For nearly 30 years, loyal followers couldn't get enough of the curry, naan, and korma at Boulder's Royal Peacock
. When the doors closed in 2010, a new player, India's Clay Oven
, arrived on the scene to pick up where the Royal Peacock left off.
Or so it seemed. While the dining room feels fresher with a new coat of deep purple paint and the bar is blessedly devoid of the Peacock's infamous cloud of incense, Clay Oven (this is the restaurant's third location) hasn't quite mastered the menu. The cuisine is expansive, but I find myself missing the carefully layered spices that characterized the Peacock's food. A blander dal soup has replaced Royal Peacock's richly flavored version; gone, too, are nuances that distinguish one curry dish from another.
I suspect that as Clay Oven eases into its new location, the kitchen will work out the kinks. In the meantime, stick to house favorites, such as the chicken tikka masala, saag paneer, and flavorful lamb biryani.
5290 Arapahoe Road, #B, Boulder, 303-444-1626;
9447 Park Meadows Drive, Lone Tree, 303-768-8188;
9126 W. Bowles Ave., Unit 301 B, Littleton, 303-933-2829