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does anyone knoe of an upscale Indian restaurant?

y
Yolanda S Holman Jul 23, 2005 07:24 AM

Just came back from a trip in London, I went to the Cinnamon(sp) Club. If anyone knows of it you know its fairly upscale and although the cuisine is Indian it is just that cusine. Beautiful presentation excellent flavors and unique ingriedents(sp). Such as shiso leaves and those yummy mushrooms that smell like maple syrup. I am looking for somethin like that in the Bay Area to take my dad. Any Recs would helpful.

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  1. j
    Jimbo Jul 23, 2005 10:55 AM

    I am a long time occasional visitor to London , and have loved the creative kinds of Indian restaurants that have proliferated there in the last 15 years- starting with the still beloved Cafe Spice Namaste, and followed by many others. There are some similarly "innovative", delicious, [and expensive] places in NYC- Tabla and Tamarind come to mind, but I know of only one place here that even makes the attempt- Tallula in the Castro in SF.I've been 4 times since it opened 2-3 years ago. I had a wonderful initial experience and touted it to friends. Initially they also gave glowing reports. I returned and a had mediocre experience with both food and service, and soon friends were reporting similar disappointments and mentioned "changes in the kitchen".I tried once more, felt "ripped off," and I did not return, until earlier this year with visiting English friends wanting something "interesting" after being massively underwhelmed by a visit to Amber India in the South Bay for a business dinner. We had a "decent" experience. "At least they are trying", said one of my visitors, and of course they were amazed at "how cheap"[!?!?] every thing was compared to London. It might be worth a try , given your quest. I look forward to other posts mentioning places I don't know about!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jimbo
      z
      Zach Georgopoulos Jul 23, 2005 11:25 AM

      The opening is a couple of months away, but the owner of Gaylord has said he plans on taking a more innovative approach to the cuisine at his new location in Sausalito, and is working with a new chef to develop the menu. Should be interesting.

    2. b
      bandit Jul 23, 2005 11:58 AM

      we regularly make trips to Amber India, they have amazing food....full menu online, we prefer the Mountain View location but several people have posted that the Santana Row is better...It seems exactly what you're looking for...

      Link: http://www.amber-india.com/

      3 Replies
      1. re: bandit
        r
        Robert Lauriston Jul 23, 2005 12:12 PM

        Amber India's food is really good, and as suburban strip malls go the decor is nice, but it's nowhere near as fancy and upscale as the Cinnamon Club, which is in a beautiful landmark building.

        We have some Chinese and Vietnamese places that are sort of comparable, but no Indian.

        Link: http://www.cinnamonclub.com

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          b
          bandit Jul 23, 2005 12:17 PM

          WOW, that is gorgeous...Definately the Santana Row location- since its about the decor and food !! I guess I would have to say that the decor & food at Tallula falls short and Gaylords food was on the same par as Indian Oven for me- not horrible but I won't go back....

          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            s
            Shep Jul 23, 2005 08:56 PM

            Thanks for the link. The discussion of the various wine styles made good reading.

        2. m
          Morton the Mousse Jul 23, 2005 02:21 PM

          Try Ajanta in Berkeley. I've been to countless upscale Indian Restaurants in both Northern and Southern California and I think Ajanta is the best. Premium ingredients and excellent preparations. Prices are quite reasonable, especially if you order A La Carte. My favorite dishes are:
          Saag Paneer - I've had far too many orders of Saag in my life to count, but this is the best.
          Lamb Korma - Quality meat stands out. Perfect sauce.
          Papadam - This is the rare place that makes fresh papadam instead of using pre-packaged ones. You can taste the difference.
          Tandoori Portobello - Not traditional, but surprisingly delicious.
          Mango Lassi - Always a good indicator of restaurant quality. It is fresh tasting and not too sweet.

          Link: http://www.ajantarestaurant.com

          2 Replies
          1. re: Morton the Mousse
            r
            Robert Lauriston Jul 23, 2005 06:34 PM

            Ajanta is not upscale except compared with maybe Naan 'n' Curry. It's a nothing-special storefront, low ceilings, bad lighting, nothing fancy about the decor. My one meal there was mediocre, partly because the sullen waiter let us order two dishes that were the identical preparation of two different meats.

            I liked Khana Peena across the street much better.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              h
              hungryfina Jul 24, 2005 02:27 AM

              I agree that khana peena is much better and a friend of mine owns a store near ajanta and says that ajanta's kitchen is pretty dirty . . .just a rumor but im not going to risk it!

          2. f
            Fanci Jul 23, 2005 03:06 PM

            Masala in Danville is excellent! I go all over the bay area in search of good indian cuisine and find this to be a delightful and fun restaurant. If you take your dad there I am sure you both will enjoy it. Anu the owner is very friendly. They have a great lunch buffet tues-fri 11:30-2pm

            1. b
              butter_chicken Jul 23, 2005 08:49 PM

              Alas, there are no upscale Indian places in Bay Area.

              Bay area indian food has started looking up a bit recently, what with chaats, dosas, and idlis entering the food lexicon here. But nothing to compare with London.

              Any chowhounders care to speculate why?

              4 Replies
              1. re: butter_chicken
                r
                Robert Lauriston Jul 24, 2005 12:48 PM

                I think upscale Indian / Cal-Indian would be a hit for anybody smart, talented, and rich enough to put together the right combination.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  b
                  butter_chicken Jul 24, 2005 01:04 PM

                  I would think so too. Upscale Indian has certainly succeeded in NY. I am just surprised that Bay Area didn't take the lead, considering the huge number of Indian/Pakistani immigrants here, a number of whom are both smart and rich.

                  I hope they are right when they say that all good things come to those who wait.

                  1. re: butter_chicken
                    m
                    Melanie Wong Jul 24, 2005 02:14 PM

                    It is a puzzlement, isn't it? Turmerik in Sunnyvale closed recently, would love to know where executive chef, Arvind Bhargava is now.

                    Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                    1. re: butter_chicken
                      s
                      semmel Jul 24, 2005 05:59 PM

                      Hmm, moving out here from Philly, I was shocked that, with the exception of Mountain View, there were no cheap Indian restaurants. They were all pricier than I was accustomed to.

                      So I for one am very happy with the recent explosion of Paki/Indian restaurants.

                      Similarly, my prior experience of Greek restaurants was that it was a reasonably priced cuisine. So I was surprised at how expensive Kokkari was. Everyone seemed pleased with their meals and the service was very good. And a nice touch was that they had no problem that I wanted to pay for my share of the bill separately, since I hadn't brought enough cash with me.

                2. o
                  oriiginljoe Jul 23, 2005 09:03 PM

                  SULTANS in the Ramada Hotel on jones in the tenderloin..Norhtern indian. And very good.A little hi gher class Rest.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: oriiginljoe
                    r
                    Robert Lauriston Jul 24, 2005 12:52 PM

                    Sultan's another place that's upscale only compared with Naan 'n' Curry.

                    If they took over the Grand Cafe space, and added a great wine list (tricky for a halal place), you'd have something approaching Cinnamon Club.

                  2. o
                    oakjoan Jul 23, 2005 10:14 PM

                    I agree with R. L.'s post about Khana Peena except that I feel the prices are a bit high for the small portions.

                    The food has always been delicious and fresh and the dinnerwear is very chic as is the decor.

                    1. j
                      J T Jul 24, 2005 03:51 AM

                      Your primary feature for the restaurant is that it be upscale? By upscale you mean perhaps restaurant decor, presentation of the food, and professional service. The only place in or near SF I can figure is Gaylord at Ghiradelli Square. The food is decent.

                      Anyone know if India Palace Restaurant in Mill Valley is still running? They sure have/had great tandoori chicken and naan.

                      Thanks,

                      J

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: J T
                        r
                        Robert Lauriston Jul 24, 2005 12:55 PM

                        Gaylord is closing next month. The owner is taking over the former Antidote space in Sausalito. That place will likely be the most upscale Indian restaurant in the area.

                        Link: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi...

                      2. a
                        Anne Sinha Jul 25, 2005 10:15 PM

                        Amber India -- but go for the Sunday brunch buffet - that seems to be a tradition in itself for some I have heard!

                        I like Ajanta as well. Gaylord was great but a little tired - I am looking forward to their new restuarant but it is same they are closing both restuarants as I live on the Peninsula and Sausilito is a bit of a drive.

                        I also like New Delhi Restaurant in SF.

                        I have friends who rave about Clay Oven in SF but again not it is probably nit as upscale.

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