Here's a restaurant I chose based on my love of the dosa (lentil and rice flour crepes) served at my neighborhood Pongal on Curry Hill (as some call the strip of Lexington Avenue in Manhattan which is north of Gramercy Park and south of Murray Hill). This San Francisco restaurant located at the edge of Japantown, though even called Dosa, could not have been more different!
The somewhat industrial exterior doesn't prepare you for the lush, theatrically designed setting within. Grand scale, well chosen, dramatic visual focal points throughout. But the lighting is a perfect example of what was problematic here. The fixtures were bold and beautiful. But lack of good lighting at tables rendered them so dim as to make the menu almost unreadable. The food was fine, the sambal a bit milder than I'm used to in New York (I actually preferred it mild) but so gracelessly plated that half our party found it almost took your appetite away. The salads, both main dishes and sides, seemed small and overpriced, as did other dishes.