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Best South Indian in Boston/Cambridge?

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Looking for quality dosas, pao bhajji, and bhel puri. Anyone have a good rec?

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  1. Rangoli, Bhindi Bazaar, Tanjore, and Diva all have what to me taste like good dosas, usually four or five versions.

    I know Diva also offers pav bhaji; Rangoli and Tanjore calls their version "Bombay Bhaji", which I assume is the same thing, as this dish originated in Mumbai. Tanjore offers it as a side dish, too.

    Rangoli, Bhindi, and Diva do bhel.

    6 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      On the dosa front, I haven't been to either Bhindi Bazaar or Tanjore, but I personally strongly prefer Rangoli's to Diva's.

      1. re: finlero

        If I'm not mistaken, Rangoli, Tanjore, and Bhindi are owned by the same restaurant group: they were the first to do Southern Indian dishes in town, as I recall. Diva is owned by the folks behind Kashmir, Mantra, Mela, and others: they tend to be more stylish than substantive. But I do like the malai kofta at Diva.

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          Diva is interesting. Its trendy decor and vibe make it the kind of restaurant a chowhound would love to hate, but the food is simply too edible to discount it entirely (see also: Ivy).

          That said, with Namaskar a few doors down, I just don't have much reason to go.

          1. re: finlero

            Totally agree on Diva; it looks too nice to be any good. But I've had some quite passable meals there, and the fanciness suits some of my less Chowish friends. (I'm still working on the "dumpy doesn't necessarily mean bad, nor fancy mean good" in Chinese food with many people).

            I haven't eaten at Ivy in a while, but that place has bummed me out on a couple of occasions. I get kind of steamed when a place has a fancy cocktail list and clueless bartenders. And a lot of that wine is cheap and undrinkable, not just cheap. I've found the food from pretty bad to just okay; I think we've had the best luck with the pasta dishes.

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              "I'm still working on the 'dumpy doesn't necessarily mean bad, nor fancy mean good' in Chinese food with many people."

              Funny, with my more chowish friends, I'm actually fighting more for the "dumpy doesn't necessarily mean good, nor fancy mean bad" in Chinese food. A higher level of chow Nirvana?

              It's been nearly a year since I last went to Ivy; perhaps I should try it again before I next extol its relative virtues on the board.

      2. re: MC Slim JB

        namaskar in davis has a pretty sweet dosa menu. they even have a paneer dosa which is great but filling. also not in boston but at masalaa in billerica is mostly south indian veggie and good too.

      3. Oddly, Gourmet India in the Prudential Center food court does some south Indian brunch dishes on Sat and Sun only. I've had their dosas and idli--the former I like quite a lot, the latter are a little too dry for me but certainly passable in a town with a shocking lack of south Indian-focused restaurants. They also do chaat and I think vadas, but not the other dishes you're interested in.

        1 Reply
        1. re: avokate

          To get good idli, one had to go out to the former Chennai Woodlands in Ashland. It's been replaced by another south Indian establishment, but I don't know the rep of the idli there....