Best Indian Restaurant Denver 2001 - India's Rang Mahal
Readers' Choice: Little India
Don't hold this inviting eatery's location against it -- once you're inside the patchouli-scented space that is India's Rang Mahal, you'll forget all about the strip mall outside. Rang Mahal, which means "color palace," lives up to its name: The restaurant is full of sensual delights, from the perfumey smells of incense to the rich fabrics that decorate the space to the food itself. One bite buys you passage to India, where spices are used to take ordinary meats and vegetables to a higher plane. Chef Vinod Malhopra likes to play with flavors to see what he can coax out of them; sometimes he pan-fries fennel seeds to bring out the taste at their center, and sometimes he roasts them to bring oils to the forefront. The vegetarian dishes are out of this world, and the lamb dishes are also sublime -- particularly the rogan josh, a North Indian specialty that puts the meat in an almond-based sauce.