Mela Tandoori Kitchen on Golden Gate (SF)
Dunno if it's the slightly higher price point, the length of time the owners have been running restaurants in SF, or the location that deters more visits here, but there are few if any reviews on CH about this Indian restaurant's former or current locations. Had an excellent dinner there tonight (536 Golden Gate).
These folks know how to use a tandoor. For all I know they might make the worst chicken tikka masala and saag paneer on Earth, but the mixed grill was real, real good. It comes with:
1. seekh kebab - juicy with a lot of the gamy lamb flavor I like. A.
2. Murgh boti, the usual red-colored tandoori chicken breast (2 pieces). A. All the chicken white meat was really juicy.
3. Tandoori murgh. A.
4. Reshmi tikka - chicken breast, but in a green cilantro/mint marinade (2 pieces). I am a sucker for the herbs. A edging up to an A+.
I think the other two items were:
5. Pasanda beef. Thought this thin slice of beef was a little more cooked than I would have liked. B.
6. Tandoori chop - a very small lamb chop (maybe they somehow cut it crosswise to get more than one portion off a single chop). Would have preferred a bit less cooking here too. Probably the timing erred on the side of getting the chicken cooked through, causing the leaner lamb and beef dishes to get a bit too much cooking time, but it was still tasty. A-.
Maybe I got lucky coming in early when it was not at all busy? Hopefully future meals here will stay this good. 50% off (up to $15 off a $30 bill) when you use the Scoutmob app. I liked this first visit way more than my only visit to Shalimar so far.
We went here before the opera - it's just 3 blocks away - and it was very good. For entrees we had the reshmi tikka, saag gosht, and fish biryani, and all were delicious. The tandoori paneer appetizer came with a pepper and onion mixture that was probably the spiciest part of the meal. The kalonji naan was also a nice treat.
They also have Sula Indian wines which was happy news - my main local restaurant source for these wines closed a while ago. Love their Sauvignon Blanc, and the Shiraz is good too. It's great to have another good option for pre-opera and symphony dining.