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Good Dosa and Chaat in SF Bay?


AuntieNellieKulolo
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OK, I have been living in NYC for the last 4.5 years and have developed an addiction to South Indian vegetarian food, specifically dosa and samosa chaat. If I don't head into Flushing(Dosa Hutt or Punjabi Kitchen) or Jackson Heights(Maharaja) at least twice a month for my fix I start getting antsy. However I am thinking of moving to the SF Bay area(probably the Peninsula) next year and am wondering of any decent, cheap S. Indian places. I will be visiting family in San Mateo for the holidays in December and would like to check out any recommendations.

:smile:

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Vics Chaat House in Berkeley is the most famous place. Very good from the few times I've been there. It started in an empty space next to a small Indian grocer. Soon, the Chaat House became the draw. People here will give you the info.

Other than that, I didn't find much by way of Indian food in SF proper. Most of the popular places are "Americanized" versions that probably wont offer or live up to what you're looking for. Some are quite good though, but not authentic or chaat. If you want to experiment, there are places in the Tenderloin, such as Shalimar (?). There's a small chaat house on Valencia at 16th, and although I lived a two blocks away, I never ate there. (No reason, just never got around to it.) The popular place in the Mission is the Indo-Pak Curry house on 16th. Basically, it has piles of cooked meat and vats of different "sauces". But to be honest, the "sauces" are all pretty much the same. It is cheap though. Otherwise, SF proper really doesn't have an Indian neighborhood.

Down on the Peninsula (and yes, the Peninsula is not peninsula, but don't tell them that), there's supposedly a larger Indian/Pakisatni/Afghan/etc. community with a much better selection of non-standard fare.

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My favorite in the South Bay area: Dasaprakash in Santa Clara, for Dosa, and, Chaat Paradise in Mountain View for Chaat.

Other fairly decent places for Dosa:

* Saravana Bhavan in Sunnyvale

* Udupi Palace, several branches (Sunnyvale, Fremont, Pleasanton)

Other, for Chaat:

* Vik's Chaat, in Berkeley, as mentioned by Stone. On weekends they also serve dosa (However, the main reason to go to this place is for the chaat, not for the dosa).

San Fransisco proper has some good north-indian restaurants serving Tandoorri chicken, but no decent South Indian restaurants or no decent Chaat place.

See this thread for a recent discussion on South Indian restaurants in different places, including the San Francisco Bay Area: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=46125

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San Fransisco proper has some good north-indian restaurants serving Tandoorri chicken, but no decent South Indian restaurants or no decent Chaat place.

I wish I had some information to the contrary but, alas, this is true. Just wanted to add the name of the 16th St Pak-Indian place: Pakwan. Their naan is really good. There's one in the 'Tandoor-loin' as well on, I believe, O'Farrell.

Another newish place for Pak-Indian which is getting a lot of good buzz, though I haven't been, is Rotee on Haight St in the Lower Haight.

I have had some delicious meals at Breads of India in Berkeley, where the menu changes daily, and the chef is known for his regional eclecticism, but I have heard some disturbing rumors lately that they have gone downhill. Certainly the best South Indian food in the Bay Area is south of the City proper.

Cheers,

Squeat

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OK, I have been living in NYC for the last 4.5 years and have developed an addiction to South Indian vegetarian food, specifically dosa and samosa chaat. If I don't head into Flushing(Dosa Hutt or Punjabi Kitchen) or Jackson Heights(Maharaja) at least twice a month for my fix I start getting antsy.

Note that dosa's are indeed South Indian, but chaat is North Indian. Punjab is a state in the Northwest of India, near the Pakistan border, so I would presume that Punjabi Kitchen that you mention serves North Indian food.

As far as the Bay Area is concerned, the best South Indian food is indeed in the South Bay, in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara. Dasaprakash is often mentioned as the best place, and Udipi Palace (with outlets throughout the Bay Area, including Berkeley) is also up there.

For chaat, I think Berkeley is your best bet, with Vik's Chaat House being the best (Chaat Cafe and India Chaat and Sweets are two other good spots). Try to go to Vik's on the weekend, when they have specials in addition the the chaat (some non-vegetarian items plus some South Indian specialties including dosa). You mentioned samosa chaat, and their samosa chole is really good, but my favorites are the dahi batata puri and the chicken kati kabab.

San Francisco has very good Indian food, but it specializes much more on Pakistani/North Indian Mughlai food, with restaurants like Shalimar, Pakwan and Naan-n-Curry being some of the better examples. The only place in the city that I can think of for chaat would be Chaat Cafe, which also has outlets in Berkeley, Fremont (the original), San Jose, Roseville, Sunnyvale and Dallas, Texas!

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