Update 1/26/14: Mirch Masala is closed.
In a word: Don't know Mirch, but I know Masala.
The specs: #0773
Address, hours & details via Isthmus;
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Alyssa, JM, and Nichole ate at the lunch buffet.
The bill was $11/person, plus tip.
JM gave Mirch Masala a B-; Nichole gave Mirch Masala a B (see our grading rubric).
Mirch Masala opened where Flavor of India was, next to Coopers on the square, under the direction of staff from Chautara and Taste of India. Alyssa summed it up with, "it's good if you don't like spicy, but still like Indian."
The buffet offered about two dozen hot items in steamer trays, plus two kinds of naan, daal, and the standard relishes. Two standouts were the strawberry frozen yogurt dessert, and the "Manchurian chicken" - morsels of light meat, very lightly battered and seared, beautifully arranged with sliced onions and hot peppers and kept warm on a huge, round platter over a flame.
We tackled five big plates and several smaller ones between us. Appearing in this meal were fish pakora, samosas, onion bhaji, tikka masala (mushroom and chicken), tandoori meats, tofu and vegetables, dosa, naan (plain or aloo with potato), rice (plain or with caraway and peas), gulab jamun ("milk balls," which tasted like "pancakes with too much syrup") and halwa (very good: warm, with lots of butter, and spicy as gingerbread). Some things were not very warm, and some items were overfished vats of sauce, but the flavors of each dish were varied and good.
Water was attentively refilled, sans ice. We noticed that soft drinks were served fast but chai took some time - and was worth waiting for on a cold day.
Beyond that, we got nothing special; it's a good Indian buffet. The correlation betwixt that and their also standard nightly menu is unknown to us.