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Best Indian food in SF?

prairiehound Apr 26, 2007 01:13 PM

Is there anything as good as Ajanta or better?

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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: prairiehound Apr 26, 2007 02:02 PM

    Going strictly by quality of the food or are you looking for a more upscale environment as well?

    1. j
      jeffypop RE: prairiehound Apr 26, 2007 06:24 PM

      for pure taste, I like Shalimar in Tenderloin. it's hit or miss, but when it's on, it's ON.

      of course there's classics like Indian Oven, Breads of India (in Berkeley), and Amber (in Palo Alto).

      Where's Ajanta?

      3 Replies
      1. re: jeffypop
        rworange RE: jeffypop Apr 26, 2007 06:43 PM

        At the top of Solano Avenue.

        1. re: rworange
          Robert Lauriston RE: rworange Apr 27, 2007 08:51 AM

          In Berkeley.


        2. re: jeffypop
          a_and_w RE: jeffypop Apr 27, 2007 03:18 PM

          People swear by Shalimar but I was thoroughly underwhelmed the one time I tried it a few years ago.

        3. k
          khaanalover RE: prairiehound Apr 26, 2007 07:29 PM

          i believe there are better places than ajanta. amber in mt. view, pakwan in sf, viks for really casual dining in berkeley, udipi palace. i guess it also depend on what type of indian food you want. south, north?

          6 Replies
          1. re: khaanalover
            Dan Wodarcyk RE: khaanalover Apr 26, 2007 10:13 PM

            Just ate at Junoon in Palo Alto the other day and really enjoyed it. Was there for lunch and had the the boxed lunch, a Tandoor baked Halibut, very good. The garlic/pepper chutney was also great. I'm a big fan of Tabla in New York and knew that Floyd Cardoz was involved somewhat in Junoon. In SF, what was/is the name of the place in the Haight? Haven't been in about 6 yrs but it was in a duel level Victorian house? Kind of a funky interior. Very good at that time but why do I think it closed or went downhill. I would remember the name if I saw it.

            1. re: Dan Wodarcyk
              walker RE: Dan Wodarcyk Jun 3, 2007 03:04 AM

              Are you thinking of Indian Oven on Fillmore & Haight?

              1. re: Dan Wodarcyk
                ChowFun_derek RE: Dan Wodarcyk Jun 6, 2007 10:02 AM

                Was it on 18th in the Castro, near the Cala?
                I can't recall the name either...female chef...Indian/California cuisine...closed...now a "Bullshead"

                1. re: ChowFun_derek
                  chaddict RE: ChowFun_derek Jun 6, 2007 10:08 AM

                  spelling may be off but the name was Tallula.

                  1. re: chaddict
                    ChowFun_derek RE: chaddict Jun 6, 2007 10:14 AM

                    "BINGO" that was the one....now I don't have to waste any brain cells trying to remember!

              2. re: khaanalover
                Dave MP RE: khaanalover Apr 26, 2007 10:43 PM

                I have eaten at Pakwan only once and at Shalimar a few times and at Lahore Karahi once. I would rate them like this, from best to worst:

                1) Lahore Karahi
                2) Shalimar
                3) Pakwan

              3. n
                nsheth RE: prairiehound Apr 26, 2007 10:40 PM

                I've had good meals at Sultan recently. Last time I was there, they were mentioning moving, I haven't followed up . . .

                1 Reply
                1. re: nsheth
                  osho RE: nsheth Jun 2, 2007 06:02 PM

                  What's the story with the Sultan move ? Any information on when they will reopen at the new location? I can't wait to try their 'Gujarati' food !

                2. Paul H RE: prairiehound Apr 27, 2007 09:09 AM

                  I rarely see mention of it here, but I have always found the food at Mefil Indian at the corner of 2nd and Folsom to be quite good. I prefer it to a lot of the Pakistani places, and it is certainly better than India Garden.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Paul H
                    rworange RE: Paul H Apr 27, 2007 09:17 AM

                    Has Mefil re-opened since they had a fire?

                    1. re: Paul H
                      Robert Lauriston RE: Paul H Apr 27, 2007 09:20 AM

                      There are a fair number of reports on Mehfil in the archive. They're popular for takeout lunch in that area since you can order online. I had an okay meal there, didn't like the food as much as at nearby Shan (now House of Curries) so I haven't been back. Definitely not in Ajanta's class.


                      I've never heard of India Garden before. Search turns up a couple of mentions but no reports on the food.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        Paul H RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 27, 2007 09:23 AM

                        Here's a report..

                        Located on Folsom near 9th, India Garden has a surprisingly relaxing and pretty patio (no doubt the garden in the name), good decor and an extensive menu promisingly filled with classic Moguli (Northern Indian) dishes. All it lacks is good food. My meal here was severely mediocre. Perhaps this is proof of the old adage to avoid places with big menus. Not recommended.

                    2. colibri1953 RE: prairiehound Jun 3, 2007 10:15 AM

                      Ajanta is about as the best refined Indian cuisine anywhere. Refined would be the key word here. Their dishes is not as "Indian street savvy" as Vik's which have a stronger, spicier edge. When I lived in Berkeley I had lunch at Vik's sometimes three times a week. Ajanta became more of a special celebrations place to dine. One other place to check out is the Indian cafe (sorry, forgot the name) within the Emeryville Public Market - their Chicken Tikka Masala and their Tandoori Chicken are perfectly spiced. Yet, I still remember the Rogan Josh back at Ajanta. Now that was exceptional. Ah, Berkeley...

                      1. cafecreme RE: prairiehound Jun 5, 2007 08:40 PM

                        Great India at Geary (25th/26th) is a lot better than your standard Indian place. It's not upscale, but nicer than Shalimar. We mostly order delivery from them and they are well-known not only in the Richmond but all over their delivery area (famous for the hot pink flyers). Anyway, some of the best Indian food I've had and we've been ordering for years and sometimes we eat there. Great chicken korma and kashmiri nan.

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