When H and I go out for dinner for "Date Nights," we try to find places that don't entail too much driving. In-town SLC has a wealth of good restaurants but since I've just driven home from downtown we're not inclined to jump back in the car and schlep all the way back north. The challenge is finding non-chain restaurants close by which is why we often go back to the same places again and again: Fratelli, Taste of Punjab, the Porcupine, Lone Star Taqueria, the Cottonbottom. We just found another one, thanks to the April 2011 dining guide issue of Salt Lake magazine: Royal India in Sandy.
Located in a strip mall, Royal India is not much to look at from the outside. But inside it is bright and colorful and very busy (much busier than Taste of Punjab, actually). Service was great: the food came quickly and every server in the place stopped by at one time or another, delivering food or clearing plates or refilling waters, and an older gentleman whom I believe is the owner paused to ask us how our meal was.
Our meal was very good. I had the lamb coconut kurma and H went with chicken vindaloo, and we had an appetizer of chicken pakora (basically chicken fingers, but the best I've ever had, with nummy dippin sauces) and a couple of orders of naan (garlic and onion). The dinners came with jasmine rice and we each had an Evolution Amber (bottled). H ordered his vindaloo "hot" and it came with plenty of heat, making him sweat; I'd ordered mine "medium" and it could have been spicier - I would have called what I got mild. Some of hte lamb in my kurma was a little gamey, which is fine by me but some other folks might not like it.
The bill was higher than when we've gone to Taste of Punjab, but cut out the appetizer and one of the naans and it would sync right up. We'll absolutely go back to Royal India and are awful glad we tried it out. Yay for Date Night discoveries!