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Jul 6, 2006 07:34 PM

"Please educate me around Indian food" -- Bay Area choices

On the General Board, Robert Lauriston wrote:
"Here in the San Francisco area we have Pakistani, South Indian, Gujarati, Fijian-Indian, chaat, Indo-Chinese, an upscale place that rotates various regional dishes, plus a couple of others I can't remember."

I'm curious... which Bay Area restaurants are Gujarati, Fijian-Indian, and Indo-Chinese? Are they good?

Seems like there are many of the other types. Assume the "upscale place" is Breads of India?

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  1. Gujarati would be Sultan in the Tandoorloin. Although they only served Gujarati dishes on Sundays and by special arrangement. The Mom and daughter who run it are great to deal with arranging a Gujarati meal, and the food is excellent.

    Fijian-Indian would be Curry Corner in Hayward. I think there's one in the Richmond/San Pablo area as well (calling rworange!).

    Have we found a true Indo-Chinese aka "Desi-Chinese" restaurant?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Shayona in Milpitas and Krishna in Fremont also have Gujarti, but mostly along the line of snacks. More info by searching.

      I'd also like to know where Desi-Chinese can be found reliably. Would also love to find some Bengali.

      The upscale place he's referring to is probably Ajanta or Amber India for pan-regional. There are some new players to that game - Dosa in SF and two in Palo Alto. I wouldn't call Breads of India upscale.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Agree, Breads of India is definitely not "upscale", just a little pricey. If I had to pay those prices, I would prefer Roti in San Francisco (West Portal) and Amber India (the original one in Mountain View - one of my favorites). Both places have much better ambience and definitely better food.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I was referring to Ajanta.

          Breads of India's nothing special. Food could be worse but nothing to line up or pay a premium for. No atmosphere.

      2. Masala Grill
        Indian Casual Dining
        39158 Paseo Padre Pkwy, Gateway Plaza
        Fremont, CA 94538
        Phone: (510) 797-7700
        Fax: (510) 797-7976
        I think this place is "Desi-Chinese"

        I would place the link here but I don't know how to do it with the new board. I will try

        2 Replies
        1. re: sensi63

          Ah, yes, that's right, Masala Grill has a pretty good selection of Desi Chinese. Earlier reports were not good, have you tried it recently?

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            I haven't tried a lot of the Desi Chinese items at Masala Grill, but I've been getting here with some regularity lately, and I've been liking what I've been eating a lot (look for a separate post soon). I've been thinking it's time to explore the Desi Chinese section a bit more. They do seem to have more than I've heard of at other places around the Bay Area.

        2. Related, any recommendation for place that does good veggie thali? I had a very good one in Gujarat once.

          3 Replies
          1. re: redneck

            If you like South Indian and specifically Andhra style, then Tirupathi Bhimas in Milpitas. Yeah, I know I should post a more thorough report, as I've been there more than 20 times. I adore this place, and the thali is available at lunch and dinner, either "regular" or "andhra" which is very hot and spicy. Very high quality, good variety, and beautiful, brilliantly fresh vegetarian curries on the plate.

            Sultan, which Ruth mentioned above, will make a Gujarati thali with advanced notice for your group. Krishna in Fremont does a daily lunch thali that is very good and so inexpensive. Lovely Sweets does a daily lunch thali. I haven't had a chance to try the lunch thali at Chat Patta in Fremont but have loved everything else I've had.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Milpitas, Fremont, guess I will have to brave into the heart of South Asian country. :-) Thanks for the recommendation.

              Btw, back on topic, thali, as I understand it, means a (proper) meal - ones I had usually had rice with various veggie dishes and lentil soup (dhal). Is there a distinction between Gujarat thali vs. others? Perhaps it features notable Gujarat dishes? What are they?

              I remember a diplomat joking that Andhra chili pepper should classified as a WMD.

              1. re: redneck

                The Mountain View to Sunnyvale/Santa Clara corridor has a great diversity of Indian food as well. I'm not as familiar with it as Fremont and wish that 'hounds would share more of what they're finding.

                Sultan is in San Francisco, on Taylor across from the Hilton . Here's the report of our Gujarati dinner there -- the meal was preordered of dishes not on the regular menu.


                For your questions about Gujarat dishees, please pose those on the General Topics board. You'll get input from 'hounds all over the world.

                Here's a photo of one day's regular thali at Tirupathi Bhimas. The Andrha ones are notably more orange and red in color!

          2. How is the Fijian Indian food in the Bay Area? Having spent some time in Fiji and having eaten much Fijian Indian food there including at the places with the best reputations, I was sorely disappointed. I can't imagine the kind of Indian food I found in Fiji would have any success in the more affluent Bay Area. It is full of bones with little meat and thin gravies, and barely any of the flavor Westerners would expect from Indian food.

            having said that, despite the fact it is a severely food-challenged country to visit, I would never hesitate to recommend beautiful Fiji as a holiday destination.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Sixy

              Oh my, oh my, oh my sixy. There is unimaginable history and drama with Fijian-Indian food.

              You must ... MUST go to Curry Corner in Hayward. Actually I need to get back there ASAP as there were rumors it was going to move and I REALLY don't want to lose this place.

              I don't like Indian food very much, but for the first time in my life, Curry Corner showed me there could be possibilites.

              To Ruth, way up in this post, Curry Corner is still in its Hayward location and hasn't relocated. If I knew of it in San Pablo or Richmond, you folks would be bored to tears with my endless reports.

              To the OP, there is a Fijian Buffet in Haward also, but haven't tried it.

              Here are my report on Curry Corner in Hayward


              Melanie on a more recent visit


              Good to see you, sixy.

              1. re: rworange

                The Fiji buffet had closed when I last cruised that area.

                In the Hayward/Fremont area and down in the South Bay, the immigrant population is large enough to sustain places like this. They don't have to dumb down their food or change it to appeal to anyone else. I've said before that I've never been served hotter South Asian food than at the places in Fremont. No one ever asked me what level of spicing I want or seemed to be concerned that I won't like it what I've ordered. I've imagined it's because they see so few non-South Asian faces wrinkling their noses at their native cuisine, they haven't had to learn how to appeal to anyone else but their own taste buds.