Dosa on Valencia


Photo from

995 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 642-3672

Dosa on Yelp

After many aborted attempts to eat dinner at the much-hyped Dosa due to long wait times, we finally snagged a reservation last week.  We ordered:

Panipuri, a kind of chaat. $8 – Mondays and weekend brunch only

According to Wikipedia:

It comprises a round, hollow “puri”, fried crisp and filled with a watery mixture of tamarind, chili, chaat masala , potato, onion and chickpeas. Its size is small enough to fit in the mouth.

This is the first time I had tried this dish, but I was looking forward to it ever since my ITP classmate Sonaar was singing the praises of panipuri at Wo Hop after the ITP Post-Show Party.

I liked how the panipuri a Dosa were fun and DIY, but I don’t understand why they couldn’t have been assembled in the kitchen.  I’m sure these things only cost pennies from street vendors in India, but in a yuppie-friendly SF restaurant, they are 8 bucks an order.  Reasonably tasty, but the crispy shells tasted a bit stale.  Definitely like the idea though. 

Habanero-Mango Masala Dosa spread with spicy Habanero chutney (watch out!) $10

The waitress warned me that this was REALLY SPICY, but I felt safe seeing that most of the diners at Dosa were non-Indian.  I normally have a fairly high tolerance for spice, but this was a weapon of mass destruction.  It was all heat, with none of the fruitiness of fresh habaneros and I couldn’t taste the mango at all.  This dish might have been saved by the contrasting sweetness of mango, but alas, it was just overwhelmingly hot with no complexity.

Tomato & Onion Uttampam topped with onion, tomatoes and green chiles $10

This was pretty right on, similar to the uttampam I’ve had at other places.  A nice contrast to the atomic heat of the habanero-mango dosa.

In conclusion, Dosa was a little underwhelming despite all the hype.  The wait times are just not worth it and the food is a little pricy for this kind of Indian food.  For my next South Indian food fix, I’ll probably just wait until I’m back in New York and go to one of my usual places in Curry Hill: Tiffin Wallah, Saravanaa Bhavan, or Tamil Nadu Bhavan.


Luke and I went to one of my favorite restaurants in Nakatsu, Pushkar, an Indian restaurant in an old, converted traditional house, for lunch today. Pushkar has a real Indian chef and a real tandoor oven as well. They serve up a good mix of Northern Indian and Anglo-Indian classics (in other words, the kind of Indian food we associate with most Indian restaurants in the West). We both had the tandoori and curry lunch set, which came with a minced chicken curry, tamarind seafood curry, mixed salad, a piece of tandoori chicken, a piece of Sikh kebab, and nan bread.

While their lunch menu consists of several sets that are a permutations of different daily curries with salad, nan bread or rice. For dinner, they offer a full à la carte menu of Indian favorites. Some of my favorites are the chicken butter cream (similar to a chicken tikka masala), chicken dopiaza (another kind of chicken curry with onions, bell peppers and almonds), and the tandoor lamb chops. They also make a spinach and cheese-filled nan bread that is worth checking out as well.


By the way, Luke has just started his own blog about Japan as well. Check it out here.