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“Small portions, BIG prices.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Diva Indian Bistro

Diva Indian Bistro
246 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144-2941
617-629-4963
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Ranked #95 of 258 Restaurants in Somerville
Price range: $0 - $30
Cuisines: Indian
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Small portions, BIG prices.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

This is a very expensive restaurant, so when we discovered a groupon that allowed us to dine here, we couldn't resist.
The atmosphere is nice, and we were seated right away.
The kids loved their mango lassies, which I believe were in the 3.50 range, no refills!!
We ordered appetizers, feeling very extravagant because of our discount, the portions were incredibly tiny and we had to divide the samosas for everybody to have a taste.
Needless to say, the food was delicious, particularly the entrees.
We ordered a shrimp dish, a beef dish and two tikka-masalas, but the portions were so small, we couldn't believe it! We would have been so satisfied had we been given normal priced, normal sized dishes!
After we left Diva, we found our stomachs grumbling once more, even though we had eaten every bite!
We were surprised to see that the servers tip had been included in the bill, we prefer to choose how we spend our money, but I suppose that it is their loss, because we had planned on giving our server a larger tip!!!
We would not recommend this restaurant, where all you receive seems to be zero bang for your buck!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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68 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
CO
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
“Needs Rethinking”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

Recently went here with a groupon purchase - already not a good sign when an established restaurant puts up a groupon. Should have been a sign, but I had never been here and my partner remembered enjoying it, thus we went. Not a very good idea on our behalf.

Firstly, the place is rather large, and too dark (couldn't take pictures, which I usually do). One of the pictures on this TripAdvisor page is definitely NOT of this restaurant (the picture of the large bar with the bubble ceilings - this is another place). But the place is about this big. It doesn't know if it wants to be a bar or a restaurant, and their check folders say "Diva Lounge" ... strange name for an Indian restaurant, no?

Secondly, the menu is confused. Perhaps when Indian food was newer to Americans, people went gaga over the made-up chicken tikka masala. But I think people today look for more specialized Indian cuisine, whereas Diva still has "Americanized" creations. Advice - specialize your menu and make a better use of your tandoor.

Thirdly, the food. Oh, the food. We were served a tomato soup as a "free gift" at the beginning, which was good. The pakora were not pakora. The batter was too thick, and was missing essential spices (perhaps kalonji is not necessary for pakora, but it makes it SO much better!). The dahi bhala were too cold. I know it's supposed to be a cold appetizer, but this could have sat outside of the fridge longer. The tandoori rack of lamb was A HALF RACK (at $23.50, never again). Was shocked at how little lamb came out. Furthermore, it was a bit tough! Tandoor preparations are usually very tender. Not sure what happened here. Furthermore, we didn't receive a mango chutney with the lamb, but just another serving of that free soup we got in the beginning. The baingan bhartha was delicious, and very spicy (as we requested). However, it didn't taste any better or any worse than what I make at home. The paratha and naan were excellent - tandoori preparation really is the best. The raita was also good, and I've been to restaurants with bad raita. The lassi was also well done - I requested a regular lassi which was not too sweet (great) and my partner's salt lassi had black stuff in it, but was well-prepared. A bit too salty for me (but they usually are everywhere - I have a salt sensitivity). We did not risk a dessert. The total came to about $60, which is abysmal for the quality here. Our groupon covered $25, so we ended up paying about $45 total, including tip, which is still more than the worth of what we ordered.

The experience wasn't horrific, but it was disappointing, hence the "poor" score. We will not go back unless this establishment is visited by Gordon Ramsey and televised.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newton, Massachusetts
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Worst experience in my dining history”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

After setting up a Valentine's Day reservation for 8 PM, I was very excited to continue on with my day after work and enjoy a nice Indian dinner with my significant other.

Unfortunately, the experience from the first minute we got in there (they sat us next to a window that let's a strong, cold breeze into the restaurant), which continued throughout the time. I was hoping that they would redeem themselves with the food they provided.

So we first ordered a few appetizers and then went on to the main courses. Not only was all the food cold, but they didn't serve us all the food included in the entree and what's worse is that our waiter was very rude and didn't not care at all that we complained about the low temperature of the food. Not that I know for sure, but it seemed like friends and family of the restaurant were getting hotter, better quality and a higher quantity of food. What's worse is that we were not treated as customers but if anything as an inconveniences for choosing their place to eat.

The couple sitting a table over from us left within 10 minutes because they kept questioning if their appetizers had all the ingredients advertised and over and over they would ask the chef--who would confirm but was clearly lying. It was a disappointment that anyone would come here to eat and be treated like this, much-less on their special day. Being less of the optimist than my better half, I politely pointed out that there were some issues with our food, including the chicken having no tender parts and my girlfriend and I ordering mild and medium spices respectively but the food tasted like something you would give your new born baby (no spice at all).

So once we proceeded to ask for the check (almost immediately after getting our entree), our waiter went over and got the check for us, did not thank us for dining or anything of that sort, and just left the table (assuming we would be leaving shortly after--which we were). Everyone else, who seemed like family or friends seemed like they were aware of this shortage of hospitality yet they were being treated like kings and queens in my opinion.

I've been to many Indian Restaurants and would consider my knowledge of the culture and food to be average to many others in Boston. However, this was not Indian food--it was the fast food version of what you would serve to someone who has no money and can't afford to pay for a nice meal. Not worth the $50-$70 you will pay for a disappointing evening and meal.

I highly recommend against Diva and the main reason is service, lack of integrity, and overall rudeness with their customers.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashua, New Hampshire
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“fabulous food, fabulous atmosphere!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

Went there on a Saturday night and seated quickly! Beautifully decorated and clean! Menu has lots to choose from, and everything seemed reasonably priced! The lentil soup and lychee bliss martini were delicious! Can't complain about a single thing! Portions were large, and we saved room for dessert simply bc we peeked early and "had to"! Good move on our behalf! Strongly recommend the mango ice cream and rice pudding! Yum!!! Will definitely be back!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
184 reviews 184 reviews
131 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
“An authentic, reasonably priced restaurant in Somerville.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

Diva Indian Bistro is an attractive restaurant in the center of bustling Davis Square. We arrived for an early (6:00pm) Saturday evening dinner. We were greeted immediately and seated in a comfortable booth with pillows, which was a nice touch. The menu is extensive and contains items from regions of India. We shared a tandoori chicken caesar appetizer; for entrees we ordered tandoori duck masala and lychee chicken. The appetizer was so large that we were glad that we only ordered one to share. Both the tandoori duck and the lychee chicken were excellent, although both of us preferred the wonderfully balanced flavor of the lychee chicken. The service was fine, although not overly friendly. The extensive menu has items for every taste. The prices were very reasonable. By the time we left at 7:30, the restaurant was packed and the vibrant atmosphere indicated a happy group of diners. Highly recommended.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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