My family and I were driving from the San Jose area to Arizona and saw some large signs on the side of Hwy 58 on the way to Bakersfield for some veg and non-veg Indian food. Buttonwillow is a tiny town about an hour west of Bakersfield and 2 hours north of LA, so it's in the middle of nowhere. My first impression of the place was the rundown state of the building. We were nervous that the general area was unsafe.
Once we stepped into the restaurant, we were the first ones there so we were greeted by a very friendly proprietor. The restaurant takes an odd format where you go up to the counter to order/pay but it's otherwise a formal restaurant. I found it a bit odd to have to pay for the food before you even see it. Now I know why (after it's too late) - the portions are ridiculously small and way overpriced. $11 for a medium sized bowl of dal, chana, chicken, etc AND the rice/naan is $4 extra. The appetizers are small portions, ie $4 for just two pakora. I was shocked given that I paid $45 to (barely) feed two people. On top of that, their drinks (soda, beer) were priced double that of what you'd expect, ie a bottle of Diet Coke was $2.50 . Granted, the food was delicious so I'm more a bit frustrated at the "inexpensive" status on Happy Cow. If it's his prerogative to cater to the upscale classy market while serving in a dilapidated building in the middle of nowhere, that's his right as a business person, but overall it would have been nice to know how little and expensive the food was going to be otherwise we would have just waited until Bakersfield. What I don't understand is the tiny portion sizing. For those desperate for vegetarian/vegan or indian food, it may be your only choice within an hour, so you may not mind it so much. But it ruins repeat business as far as I'm concerned! It doesn't cost that much more money to add more food (bulk rice and beans and spices are CHEAP), and they'd get better word of mouth that way, more business, etc.
Cons: Small portions, Too expensive