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May 10, 2007 07:58 PM

Flavors of India

Good News!! (I hope). Twice this week I walked on Lakeshore Ave., in the Trestle Glen area, Oakland, over where the two donut shops are--I can never remember which one is which.

However, it seems as if we traded one of those donut shops for an Indian restaurant; just a banner hanging up and the windows are papered over, but I am hoping that it will serve GOOD Indian food.

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  1. I wonder if it's related to the Flavors of India on College Avenue on the Oakland/Berkeley line? If so, that's really good news -- I've been there three times now, and have been impressed each time.

    3 Replies
    1. re: JasmineG

      It is the same. I talked to the owner about a month ago and this will be their second restaurant. I also had a peek inside and it was looking great. He hoped to be open by now, so I think we can expect a grand opening any time. He was very excited about this location. Things are sure looking up over here. The fast frame on the other side o Lakeshore is going to be a wine bar/small plate place. And there is a great new Thai place around the corner (Neecha Thai) on Grand that took over where Cafe Pirawan was and it is DELCIOUS. The corn fritters with kafir lime leaves are just amazing.

      1. re: happenstance

        Well, this is very encouraging. For the sake of both waistline and wallet, I was always secretly relieved that the restaurants, except for a very few, in the Grand Lake area were so mediocre. On the other hand, it will be nice to enjoy a wider range of options, as well as much better quality. I'm glad you told me about Neecha Thai; Cafe Pirawan and its predecessor (sp) were so awful. I shall try it.
        And now I am hoping that this Flavors of India will live up to its reputation.

        1. re: MKatrinaToo

          You should try the one on College in the meantime! I absolutely loved their Lamb vindaloo, and the chicken makhani was also great.

    2. I stopped in the newly opened Lakeshore branch last Thursday evening to order some takeout. The place was packed, and the two ladies at the counter were clearly overwhelmed. They took my order and told me to come back in half an hour, but when I returned, they had no idea what I had ordered, and I ended up waiting another 20 minutes. Several other take-out customers seemed to be getting irritated too, as the two ladies ran around opening and closing the checkbook covers trying to figure out who had ordered what. They seemed particularly daunted by all of the call-in orders they were receiving.

      My food turned out to be pretty good-the tandoori chicken, tender and juicy, and the okra masala, well spiced, not too oily. I'd give them a few weeks, though, to sort out their service issues before returning.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Lillian Hsu

        I walked right up to the "Closed" sign on their door on either Wednesday or Thursday of this week (June 27 or 28). I saw at least 3 people inside. I have been out of town; did Flavors have a false start, i.e., open then had to close? I can understand that; in an area with a shortage of good dining options, a restaurant of any good reputation will get pounded. That is not a good situation for a fledgling. I am willing to wait a few more weeks.

      2. We ate there last Saturday and were very impressed with the service and the high quality and well prepared food, but REALLY disappointed with the portion size. They were literally small taster plates. I counted 3 prawns in a coconut curry dish that was delicious, but left using yearning for more. Same goes with the chicken and lamb dishes. The samosa appetizer was 2 small samosas that were delicious but a drop in the bucket. Prices are in the $10.00 + range per entree but the plates are just much too small.

        2 Replies
        1. re: doxxie lover

          Hubby and I went to Flavors of India for lunch today. I agree w/ doxxie lover on the price point and portions. We ordered one lunch special of lamb chole combination. The white starch was plentiful (rice and naan), but the entree came in a soup cup. While it was very good, 6 small cubes of lamb at $8.99 for the soup cup portion is not a good thing. A token spoonful of greens adorned the plate. Another soup cup of dal, bland but pleasing was part of the combo. The naan was a major disappointment--it had the texture of a quick bread rather than the yeasty, stretchy, chewiness of a freshly baked naan. I suspect that the naan was frozen or leftover. I actually do think it was heated in a skillet w/ some oil--the surface of the bread had that oily crispness.
          I ordered the mango lassi, $2.99. When I asked, the server said that the yogurt was made on site and that the mango lassi was blended on site. I don't know; it didn't taste freshly mixed to me. (I don't expect restaurants to make their own yogurt, but I'd also rather be informed if the mango lassi comes out of a can; the fresh lassi is so tasty!)
          I ordered lamb samosas, which, as was the naan, a major disappointment. They were small and judging by the appearance, I don't think the fryer was hot enough. The enclosed lamb was finely ground to the point of a powder, rendering it dry and tasteless. Even the peas were dry. The seasonings inside the samosa was good.
          My favorite things about the restaurant are the adorable candle holders and the containers for the chutneys. (There's a name for that caddy, but it escapes me.)
          The bill came to $18.49, which I thought was pretty pricey for lunch that consisted of beverages, appetizer and a lunch plate.
          <<sigh>> It seems as if the Grand Lake area adheres to its proliferation of mediocre restaurants.

          1. re: MKatrinaToo

            I am sorry that you had a medicore experience there. My wife and I love the one on College Ave for takeout. I planning on making the switch to the much closer Lakeshore branch. I just had takeout from the College Ave local and the got a good size portion of Lamb Vindaloo and giant portion of Tandori Tikka Kabob. The portion size has always been pretty good and the quality much higher than Naan & Curry or any of the other medicore choices in Oakland/Berkeley border area. Yeah its no Viks or Anjanta, but its always been a good choice for takeout.

        2. Adding a link:

          Flavor of India
          3276 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

          1. I've been here twice, and found it to be flavorless (and very questionably of India). Lamb vindaloo with barely a bite, Korma that was creamy but with no other features besides fattiness, and a saagy paneer indeed. I'd be more detailed, but it's been a while - maybe it's gotten better? Or maybe my standards are too high - I haven't had good Indian food since I moved away from LA!