir-fried cheese with the texture of tofu, tossed in a neon-pink curry sauce. It’s blander than it looks. On a hot day, don’t miss a salad of crisply fried okra, dusted with spices.

Mains are hit-or-miss, although the hits are among the best dishes in the city. Saag paneer is richly green, redolent of spices and ginger, and laced with generous squares of firm cheese. Baigan burtha, also a fairly standard eggplant curry in the hands of lesser chefs, tastes of the charcoal grill and fresh tomatoes. Best of all is the haldiram chole bathura, a modest dish of chickpeas and sauce scented with garam masala, served with a giant puff of deep-fried naan that is staggeringly rich, a yardstick by which to measure all other versions.

Thali Too has a party streak, too: a lassi can be spiked with the booze of your choice, and on Friday nights, a DJ spins Indian pop music. Carrot halwa for dessert is creamy, buttery, spicy, and a steal. New Haven is lucky to have such an excellent Indian restaurant so close to the Yale campus—one that has raised the bar for all other Indian restaurants in the vicinity. For that, Thali Too deserves something approaching hero-worship.

Be the first to leave a comment…