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Seeking upscale SF Indian

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We'll be visiting SF this coming week and we'd like to find an upscale Indian restaurant that has terrific hot food, of course, but also a more contemporary ambience than many of the "traditional" curry houses. Something along the lines of Tabla in NYC or Vij's in Vancouver would be great. Any suggestions?

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  1. Dosa's the closest thing in SF. Reports on the food have been mixed here.

    Ajanta in Berkeley.

    Mantra in Palo Alto.

    http://www.dosasf.com/
    http://www.ajantarestaurant.com/
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

    1. I second Ajanta, the food is excellent. Haven't tried Mantra.

      You might look at Maharani's website http://www.maharanirestaurant.com/ind...

      The fantasy room is supposedly pretty plush

      1 Reply
      1. re: Andrew H

        Just to be very clear, "Maharani, I KNOW Vij's, YOU are no Vij's." haha.

        No really. Maharani is a nice enough place but its no where near the level of Tabla and/or Vij's - I've been to all three and would never recommend Maharani as a close substitute.

      2. Roti on West Portal is a nice place. Very nice ambience and really good food.

        1. I think it is safe to say that there is NOTHING like Tabla in the Bay Area. Dosa is not close, there is little to no complexity or originality in dosa's menu... aside from the grilled cheese dosa :-(

          I've never been to Vij's, but I have been to Tabla and Devi.

          Mantra in Palo Alto has a similar concept to tabla but the food is not good.

          Ajanta in Berkeley is comparable to Devi, less stylistic interior, but also considerably cheaper.

          Gaylords which is now open in Sausalito, is one of SF's oldest Indian restaurants, the food is decent at best and very VERY expensive, but the view is among the best in the area.

          1. Any updates on Junnoon in Palo Alto?
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

            The culinary team came from Tabla and Tamarind in NYC.
            http://www.junnoon.com/

            3 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              OK, thanks everyone. I guess we'll give up on the "upscale" and "contemporary" and just go for really good Indian. Junnoon, in Palo Alto, looks like what I was originally seeking
              (at least from the web-site), but Palo Alto's just too far for dinner.

              1. re: FAT Traveler

                I should have posted the links for Roti before. But here they are.

                Roti website - 2 locations, Burlingame and San Francisco
                http://www.rotibistro.com/
                Opentable - you'll see a picture of the SF location as the website is more focused on the Burlingame one.
                http://www.opentable.com/rest_profile...

                1. re: FAT Traveler

                  Then, Sultan is my favorite, especially when the mother is in the kitchen and taking special requests for Gujarati dishes.
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                  I also like Darbar a lot. I've brought my own white table cloth and crystal stemware there to dress up the party.

              2. OK, we ended up eating dinner at Sultan, since it is right across from the Hilton, where my conference was held. I probably never would have gone in if it hadn't been for Chowhound. Although it's quite unimpressive from the outside, it is a bit nicer once you enter. We had lamb vindaloo, tandoori chicken, eggplant, raita, three naan, and two diet cokes. Three separate chutneys were provided. The service was very professional and efficient and the food was surprisingly good. Not spectacular or innovative, but just quite good. Here's the punch line--the entire dinner with tip and tax was about $45.00! What a great deal as well as very good Indian food.

                Thanks .

                1 Reply
                1. re: FAT Traveler

                  Thanks for the report back. That was convenient! I find Sultan a solid choice with excellent value for the food, service, and setting.