A couple years ago I wrote about my favorite sushi place in Southern California -- Sushi Wasabi. I still go there everytime I come to Irvine, and even though I'm only in town once a month or so, they recognize me there.
But I have a new restaurant to visit when I don't feel like eel -- Saagar Fine Indian Cuisine.
It's just a few blocks from the John Wayne Airport (SNA) and is easily within walking distance of the SNA Hilton.
When I was there Monday night, the place was fairly empty. There was one other table of customers. But their party room was filled with the beat of exotic music and people in brightly colored outfits.
The food was excellent. I had the Paneer Pakora (basically Indian cheese sticks), Lamb Saag (lamb cooked in creamed spinach), and Garlic Nan (a roasted flatbread). The Paneer Pakora was very good. It was a nice way to start the meal, but wasn't overwhelming.
The Lamb Saag and Garlic Nan were fantastic, though. The flavors were rich and complex. The spices had some heat but weren't smacking me in the face with fire.
The service was quick, but I felt it was too attentive. Dinner was served in serving dishes and I really didn't need the servers to come over to my table everytime I almost emptied my plate so they could scoop more rice and lamb on to it. I can handle that myself. Despite that concern, the staff was pleasant.
I will be going back here again on some future trip.
If you are craving Indian food, check it out. Or if you just want something other than generic hotel food in SNA area, give Saagar a try.
I just went back on 2008-04-21, and this time I brought a group of people. It was still awesome.