I would guess that more than half of the average person’s enjoyment of food is subjective. There are clearly objective thresholds that must be met (and those differ from person to person) in order for a meal to be enjoyable. I would argue though that what sets the exemplary meal apart from the good, for most people has to do with atmosphere, service, and other intangibles.
Gaylord’s nailed the subjectives. Perhaps they didn’t need to even try. So completely overwhelmed, tired, hungry, and hopeful were we, perhaps any place would have brought a contented smile to our faces. I ordered off menu (paneer tikka masala) and my dad ordered the lamb roganjosh. The staff were omnipresent but somehow not imposing. When the food arrived it exceeded all of my expectations and all of my prior experiences. At this moment (it was my last substantial meal) I would believe that it was the best Indian food in the world.