TravelNoise: Roasted Masala, New York City
When you’re in the mood for Indian, you might consider hitting up Murray Hill or Hell’s Kitchen, where you can find rows of restaurants, all with their own aromatic pull. But if you find yourself on the upper west side, you’ve got to high-tail it to Roasted Masala, where all your cravings will be swiftly and expertly handled.
Sitting proudly on breezy, chatty Columbus Avenue, the inside of Roasted Masala boasts an equally bright and soft yellow-gold sheen, with crown molding and chandeliers hanging from the tall ceilings. A few tropical plants added pops of color and earthiness to the classic vibe of the restaurant, and brocade wallpaper hugged the entire room.
Our host greeted us and almost immediately pointed to the salted lassi ($5), which is a classic drink that they claim to have mastered. Naturally, we had to try it, and it was everything a salted lassi should be: tart, salty, refreshing, and more of a juice consistency. It was the perfect palate cleanser and mini appetizer before digging into all the dishes.
The menu boasts all the classic favorites and offers more traditional, homestyle Indian food, which was certainly okay by my guest and I. We had to start with the samosa chaat ($7.95), packed with red onion, tomatoes, and chickpeas and accompanied by yogurt and sauces, the lasooni gobi ($7.95), cauliflower in a tomato and garlic sauce, and the boti kebab ($10.95), marinated grilled lamb cubes. The chaat was a total flavor parade, showcasing a sharp cut from the onions, creamy yogurt, and deep-seated spices that warm you to your core, while the lasooni gobi reminded us slightly of a General Tso’s dish, offering slow heat and crisp, fried cauliflower. The kebab was fragrant, charred and juicy.
As with most Indian fare, we would’ve been more than satisfied with the appetizers, but we couldn’t leave without trying some signature dishes like the chicken xacuti ($14.95) with roasted spices puréed with coconut, the yellow daal ($11.95), split yellow lentils cooked in herbs, and the aloo masala roll ($7.95), with potato and roasted masala. The chicken had a deep, slow-heat flavor with a gravy-based sauce and an earthiness from the toasted spices while the daal was the perfect equalizer of dishes, and the masala roll was super comforting and filling.
We couldn’t even look at the dessert menu by the end of the meal—we had done our best with the myriad of dishes and large portions we feasted on. If you’re big on flavor, you won’t be disappointed with Roasted Masala. Pop in and warm right up to their soul-soothing traditional fare, and consider it your upper west side new go-to.
Address: 914 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10025
Phone: (917) 388-3586
Website: Roasted Masala