DOSA – 995 Valencia St, San Francisco (Mission District). http://dosasf.com
I have a rule with Indian food. I either eat at a complete hole in the wall place, where I can get the real authentic stuff at Indian-style prices; or I eat at a fusion Indian place, where I can get food that I wouldn’t find at home – even if it’s pricey. There’s nothing I hate more than a mediocre Indian restaurant that does no more than butter chicken and naan. Luckily, DOSA falls into the second category.
DOSA has received more mentions that any other Indian restaurant among discussions about Indian food in SF. Indians that grew up in the USA (and other western countries) love it, saying it’s their favourite Indian restaurant in SF. Indians from India are a harder crowd to please – they have generally suggested that it doesn’t live up to expectations. I actually really liked DOSA!
There were three of us, so we ordered three dishes to share:
- Cochin Calamari ($10) – tender calamari, sautéed with mildly-spiced coconut milk, served w/ organic mixed greens & mini uttapams. A very nice dish, loved the mix of the coconut milk and the spices. The cute mini-uttapams were a great touch.
- Poppy Seed Prawns ($15) – white & black poppy seed sauce, chiles, coconut, lime. Three words – O.M.G. Sooo yummy! I haven’t had a prawn curry this good since visiting Kerala earlier this year. Totally loved the spicy poppy seed sauce as well as the coconut flavour so characteristic of any Kerala seafood curry. While the menu recommended we eat this with coconut rice, we got it with a side of uttapam, which I thought went perfectly with it. It reminded me of the prawn curry with appam I would have in Kerala.
- White Truffle Masala ($12) – masala dosa, w/ truffle oil from Alba, Italy. We ordered this for the novelty factor – where else would you get a masala dosa with white truffle oil?!??!? I gotta say, I was impressed – I had very low expectations – almost expecting an unpleasant tasting dosa as I just couldn’t imagine truffle oil in dosa. However, it was a very nice combination – you could actually smell the truffle as the waiter brought it over to the table.
the verdict: 8/10 – a big tick from me – a very refined take on indian fusion, with all the flavours that traditional indian food should have.
don’t forget to order: poppy seed prawns – just delicious. or the white truffle masala dosa for the novelty factor :)
to try next time: the lamb pepper fry.