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Aug 16, 2006 09:50 PM


Are all of the Shalimar's the same? Or is there one in particular that is so well known?

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  1. I'm fairly sure the Shalimar everyone talks about is the one inthe Tenderloin, 532 Jones St.

    According to the menu I've filed away, Shalimar has other branches, one on Polk St. in SF and one in Walnut Creek.
    website is

    1 Reply
    1. re: sarvey

      There is also one in Fremont. I favor Polk St over Fremont, although I believe Fremont gives you bigger portions. Never been to the Jones St location.

    2. Some comments on the statistical properties of Indian Dives ...

      Whether or not you have had, or heard about the good food
      at Shalimar [or Nann and Curry, or Pakwan], these experience
      at these cheepest places is dominated by variability, not
      average performance. Take a simple item like the beef kabob ...
      sometimes at NC, they are a great deal for $2, but other times,
      the ground meat is over spiced and hard to eat at all.

      By analogy, I've had some great slices of pizza at Fat Slice,
      Blondies, Arninell etc, but the $2.50 pizza slices are highly
      variable. I think it's a very personal decision are the highs
      high enough to risk getting something in the lower end of the
      tail ... on Sunday I walked over from Tartine to get an
      Arinell slices based on the drool-inducing memory of of the
      last slice, but the pep slice I got then I still remember
      as a waste of $3.

      Which is not to say different restaurants dont strive to
      different ends with the same dish/item. For example, I like
      the CTM at Roti more than at NC. I seem to remember the
      Nihari was better at Shalimar [but inconsistent], also the
      chutneys are really different at Naan and Chutnet vs Shalimar.
      Those are very much matters of taste and I dont think you
      can say one is objectively better ... you can probably compare
      Blondies and Fat Slice and maybe LaVals pizza in Berkeley, but
      you cant really talk about cheeseboard and Arinell or Zach's
      [boo!] or Chez Panisse pizza in the same conversation.

      I guess for Indian places I distinguish between these objective
      factors, e.g. the food at X is super oily consistently across
      time and space [every time i go there, and every menu item],
      they dont give you enough meat in dish <x>, they dont give
      you free chutneys when you get togo food [that's what pissed
      me off at darbar, a place i otherwise rather liked].

      Finally, I do think the different branches of shalimar/NC/etc
      do produce different product ... but this is most dramatic
      in the case of NC, where I think the tenderloin version is
      ok [although i see no reason to ever go back there with
      lahore karahi next door] but the other branches are non-good
      [sunset] to really bad [telegraph ... i will never go there
      again unless somebody i trust certifies it].

      1. I think the food I had at the Fremont Naan 'n' Curry (it is NnC that's a few blocks from the BART station and courthouse, right?) was better than at the othes.

        1. The Shalimar we ate at on Polk last night was greasy and not very good. Their garlic naan was pretty good but their CTM was super oily and the chicken was just gross. Maybe their other locations are better?

          2 Replies
          1. re: dmenkes

            The Tenderloin location is the best... although it's been inconsistent lately. But, when it's on, it's the best Indian food around.

            1. re: jeffypop

              Just a quick update: I've been living in London for a year and have eaten at several dozen different Indian restaurants here and can say this: Shalimar in SF is very very similar to many of the low-end Indian restaurants in London, in the touristy areas; greasy, cheap, and gross. It doesn't come close to the better ones in LA and London (my two favs here are Atma and Eriki, funny enough located within 5 minutes of each other on Finchley Road).

          2. I don't care for the sullen service at Shalimar on Polk and also have found the food too greasy. We go across the street to Darfar, much nicer people and food is scant notch better.

            1 Reply