But I digress. I've been living in the Annex for a couple of years now, and despite the recommendations, have only just gotten around to trying it.
It was ... okay.
That's it. Not great. Not amazing. Not bad. Just okay. Maybe the problem is the hype. I expected a lot and was a little let down as a result.
It's a traditional Indian/Pakistani hybrid joint. Decent, slightly poshier atmosphere (though some of the tables are a little too close for comfort - you can't help but eavesdrop on your neighbours). Good naan. Free poppadom before the meal. Small, yummy curries. (Too small, actually. That was a problem. We had to order a fair bit to fill up, which bumped the bill into uncomfortable territory.) And decent service.
My dining companion wasn't into the spice, so we ordered only mild dishes. That was a little boring, frankly. (Gimme chillies or give me death, I say.) But all in all, the experience was decent.
I don't, however, understand why everyone raves about this place. Having grown up on Indian food and traveled to India many times I feel like I can fairly say that this was nothing special. It's fine, but go in knowing it's not going to blow you away and you'll leave a lot happier.
Nataraj Indian Cuisine
394 Bloor Street W
Toronto, ON M5S 1X4
*Photo by Sat Singh from Stock Xchng.
UPDATE 2011: Nataraj is closed and as of now, there's no good Indian in the immediate area. Lots of sushi though.