Tuesday, November 9, 2010


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.


sea said...

But how was the dosa and the chutney? It looks a little burnt... but I've been wanting to check out that place for a while because dosa is one of my favorite foods. I'd love to find a place that understood gluten-free and dosa!


G.F.Veg said...

there were very few options. the dosa was okay....but not the wonderful crispy cone i get at pongal. the sambal and pretty much all the condiments served w the dosa were milder than in nyc. the salads were not great and as the old joke goes, too small also! come to Pongal in NYC for the real deal. although by comparison it's just a little hole in the wall, i love it. and the blue cow that guards the entrance can't be beat!

hey did you see my question about asafoetida? i read it's mixed with semolina flour. any idea if that's true? i've only used it once in an indian recipe (the stench, oh the stench!) but i've also read it's used extensively in many dishes...what do you think/know about all of this??