Friday, April 21, 2006

dosa southern indian restaurant

Dosa is a new Southern Indian restaurant in the Mission. It opened in December and Elaine discovered it shortly thereafter. She told Brad and Christie about it and they have been proclaiming its excellence ever since. I was delighted to be able to join the three of them for dinner this evening.

dosa Dosa is hip, crowded and noisy. At 21st and Valencia, it is in a neighborhood that is tight on weekend parking. However, the food more than makes up for the locational inconvenience.

We started our meal with the Dahi Vada, two large lentil dumplings covered with spiced yogurt, tamarind and mint, a delightful combination. We also had the Chennai Chicken - very lightly fried chicken strips spiced with coriander, cumin and curry leaves.

After the starters we sampled the entrees for which the restaurant is named. Dosas are savory crepes served with tomato chutney, coconut chutney and a lentil soup for dipping called Sambar.

The first entree we had was Channa Bhatura (top left), large puffy wheat bread served with a bowl of wonderful lentils, garbanzos and stewed vegetables. This might have been my favorite dish. Next was the Paneer (2nd photo), a rolled dosa filled with vegetables and farmer’s cheese. Then we tried the Masala (3rd from the top), a large thin dosa containing spiced, creamy potatoes, onions and cashews. This is their signature dish. And, we rounded out the meal with the Tamil Lamb curry (bottom photo), succulent lamb served in a sauce of fennel, tomato, poppy seeds and onions.

This was the first time that I had tried Southern Indian cuisine, but I can’t wait for my next trip to Dosa. In the interim I will have to explore the popular Southern Indian restaurants here on the peninsula, and I encourage you to do the same.

Bonus link: Michael Bauer’s SF Chronicle Review

Dosa: 995 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA (415) 642-3672


At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

tonight we just happened to order take-out from the 408 version of dosa: the super-popular saravanaa bhavan in sunnyvale. it's old location was a two minute walk from our old house in mountain view. now, it is directly in between my work and home, near fremont on mary. lucky us.

SB is must less up-scale than dosa sounds, but is never short on flavor or spice. our old standbys are the masala dosa, rasa vada, and parotta. rasa vada is basically a rice-flour doughnut in super-spicy soup similar to the sambar. parotta is stringy bread with a variety of dipping sauces. each time i try a new thing from the menu, and today the host convinced me to try a dish that is seasonal - a flatbread with jalapeno peppers, carrots and onions baked in. it was quite tasty, but after asking twice what it was called, i gave up trying to remember. but i've found that it really doesn't matter - it's all good.

i highly recommend SB (as do legion diehard patrons) next time you're in the area. (alas for the carnivores, you'll not find lamb curry or any other meats on this menu). and don't forget to sample the sweets (esp the coconut burfi) on the way out


At 9:43 AM, Blogger paul said...


Thanks for the excellent review. I remember driving past Saravanaa Bhavan when they were still in Mountain View and seeing crazy lines at all times of the day and night. In fact, we were talking about this at dinner. I can't wait to try it with you and Julie.


At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wondered what happened to Saravanaa Bhavan. I thought they had shut down. The food there is excellent. Or, at least it was. Another great place to try for South Indian cuisine is Sue's on Castro Street in Mountain View. If you can ignore the atrocious paintings (by Sue herself), the food is fantastic. One of the only places my friend Shiv will go for Indian food. The other was Saravanaa Bhavan.



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