A Very Good Idea: Go Have Happy Hour on the Lila Patio

Behind the buzzy new vegetarian Indian spot on Main Street, you'll find a lush garden (and a decent happy hour menu to go with it).

My first thought when stepping into Lila yesterday was, “I love it.” My second thought was, “Duh.” Because how could I not be All In? It’s hard to be skeptical about anything when you’re sitting on a sun-dappled secret back patio. It’s also hard not to be rooting for anything that Shira Blustein (Acorn) and Meeru Dhalwala (Vij’s) does, so their new Indian-vegetarian collab in the former Arbor space is already poised for me to love it. Bias, acknowledged. 

But here’s something I wasn’t necessarily expecting when I snagged a 5:45 p.m. reservation (party animal alert): to catch a very nice happy hour.  

hands holding a beer and a cocktail, cheersing
Cheers to a sub-$6 beer.

It’s a small but mighty menu, but if you slide in between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., you could be tucking into a fresh kale-and-paneer filled samosa with a perfectly dense-yet-flaky crust for just $10—pour the coconut curry over top for maximum impact. Sure, that’s far pricier than the $2 corner store samosas of my Surrey youth, but it’s also five-times more delicious, and hearty enough to split with your drinking companion. If you’re still feeling peckish, though, order up the crispy, golden potato and cauliflower pakoras, served with fresh mango and mint chutney ($11). Drink options are equally compelling: a hearty pour of the summery Slowhand Light Ale is just $5.75, or snag A Pretty Hard Lemonade—lemon, simple syrup, hibiscus syrup and vodka—for a cool $10. (A small range of wines by the glass are available for a tenner each, too.)  

a plate of pakoras and chutney
Crispy pakoras, perfectly lit by the 5:45 p.m. sun.

My dinner date and I lingered past happy hour’s parameters, of course (see: sun-dappled patio) and found the full menu to be delightful, too: there were the spicy Pacific prawns in coconut-ginger curry ($19), and a halloumi-and-peas dish—with Bechamel curry!—that was a chic revival of classic matar paneer ($24). 

cheese in a curry sauce
The halloumi isn’t on the happy hour menu, but it’s still worth shouting out.

But whether you’re pre-gaming for dinner or just popping in for a snack and a drink, that lush garden patio pairs and the tight happy hour menu is a perfect pairing—a pairing as lovely as Blustein and Dhalwala, really.

exterior of lila
The front patio seems nice, too.

Lila, now open
3941 Main Street