So far, moving into the Los Feliz area has definitely paid off. There are great bars in the area, the people are friendly, and I didnt know how much more centralized I am than living in Burbank than when I found out that Naya Sunset is just a mile or so down the street. So I finally got my butt in gear and got out to go try it.
When you first walk up, you notice the bright red building with copper colored doors stand out from the rest of the cityscape in Silverlake.
As you get closer, you not only can hear the music from the inside, but a person playing bongos to the beat to entice people to approach. As I walked in, I was greeted by a short and spunky midwestern bartender in a pork pie hat, inviting me to sit at the lavish bar area backed in mirror with a tile facade. As I strolled up to the bar to sit and examine the happy hour list, the bartender went through the happy hour beer selection. Now, for being in an obviously Indian themed restaurant, I thought there would be some interesting beers, but the choices that were in front of me were anything but, Budweiser, Bud Light, etc. The last beer on the list, called Little Buddah, sparked my interest, but was not a happy hour beer. So I the caution to the wind and had to try it. Its a very crisp, light beer, hardly any taste to it. I was actually happy to have it because it didn’t overpower any of the flavors that I was excited to try.
From the happy hour menu, I decided to try the Naanza Pizza, a neopolitan-esque type pizza, cooked at high heat to provide a crunch with every bite. This personal pizza starts with a base of marsala sauce topped with mozzarella and jack cheeses, and then you get to pick three out of the six toppings available on the menu, of which I chose chicken, peppers, and goat cheese. Biting into this small pie was a nice savory treat, but I was a little disappointed that the sauce and cheese overpowered my toppings to the point where I didn’t know they were there. That aside, I still think this is a great way to start a meal, and even better to share with someone.
For a main course I was presented with a tower of white rice speckled with dill and basil and large chunks of lamb in a brown demi-glaze slightly spiked with curry called Everest Lamb. When it comes to this dish, Naya knows what they are doing. The lamb was tender enough to cut with a spoon, but seemingly over-sauced. But that was not the case as I assumed. Take your spoon, break apart the rice tower, and you have a lamb transport vehicle that blends well with the sauce and cuts the curry heat. This dish hit the heat sweet spot: there was a slight heat, enough to make me sweat, but not so much where my mouth was on fire.
Well, in order to quench the fire, I opted for dessert, and something that looked delicious and intriguing was the Chocomossa. One thing I did notice about this place, from the look of the restaurant, to the lounge, and even the copper sinks and bronze fixtures, was that they were about presentation. And the Chocomossa didn’t disappoint. I was presented a scoop of vanilla ice cream, flanked by two crispy puff pastries on a decorated dish. This was very pleasing to my eyes, but as I dove into one of the pastries, I was flooded with a chocolate overload. This is easily the Indian version of Death by Chocolate. Chocolate filled all my senses to the point where I forgot that there was ice cream on the plate. When I came down from the chocolate high from the first pastry, I managed to marry ice cream to chocolate and went back into my high. Now I know why it was called “Famous”.
I was very pleased with Naya Sunset. The food was great, although I would probably add another pastry to the Chocomossa :). I ordered from the full and happy hour menus. Food and two beers came out to just under $40, which seems to be a common price point for a lot of restaurants that I have visited.