Star of India

By | January 5, 2007

Star of India
412 S Craig Street
Oakland, 15213
M-Th:11:30-10; F&Sat:11:30-10:30; Sun:Noon-8:30

Act Two in the Indian Food-A-Thon takes place at Star of India in Oakland. To be fair, we intended to have Total Indian Culture Night by hitting Taj Mahal in the North Hills and then a Bollywood flick at the cinemaplexithon down the street, but it was, like, the one snowy day we had in December and the traffic was far too terrible. So, instead we went down the street to Star of India, which I remember frequenting as a freshman because it was the closest Indian restaurant to Carnegie Mellon. I haven’t really gone there since then, and what I remembered of it was that is was overpriced and not so great. Well, now that we’ve gone back for the official survey, 6 other reviewers agreed. It isn’t the foulest Indian we’ve ever had, but it certainly isn’t worth the shiny penny you pay for it.

For one thing, they had run out of ALL BREAD! WHAT?!?! Reviewers definitely did not like that. One Scott P. candidly said, “Indian without Nan… is non-Indian”. Simply stated truth. It is hard to give an Indian restaurant a good review without the crucial aspect of Nan. Honestly, it is a barometer for all things good! That being said, I don’t think that even the world’s most amazing Nan would have pushed this place over the edge. It simply wasn’t up to snuff regardless.

The samosa filling was more like what you would expect than the peanut-carrot concoction of last week’s restaurant (Bombay Grill), but it still was bland and the crust was far too doughy. The condiments were the highest reviewed items here by far, and I must say that the tamarind sauce and mango chutney were particularly delightful, but you can’t just eat condiments (well…. I can…. but I am a little insane that way, and also I believe that one could find equally good versions of both elsewhere, even at the store in a jar). In general, the main dishes were notably lacking. The most common word written in the comments this week was ‘bland’. Interestingly, the word ‘spicy’ was there too, but it was the kind of spicy that just comes from heat and not from a mind-blowing combination of amazing herbs that work together to form something new and wonderful. Nope, nothing new and wonderful here. At all.

Also, they ran out of beer.

Of course, it was good of them to have beer in the first place, where a lot of Indian restaurants in the area are BYOB. There was no video sleeze whatsoever, as this place tries to give off the air of expensiveness with its white tablecloths and regular silverware and glass water goblets. But this is a perfect example of how atmosphere bears no weight on the quality of the food. It was unremarkable, and on top of that – expensive! (~20/person with 1 beer each) And they also seemed to have a bevy of young teenage boys delivering food and water, which seemed out of character. They weren’t even CMU students working for an extra dime, but more like kidlets from the Catholic high school down the street. Overall, these things added up to a relatively low summarized rating of 3.1, which is the lowest yet. Keep in mind that we are still in the ‘calibration period’ and I suspect that when we come back to this restaurant (after we complete all 20) that the rating might be even lower! CMU students – beware! Either stick close to campus at Sree’s (untraditional), or even TOI (terrible but cheap), OR take a hike to Oakland for one of the many better-than-Star-of-India alternatives there. Just don’t let the crisp linens fool you!


Main dishes! The meat ones were slightly better than the veggie.

This week’s status update: Check the graphs for both the CORE 5 and the ALL score!

Week 2 - Core 5 - Indian Food-A-Thon

Week 2 - All - Indian Food-A-Thon