Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Favorite Cheap Eats SF: Udupi Palace

I had no intention of going to Udupi Palace for lunch.  I had originally planned for Chinese food, but due to some confusion I couldn't find the place I was looking for and in my meanderings came across this Dosa palace and was already geared up for something spicy so on a whim went in.  And boy am I glad I did!

I see from doing some research on line that this is not the most popular place in SF for Dosa, but as a New Yorker who eats Dosa here on a regular basis and loves South Indian food I thought this was some of the best I have ever had.  The place is small, with a high ceiling and lots of fun tacky art on the walls.
The waitstaff were friendly and efficient, but mostly the selection of Dosa was incredible with 17 to choose from, in addition to a full menu of other South Indian dishes. I ordered the Mysore Masala Dosa ($7.95) and a super delicious Mango Lassi ($2.75).  The Mysore Masala is a Spiced Crepe with Potatoes smeared inside with Spicy Chutney.
And from a different perspective:
Dosa are a large thin pancakes made from either fermented lentils or rice.

There were also some onions mixed in with the potato filling.  Often in Indian vegetarian cuisine they don't use onions or garlic as it causes gas but in the West I find that most Indian restaurants use them.  The Dosa are served in this cool TV dinner type stainless steel trays which are typical of South Indian food and often used when you order a Thali.
The Dosa came with a bowl of sambar, a spicy lentil soup/dipping sauce and 3 chutneys: Coconut, Tomato and Ginger.
My Mango Lassi, which I had almost polished off before I got my food!
Lunch cost me $11.72 and of course it would be the same for dinner.   A simple, delicately seasoned and excellently prepared meal.  It might not satisfy you if you were a big carnivore, but  for anyone else this is one of the most satisfying and inexpensive meals going.  Basically it's Indian smashed potatoes in a crepe, what could be bad?

This would be a great places to go in a groups so you could order a selection of goodies. Of all the places I went to in search of quality, tasty, inexpensive, food Udupi Palace and Lers Ros Thai restaurant were my favorites. 

If you have your own favorite please leave a comment:  I'd love to try it out the next time I am in the Bay Area  - which I hope will be soon!


Kurt Brown said...

I love Udupi Palace as well. I first ate at what I think was their original restaurant in Sunnyvale. Since then they've opened a few more in the Bay Area (Berkeley, Fremont, and SF), and they're all consistently yummeh. Looking at their web site ( it looks like they've opened up in LA and Chicago too. NYC can't be far behind Mark :)

Kurt Brown said...

And PS, thanks for the pic with the cuteful waiter!

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