Note: This branch of Favorite India is now closed. See a for a review of their Mission branch
Favorite India, in Hayward, has become our favorite Indian restaurant. The food is the best Indian food we've been able to find in the area (from downtown Oakland down to Union City). It's moderately priced and, best of all, they deliver!
Our last visit was last Sunday night (September 2003), though we order out from there at least once or twice a month. The physical restaurant is very small and modest, the plain room decorated with some gaudy Indian hangings and offering as little atmosphere as possible. On that Sunday night only one other party was actually eating at the restaurant, though several came to get take-out.
Service is fine, as would befit such a small space and clientele, water was refilled frequently and courses came at a good pace.
The menu is pretty standard Northern Indian, featuring most but not all of the standard dishes (e.g. they don't have my favorite, lamb pasanda) cooked in the standard way for Indian restaurants in America (i.e. not as oily as in India). Dishes are very reasonably priced (most dishes seem to average $8) and you can specify how spicy you want them. We usually order chicken pakora as an appetizer, which we like quite well. The large pieces are tender and crispy, and we enjoy the accompanying sauces. This time, however, we decided on the meat samosas ($4 for 3). They were a little bit over-cooked, the pastry was a bit too dark, but they were quite good, nicely spiced and not at all greasy.
We ordered our usual lamb korma and chicken tikka masala (both $8). Both sauces were very good, flavorful without being too spicy (we ordered them medium, you can also ask for mild or hot). The chicken wasn't very smoky (it seldom is), but we still enjoyed it. Their curries are not always as successful, sometimes one is too salty or too mild, but this time both were great. While we didn't order it this time, in the past we have also enjoyed their tandoori mixed grill. All main dishes come with a side of rice, which might be basmati, as promised in the menu, but it seems to be steamed. It's sticky and flavorless and brings down the whole experience of the meal just a notch.
I had a couple of sweet lassis which were good and we shared a keema naan, which had the same filling as the samosas. In general, their naans are not very successful, lacking in flavor (in that they remind me of the naans I've had in India).
All in all a good meal and of course, and a bargain at $27. We'll continue going there and ordering out.
Favorite India Restaurant
1235 A St