New Additions: Part Two

Bringing you the latest in San Francisco fine dining, New Additions travels to the Mission district to sample the south Indian Vegetarian cuisine of newly opened Udupi Palace.

Being a fan of Indian food since my first order of curry, I have grown to crave this tantalizing and spicy cuisine. My tastes have changed since the early days of going to Indian chain restaurants like Naan-N-Curry (Watch out for their location on Van Ness, the health inspector gave them a 40, one of the lowest scores in the city on the most recent inspection).

Many Indian restaurants have the same vegetarian items on their menus, which can become as stale as day-old roti, an Indian  wheat bread.

Udupi Palace offers an entire menu of vegetarian dishes, even soup and dinner combinations usually reserved for high scale Indian eateries like Gaylord and Dosa.

The samosas at Udupi Palace are filled with warm spices and tender vegetables, and the dough isn’t thick like in many other restaurants. Udupi Palace’s paneer, a cheese which does not include rennet, was fresh and delicious. Never accept tough, chalky paneer – I’ve made it myself and the process is incredibly easy.

The spice in their chana masala, a chickpea curry, was sufficient without having to specify desired hotness level – a small miracle in San Francisco. Take it easy on the Fernet Branca drinking hipsters, the production of your poison dictates the prices of saffron worldwide.

The naan is light, crispy and flavorful without interfering with the tastes of your dish. Sadly, a vegetarian vindaloo, considered to be the hottest curry, is still not available in the city.

By offering a strict vegetarian menu, Udupi Palace has found a niche in San Francisco.

Despite the huge crowds a new restaurant entertains, the service is good and the environment is considerably less Marina than you would expect.

Udupi Palace is located at 1007 1/2 Valencia Street and scored 100 percent on their most recent health inspection.

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