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Jul 18, 2013 12:16 PM

Berkeley Indian Places near Shattuck & University

are any of the indian places in berkeley near shattuck and university any good?

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  1. I like the rasam, vada, sag paneer, and chile uthappam at Udupi Palace. Thalis can be pretty good to excellent depending on the luck of the draw.

    4 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        After several disappointing meals at udupi in Berkeley, I stopped going to what used to be a fave. I frequent the one on Valencia instead. Much better use of spices. But perhaps the Berkeley location has improved. It's been a few years now.

        1. re: escargot3

          I've found it pretty consistent for those dishes.

          1. re: escargot3

            Even the one on Valencia has gone down hill.
            We also stopped going to the Berkeley branch many years ago.
            Even on the most basic South Indian items they were very badly made and seasoned.
            It has been a long time now it is possible that it has gotten better, but with the closing of the Union City store and Dropping of quality in SF I doubt it.

        2. This is a good walk (or drive--they have a parking lot) but Himalayan Flavors is excellent. Mixed Indian and Nepalese/Bhutan/Tibet food. Some unusual dishes over and above the usual. very clean and pleasant too

          3 Replies
          1. re: rccola

            Same owners as Taste of the Himalayas on Shattuck

            1. re: drewskiSF

              Perhaps but food tastier--definitely different cooks, so I don't care who is the owner.

              1. re: rccola

                Or how the chef's name is spelled?

          2. How's Kabana these days at its new location? Haven't eaten there for many years.

            ETA: oops, at San Pablo, not Shattuck.

            13 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              but good question. I will make a point to check out the new location soon.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                I've been there a few times. The food is basically the same, with the default heat level above that in other Indian/Pakistani places. It doesn't have the sort of grungy character of the old place, with Bollywood videos screaming out of the TV in the kitchen, of course.

                1. re: ernie in berkeley

                  " It doesn't have the sort of grungy character of the old place"
                  They are working on it giv'em time. Saag, Nan And Tandoori as good as ever.

                  1. re: chefj

                    Agreed, the food is as good as ever. My friends noticed that they actually have about the same number of tables at the new place as the crowded old place, just with more pleasant (aka some) spacing. I imagine this was a deliberate decision on the owner's part--he reads as grouchy to some patrons, but I see it as a "this is how things are done" attitude.

                2. re: Melanie Wong

                  We got takeout from the new location in March. Delicious but, to our non-Pakistani palates, wildly spicy. Almost inedible. We had gone once or twice a year for the last few years and it did seem like the heat level was creeping up. We have not tried asking them to tone it down—has anyone had success with that?

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    I've had the tandoori catfish in the old and new locations and didn't notice any difference - it is still my favorite dish in Berkeley...

                    short vid from old location-


                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      San Pablo isn't that far from Shattuck and the pickin's are a lot better: Priya, Kabana, Indus Village.

                      I have always thought that Kabana cooked in a style similar to Shalimar in SF. Would that be accurate?

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        I often forget about KABANA but I feel it continues to be solid. IMHO, it is better than VIK in similar area/price range. And has better price/perf than AJANTA/Solano.

                        These days I more often get a meat dish or two to go ... dont recall how the veg dishes are.

                        I think consistency is often a challenge with the cheap indian places [shalimar/naan-curry/pakwan/lahore karahi], e.g. some veg dish will have like x2 too much CORRIANDER SEED. K is pretty reliable.

                        1. re: psb

                          I do not think you can compare Vik's, Ajanta and Kabana. They are all completely different styles of food.
                          It would be like comparing Quickly, Gum Kou and Koi Palace.

                          1. re: chefj

                            That's only true if you ban the term "Indian Restaurant" ... I mean how can you say "I feel like Indian food tonight" when I dont know if you mean northern/mughlai or dosas.

                            If you are driving by University and San Pablo, and someone says "lets go to VIK *for dinner*", it would not be odd to counter offer with "how about KABANA instead". While it would be if you wanted to go there for CHAAT/DOSAs.

                            My criteria "well known berkeleyish indian often discussed on CH".

                            I didnt say "OMG, the glassware at KABANA left much to be desired compared to AJANTA". I specifically mentioned price/perf for a reason.

                            1. re: psb

                              IMO it would be odd to counter Vik's with Kabana. One is fairly vegecentric and really only does Chaat well and the other does best with meats and hardy Curries.
                              As far as Ajanta goes I think that the quality of preparation and Ingredients puts it a completely different set form the other 2 and a better deal by your criteria (though it is not in the area you specified so its inclusion is odd).

                            2. re: chefj

                              I agree, there's a little overlap but Vik's is mostly South Indian vegetarian with a lot of lighter dishes.

                              Kabana is Pakistani, pretty meat-centric, and even the vegetarian dishes are on the heavy side.

                        2. Biryani House is pretty good and very cheap. Try the, well, biryani.

                          1. chaat cafe is decent; with some well-priced lunch specials. service is typical indian restaurant slow.