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Jun 4, 2006 01:14 AM

Aslam's Rasoi - great northern indian food, valencia & 22nd

  • b

Okay, I searched and couldn't find anything about this restaurant -- Aslam's Rasoi -- on Chowhound so I feel morally compelled to post about it.

First, I'm not actually affiliated with this restaurant. Well, I have a loose affiliation, in that I live a block away from it and really like it and would like it not to close.

Aslam's Rasoi opened a month or two ago on Valencia just south of 21st street, right across the street from Ritual Coffee Roasters. Before it opened, in that same space was a different Indian restaurant, named Rasoi, that was decidedly mediocre.

I'm not sure why they didn't change the name more dramatically, but at any rate every time I walk by the place there's almost nobody eating there. I think people don't realize it's a new restaurant.

The chef is Mohammed Aslam, previously of Roti and India Oven before that. The food is awesome. I am, right now, eating the Paneer Tikka Masala and their Goat Cheese Naan, with a Roohafza (yogurt & rose.) It's pretty straight-up Northern Indian cuisine, but the spicing is really nuanced and original and the food is just top-notch. It doesn't taste like generic North Indian food, it's in a league of its own as far as restaurants I've been to in SF so far.

Prices are in the low-to-middle range, a "high one dollar sign", in the citysearch parlance. My meal, for example (entree, naan, yogurt drink) was $21.

I have to think it's just their poor marketing & failure to pick a new exciting name that is resulting in the slow business, because Dosa, a block north, is routinely so packed there's a wait, and while it's not an apples-to-apples comparison (Dosa is southern Indian, not northern) I think Dosa is the inferior of the two.

I'd encourage everyone to give them a shot, especially because then they're less likely to close on me!

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  1. Here is why people should try Aslam's Rasoi: it is pretty much the same menu as the Indian Oven, and Indian Oven is currently closed due to a fire in the kitchen.

    Have been there, and the food was very good. Atmosphere a bit quiet, but this place will pick up business through word of mouth. Prices are also similar to Indian Oven, which is a biy hard to fathom, since the laws of supply and demand apply quite differently at Aslam's than at I.O.

    1. f

      Thanks so much for alerting us to the change. I didn't like Rasoi very much, and thought that the name change to Aslam's Rasoi was just a new sign and not a new owner. I will definitely give it a try!

      P.S. In lieu of Rasoi, we have been ordering takeout at Alhamra on 16th near Valencia. Alhamra is excellent; in my opinion much better than nearby Pakwan and at a similar price point. And they deliver.

      1. Just got back from there and wow Brian you are so right. We had the old Rasoi for delivery once and were not impressed. We ate there early this evening but the place was only 20% full. This is the best Indian food we have had in SF, bar none. And the place is beautiful and the service is outstanding. Let's hope the word gets out and this place gets it's due, but saves room for us.

        1. Went there tonight based on this post. As ive said in other posts after an exhaustive search for great indian food i finally found lahore karahi and have been going there way too often. at aslams tonight my gf and i shared the seekh kabab, saag gosht, lamb vindaloo, matar paneer, and samosas. It was all good. however... the saag gosht is definitely better imo at lahore karahi, the vindaloo, while a different style, i liked about the same, the matar paneer was equal in quality and yumminess, the samosas i think are better at lahore karahi, and the kebab was slightly better here (it was freakin delicious).

          spice wise, the extremely friendly chef/owner of lahore karahi really knows hows to spice it up for you. i felt at aslams exactly how i felt at indian oven. they must think we americans just dont know how to take it.

          overall i think aslams is a great indian restaurant. my final bill with tip was 78$. i could have eaten the same stuff, and liked it just as much if not slightly more at lahore karahi for a little over half the price.

          needless to say ill stick with lahore karahi. i do wish aslams was cheaper though. i would definitely go back if the price point was the same.

          1. Bringing back this thread to say that as I drove by Aslam's Rasoi today, it looked all papered over. Is it out of business?