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Feb 10, 2006 07:23 PM

Dosa (21st and Valencia)

  • j

This started on another post about veg restaurants on Valencia and it was mentioned that there is a mighty long wait for tables at Dosa. I would never go out of my way for south indian food, but is this place worth the wait?

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  1. short answer: no.

    I went there and found it ok, not overwhelming. I did not like the cashew in my dosa. One feeling I had was that the food is a pretext to push booze (no south indian place would serve alcohol, according to my south indian friends), similar in that way to osha thai a couple blocks away. If you're young, hip and looking for a party atmosphere, then it's for you. I'm bitter about the place as I've had a nasty experience with management which was out of its depth. They charged me a $40 tip on a $33 bill, confusing total and tip lines, and gave me some attitude. I'm never going back.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cedichou

      You captured my reaction perfectly... a "scene" mostly about booze and "being seen"[apparently the formula for success]. The dosas are a nice novelty for the neighborhood, but the fillings are a disapointment. My bill,too, was illegible and incorrect [quickly corrected in my case]- do we detect a pattern here? Some [not all] of the staff seem to have an ashram/cult aura giving the "drink till you stink" emphasis a bizarre twist- but then I guess alcohol is "organic".

      1. re: Jimbo

        It's only wine and soju cocktails so It's hard to imagine such an amphass on booze. But I guess even enough Soju will get you hammered.

    2. I tried to eat there and was told to come back at 10pm with a party of four. We had a drink at a nearby bar, came back at 10:05, and were told the kitchen was closed.

      1. I rather liked Dosa. It was over-priced but we knew that before going into it. We went for brunch --less crowd, no wait and no pushing of drinks. We had the chai which was powerful and heavy on cardamom. The waitstaff is friendly and helpful, a rare combo in the usual hip joints. The interior was tastefully designed in warm terra cotta colors. The dosa itself was really rich and would be better shared and accompanied by a curry or salad. The sambar ( a soupy lentil and vegetable side) comes with the dosa. It would have tasted delicious over rice as it had a complex peppery flavor.Also it seemed like the green vegetable in the sambar gave it a very healthy california touch (which I mean in a good way). The masala dosa was filled with samosa-like potatoes. I could detect tumeric, ghee, mustard seed etc..and the cashew added to the complexity of flavors. The crepe-y dosa was more of a vehicle for the delicious filling. The 2 sauces were slightly busy and overwhelmed the already flavorful dosa. I felt way too stuffed at the end of my meal but that is a plus because I hate paying a lot for tiny portions.

        1. dosa is okay if you are desparate for south indian food in the mission, otherwise, i would suggest going elsewhere like udipi palace in berkeley.

          1. Yeah, Dosa has some good food, but not great, definitely not worth a long wait. If you want to try it without a wait, do what we did and arrive for an early dinner. I think we were there within 30 minutes of it opening for dinner.