Similar to the downtown region it's in, it's hit-and-miss at Mahan -- though, if you're in the area, I'd feel comfortable recommending it for the occasional Indian dinner.
7 out of 10 Peppers = Spicy
The Details: Nick and his brother Bobby have regular dinners together every Sunday. Sometimes when I'm in Pasadena for the day I'm invited along. I imagine it's quite the change of pace for them -- instead of talking about sports and current events, they get to hear me babble on about food and whatever else I babble on about (sometimes I'm not even sure). On the plus side, whereas Nick and Bobby are both creatures of habit and eat at the same five or so restaurants every week, I occasionally inspire them to venture out. Both seem to get a kick out of helping me with my Indian restaurant reviews, so this particular Sunday it was Bobby who suggested we go to neighboring Alhambra to check out Mahan Indian Restaurant.
Mahan is located in downtown Alhambra, which feels like a half-empty Old Town Pasadena. Whereas Old Town Pasadena is a bustling retail district, downtown Alhambra has some really nice blocks of retail and restaurants but then has a mostly-abandoned mall and many empty storefronts. It was a weird juxtaposition. Of course, Old Town Pasadena has experienced periods of decline too, so I'd be interested to see how downtown Alhambra fares in the next several years and wonder if it'll be able to stage a comeback.
Inside Mahan, Indian music was playing, large framed Indian wall hangings were on the wall as focal points, and nice chandeliers (that didn't weren't Indian-themed though) hung from the ceiling.
Chai Spiced Pumpkin Pie. Unfortunately, this pumpkin curry was an ingenious idea that was poorly executed. It didn't even taste like pumpkin. It tasted like potatoes, which it had way too many of. The only tip off that it even contained pumpkin was the orange-tinge. This experience made me decide that I'm going to come up with my own pumpkin curry recipe (stay tuned).
What's your favorite non-traditional curry?