in the mood for some indian and curious to try a new place, we recently visited gokul. it's 100% vegetarian, and we've read some really good things about them. gokul offers a vegan buffet every other monday and we knew we had to see it for ourselves, but we couldn't wait. so, we figured we'd take advantage of our impatience and review the regular vegetarian fare.
it's pretty no-frills, but they've brought some life into their small space with some bright paint and a few decorations here and there. the tables and chairs will time warp you back to a 1980s banquet hall where you may have attended a classmate's bar mitzvah, but really, they're not so bad. it's clean, and the tablecloths show you they're doing their best. very sparse, but comfortable enough.
as it's a buffet, and we knew we could feel secure about the dishes being safely meat-free, there was very little interaction with staff. just a quick, maybe somewhat confused greeting (i guess we don't look like the usual patrons?), some water refills, the payment. again, very sparse, but comfortable enough.
first, we want to apologize for not having any photos for this one. it didn't feel right to take photos here and, frankly, the food just didn't merit documentation. that being said, we're sure we'll go back and try the vegan buffet if only because we've never been to one at an indian restaurant and we really admire the commitment.
the buffet is situated along one of the side walls; half is set up with the small snacks, condiments, and chutneys galore, and the other half with the rice, naan, and main courses. they have what you're used to ordering at other indian restaurants: paneer tikka masala (usually one of our favorites), saag paneer, various daals, &c. as has been our experience with other buffets, we found the vegetables sorely lacking. pretty disappointing for a dedicated vegetarian restaurant--you would think this would be the one place that wouldn't skimp on the veg! we also questioned the freshness of the ingredients, which is a real drag. the masala rice had great taste but was unfortunately extraordinarily sticky and dense. even the sauces were nothing to get fired up about: the disproportionate amount of cream in some of them basically lobotomizes the spices, and the non-cream-based were just a little too oily. it was truly lackluster all around, and we're really sorry to say it because we really wanted to love this place.
again, we're not ready to write this one off. this could be a good option if you're in the area looking for indian on the go. other than that, there just isn't anything that would bring us back for this buffet. someday we'll try the vegan one, though we're not getting our hopes up. we understand a lot of people love this place and we really don't want to come down hard on them, but if we're honest in our evaluation, the food just isn't that good.