IUC Restaurant Review: MJ and Brad Pitt’s Cook Elisa Gross Reviews Bhojan NYC

Posted on June 17th, 2010 by HisHighness in IUC:Bits, IUC:Entertainment, IUC:Exclusive

bhojanFirst off, I cannot thank Norah Lawlor enough for setting up dinners for me at some of NYC’s finest restaurants last week. They do not make visionaries and great publicists like Norah anymore, don’t know if they ever did. For years, the p.r.’s name I heard echoed most frequently in NYC is Norah. It’s no wonder, every time she sends me somewhere the performance of the venue or the artist is nothing less than spectacular.
I’m glad to welcome to IUC the woman who Brad Pitt once credited for changing his life. Elisa Gross has appeared in two of my films and has cooked for the who’s who of Tinseltown, including Michael Jackson, Brad Pitt and Madonna. Please, lets all give her a warm IUC welcome.
Bhojan is a vegetarian restaurant located at 102 Lexington Ave, in the heart of Manhattan.
My first impression upon entering Bhojan was the cleanliness. This place was spotless, both in the décor and the counterfood presentation (mainly desserts).
The atmosphere was a modern, artistic serenity created by warm exposed brick walls, copper pots adorning the ceiling and a tasteful chandelier made of empty wine bottles. The clean lines of the tables gave it its modern feel, while the dim lighting added the coziness to accompany a delicious meal.
I started with a Rose Yogurt Lassi. What an unusual, yet exquisite flavor. It was so good, I ordered two!
The menu was quite extensive, covering both Northern and Western Indian fare (regions that are well known for their vegetarian culinary traditions).
The attentive, friendly and thorough staff presented me with several ‘Thele Wala Chaats’ (street cart snacks) and ‘Small Plates’ to tantalize my palate. The array of textures and flavors was impressive and if an item was simple in flavor but unique in texture, there was sure to be a selection of sweet and savory chutneys to intensify the taste of each bite.
Though everything was delicious, some notable dishes were the Sev Puri and the Samosa Chole Chaat.
Sev Puri is mini fried puffed bread bites stuffed with yogurt, tamarind and green chutney. These small bites were like an instant flavor burst.
The Samosa Chole Chaat is a chickpea dish in a light, yet incredibly flavorful sea of yogurt and chutnies.
If something less ‘saucy’ is your preference, I recommend the Paratha (flat bread stuffed with either potatoes and cauliflower, or paneer cheese and green chilis). Chutnies come on the side, of course.
Just when I thought I was full, out came the Thalis; A Punjabi Thali (Northern India) and a Gujarati Thali (Western India). Thali in Hindi is literally translated as “plate”. It is a selection of different dishes served in small round bowls on a round tray. The presentation was attractive, fresh, clean and well arranged, typical to this dish.
The small bowls included a dhal dish(beans), 2 vegetable dishes, a soup, a salad, a raita (spiced yogurt), and a dessert. In the center of the plate was rice, chapatis (flat bread) and papadums (crispy crackers).
My favorite dish on the Gujarati plate was the Black Grams (one of India’s most highly prized beans). On the Punjabi plate, the Bhindi (sauteed okra with spices) was the winner.
Both desserts were spiced with cardamom, which has always been one of my favorite Indian dessert flavors.
There was no shortage of creativity or choice, even for the non vegetarian and my meal overall was very satisfying.
Bhojan also has take out meals for lunch and dinner, sweets and snacks available by the pound and several other restaurants in NY city, NY state, Connecticut and Massachusetts (serving both Thai and Indian fare).
Visit fineindiandining.com or bhojanny.com

  1. Char (PSI Tutor:Mentor) said on June 17th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Sounds healthy, ambient and wholesome. Am jealous! I like that they have recycled bottles for the chandelier. Am assuming the place is pricey based on location and quality of the products. Did the staff know who you were, or were you in mystery shopper mode? ~:-)

  2. lurkeyloo said on June 17th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    WTF??? Now you are giving restaurant reviews??? Weak.

  3. Patty anne said on June 17th, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Welcome to IUC Mz Elisa Gross. In my travels (strictly recreational) my hubby and I look for new (for us) foods and/or manner of preparation. I know we humans devour way too much meat in our diets, but being a veggie and fruit lover, I’ve never had that problem. I remember reading articles about the foods The King (Elvis) ate, and I’d get an immediate tummy ache! Who could eat six friend banana and p.b. sandwiches at bedtime and not become ill?

    Being involved with celebrity, I’m sure you have pleanty of innocent stories to tell, and I’m sure we would all be delighted to read them. Not asking you to divulge secrets, rather little anecdotes if you will.

    Seems to be a lot going on in filmdom lately; anxiously awaiting Jen Aniston’s film in which she plays a kinky fem. Loved her in Derailed (so out of the box for her, but she owned it), and The Good Girl. I feel Jen is at her best when she stretches her talents a bit. I know it was just tab made -up story, but I seriously think she’d be a great Bond Girl. Quarky, sexy, and very gorgeous in a bikini….need I say more? lol Also saw some clips of Knight and Day that look very exciting. I can’t help but wonder if the producers who ended up with Angie Jolie in The Tourist in place of Tom Cruise don’t wish they’d waited.

  4. crouching tiger said on June 18th, 2010 at 9:20 am

    @Patty anne:
    I agree.
    The Good Girl is Jen’s best performance and her best film to date.
    And welcome Eliza Gross!

  5. Reality Check said on June 19th, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    @Patty anne:

    Patty Anne,

    I’ve seen “The Good Girl”, too – indeed, it was a very good movie but what made it stand out from the rest was that it was so different from any Hollywood movie I’ve seen in my life. Jennifer Aniston definitely is a very good actress and has the gift to pleasantly surprise the audiences whenever she ventures into the unknown. First there was “The Good Girl”, then – a personal opinion of mine – was “Derailed”.

    That said, I read somewhere that “Derailed” bombed at the box office and I don’t understand why – it is a very good movie; it kept me on the edge from beginning to end. Most of the people I know, who have seen it, say that they were very impressed by “Derailed” and had only good things to say about Aniston’s performance – and they are busy enough with their lives to be Aniston fans or anything.

    I have a theory about the reason and it may not sound good to many but as far as I’m concerned, the American audiences often cannot tell a good movie. God knows what they need – maybe “Lara Croft”? Or that total misunderstanding called “Wanted”? I don’t even understand how they got an actor like Morgan Freeman to ever sign up for anything like that – I would have been humiliated to have my name related in any way to that.

    Much as I don’t want to connect Jennifer Aniston’s name with that of a certain someone in the same sentence (at least once), I have also noticed that Aniston has a much wider emotional and acting scope than her. (Sorry, Angie fans – just the unpalatable truth! Grin and bear it.) If it weren’t for the Hollywood intrigues that have nothing to do with talent, she would have been acknowledged as one of the most interesting and potent actresses in Hollywood now.

    Indeed, I suspect that if it weren’t for how the personal lives of these three intertwined (the third is Pitt), nobody would have seen a reason for belittling Aniston’s acting skills. Jolie’s fans keep chanting that Aniston plays Rachel in every role but that’s mere spite intended to make them feel more comfortable while adoring Jolie. Jolie may have an Oscar but that says nothing – especially if the Academy left great actors like Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole without the award.

    I have the feeling that Aniston doesn’t get offers like “The Good Girl” and “Derailed” every year because certain people like the easy way out and cast her in romantic comedies because that means less thinking for them. She has a certain something, though, and that something remains unemployed in a commercial place like Hollywood. I really hope that she will get other good movies again because every time she does this, she usually surprises everybody by exceeding everybody’s expectations.



  6. lala said on June 19th, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    are you kidding me? Who gives a shit what you think about the food anywhere

  7. Patty anne said on June 19th, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    How true. Jennifer Aniston has given some really solid performances yet she doesn’t get the credit for them. Derailed was a real break-out role for an actor always considered a comic actress, but she owned that role. We watched it and I stopped by the music store in the mall to buy the DVD. It’s the sort of film you can watch a second time and still enjoy. The Good Girl – whew, what can I say. Jen took a big bite of that role, chewed it up, and spit it out as a winner.

    It does seem as if Jennifer Aniston is being held back in some weird way, via her ex-hubby and his publicity whore of a baby-momma. One can straight out say that Brangelina was formed by stomping all over the woman who was emotionally injured by an unfaithful hubby and his whore. If Angie had not come up with such ideas as creating the story that Brad’s wife didn’t want babies…well where would Brad and Angie be today? Nowhere special. Just two uninteresting slobs with little talent and way too much access to addictive products.

    I’ve read some articles in which those in the business have made small comments about Pitt over the years, and I’ve formed an idea of his true personality based on them. He has a dark side to his personality, but wants to be admired so badly that he doesn’t show it to the public. His history of drugs is a prime example. First in the beginning of his acting career, after he used and disposed of his mentor Thom Racine (rumors of a gay relationship there) it was whispered that Brad and Jen had a marijuna “habit”, then while giving an interview re: IB Brad drops the bomb that he and Quinton T. shared a brick of Hash in his home (six children live there too), also it was outed that he and Jolie have planted their own garden at Chateau Miravele of a special herb (marijuana). So, knowing he began with marijuana, moved up to Hash with AJ, and knowing AJ is a Heroin addict ( or worse by today) I’m guessing ole Bradley partakes with AJ which would explain his Homeless Bum appearance for such a long period.

    Jennifer Aniston is so much better off without his closet filled with nasty skelletons, and I have no doubt that she has moved on. I just wish people would judge her work by her performance rather than by her bad judgement in marrying The Dark Lord Pitt.@Reality Check:

  8. mooki said on June 20th, 2010 at 8:44 am

    looks like LMP is on the ESMB:

  9. Jalyn said on June 22nd, 2010 at 10:33 am

    This site has become the PITTS, literally!

    At one time I couldn’t wait to see what Ian had to
    say each day. Now, it’s junk, yes JUNK, each time
    I come here, which is only about once a week now but
    will be going to not at all from now on, it’s either
    been a week or so since you posted something or when
    when you do post something it’s pretty much
    purely JUNK.

    How about some updates on all those “developing”
    juicy stories. You know all the ones about Brangie
    that you put up when your book was coming out
    so people would buy it? Yeah, where are all those

    Do you really think we care about
    this vegetarian restaurant? do you really think people
    come to a gossip site to read restaurant reviews?

    I mean really, how many of us from middle america will ever go there?

    No matter what is posted, the comments are about
    Brangie. So you drop Pitt’s name for hitts.

    Not from me anymore, it’s callled “deleted from

    Your site is so out of date it’s a joke. twitter/preview
    shows from 2009. Puhlease…..

    I can get more current info on Yahoo!

    Geez, Ian, it used to be we could count on you
    for some good entertaining stories to discuss,
    now you’re doing restaurant reviews?

    Over time it’s become very obvious you truly
    know NOTHING about any of these celebrities,
    or their lives, you take some little itsy bitsy
    nugget and attempt (poorly) i may add to make
    a story out of it.

  10. Reality Check said on June 22nd, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I thoroughly agree.

    The problem is that Ian doesn’t seem to care at all about the disappointment of his ex-fans. Time was when he came across as a truth warrior, but the way he neglected and turned his back on his own fan base after the book came out makes me think else.

    I look forward to reading Andrew Morton’s book on A. J. He is a very good writer and he doesn’t treat his audience the way Ian did. Also, he doesn’t surround himself with fans the way Ian did when he needed someone to write positive reviews about his book on Amazon – I’m sure he’ll count on his name only.

    Though I should say that Kate’s review of Ian’s “Brangelina” is still one of my favourite reads on the subject.

  11. Boot Goot said on June 25th, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Gosh, you guys, first you criticize Ian for reporting stuff he kyped from Perez, then you complain that his entries are fabricated, and that his so-called “sources” are non-existent. AND IT IS ALL TRUE!!! But here’s the problem: when he stops stealing stories, telling flat-out lies, and quoting fantoms, HE HAS NOTHING LEFT TO WRITE!!! Why don’t you just ignore him altogether, and continue communicating with each other, as you are an established group and enjoy sharing among yourselves? He’s not around much, anyway.

  12. Kate said on July 1st, 2010 at 9:47 am

    @Patty anne:
    I agree.
    The Good Girl is Jen’s best performance and her best film to date.
    And welcome Eliza Gross!

  13. veterinary technician said on July 2nd, 2010 at 11:48 pm

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  14. Emanuele said on July 10th, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Hi, I suggest this link
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