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  1. #1
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    Best Norcal Indian food

    This thread is for fc.

    I don't eat much Indian food so I don't know what is considered good but I know I like what I like. What do you guys like?

    Swagat in downtown Concord
    Vedas in Milpitas

    Also something that most people might not like but I found good was Avatars Punjabi Burrito in Fairfax next to the bike shop with the tamarancho passes. It's an Indian Mexican fusion.

  2. #2
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    Best Indian food I have ever had (and I have had a lot) is the stuff my mother-in-law makes. As she is from the Fiji Islands she has some dishes with a different twist compared to those you find in most restaurants. The family has been trying for years to get her to open a restaurant or at least do wedding catering. My problem is, her food is so good I cannot go to an Indian restaurant without looking down my nose at what is served...so I don't tend to go to Indian restaurants. One that is (or has been) okay is Taj Oven in Roseville, right next to The Hub bike shop. I say has been because the place seems to change owners often...its been a while since I was there so I don't know if the food is still worthy.
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  3. #3
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    "Indian" food is very complex and it's hard to categorize. It is a big country, after all.

    North Indian: Amber India (so many good places, really hard to pin down but Amber is a good mix of ambience and food, upscale though).
    South Indian: Saravana Bhavan, Peacock.

    There's also chaat and biryani, I don't really go to those eateries that specialize in these.

    I like North Indian, the most. So many good places here.

  4. #4
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    by Indian, do you mean "desi"? this roughly means of or having to do w/ the sub continent (indian, pakistani, bangladeshi, sri lankan, etc). top places:

    shalimar (fremont, SF tenderloin, or Sacto) for various items. avoid shalimar in sf(polk) and sunnyvale.
    kabab and curry (santa clara) is also pretty damn good, and their various biryani's are not bad.
    kabana in berkeley is good for karahi stuff (like a wok, used for chicken, lamb, etc)
    vik's in berkeley is not bad for chaat and other snacks
    pakwan in fremont is also pretty solid (along w/ the one in the mission), try their achaar ghosht

    none of these places really has waiters or table cloths, but if you want that kind of thing, you could try Aslam's Rasoi in SF (mission district)
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    i think the place is called My Favorite Indian food. it is in Dublin.

    i reek of it now..since i just drove past and had to stop.
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  6. #6
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    ha ha ha... there might be overload but what the heck. If people don't like it, it'll be a stinker with no replies right?

    If someone recommends a place, tell us what to order too. I still don't understand the common dishes.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Mackenzie View Post
    This thread is for fc.

    I don't eat much Indian food so I don't know what is considered good but I know I like what I like. What do you guys like?

    Swagat in downtown Concord
    Vedas in Milpitas

    Also something that most people might not like but I found good was Avatars Punjabi Burrito in Fairfax next to the bike shop with the tamarancho passes. It's an Indian Mexican fusion.
    i also like Naan and Curry in Concord. that place is insanely packed..i dont know what to order..i usually just point at dishing going by..
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  8. #8
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    My go-to place for Indian food is Amber in Mt. View. Every New Years Eve we get take-out from them. Food is delicious. But not inexpensive.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    ha ha ha... there might be overload but what the heck. If people don't like it, it'll be a stinker with no replies right?

    If someone recommends a place, tell us what to order too. I still don't understand the common dishes.
    Here are a few go-to's off the top of my head fc:

    @ shalimar:
    -bhuna ghosht (lamb stew)
    -chicken tikka (bbq chicken breast)
    -beef sikh kabab (bbq kabab)
    -chicken kofta (chicken meatballs)
    -lamb chops
    -daal (lentils)
    -cholle/channa (garbanzo beans)
    -aloo palaak (potatoes and spinach)

    "common" will vary depending on restaurant vs what's eaten at home.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    ha ha ha... there might be overload but what the heck. If people don't like it, it'll be a stinker with no replies right?

    If someone recommends a place, tell us what to order too. I still don't understand the common dishes.
    I usually get buffet and I literally just eat anything there. I don't even know if I'm eating it properly most of the time.

  11. #11
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    Saroor in Walnut Creek has long been my favorite spot.
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  12. #12
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    In SF:

    Mela Tandoori Kitchen - sorry FC, this place is all about the meat! - amazing Tandoori meat platter - I think it's same folks from Shalimar

    Tilak - good vegi options, almost everything I've had here is good especially the Sev Puri and Daal Makhani

    Udupi Palace - FC this one is pure vegi! - great South Indian food - I have only been to the one in SF Mission, but I think there may be other locations in BA?, damn good and damn inexpensive, easy to order just get a dosa, which is basically like a rolled up Indian crepe that is longer than your top tube, stuffed with all sorts of tasty business

    Pakwan - already mentioned, but super heavy and super solid, especially if you are drunk, Chicken Tikka (and CT Masala) and Bengan Bharta (Eggplant) are the tickets

  13. #13
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    Shalimar in Dublin. Get the grilled chicken.

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    Flavors of India in Berkeley on College Ave. There is also one in Montclair in the Oakland hills.

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    Too many to name but my top 3 are

    Aslam's Rasoi - SF

    Amber Dhara - Palo Alto

    Rosoi - Burlingame
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  16. #16
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    My wife and I tend to find the best Indian/Pakistani food from grungy hole in the wall types. In SF our go to is Lahore in the TL and in Oakland the best we've found is the Raj Indian (Kerry House) on Piedmont Ave.

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    +1 for Lahore. Love the BYOB too.
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  18. #18
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    Oh yeah! +2 for Lahore that place is awesome and the people are so nice - it feels like you are eating home cooked food at somebody’s home


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  19. #19
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    Yet another vote for Aslam's Rasoi in SF, and they have a branch in Burlingame. Ate there last night!

    I LOVE their tandoori chicken tikka (roasted chicken breast on a stick), seekh kebab, and roasted paneer cubes. Their veg stuff is great too, I've enjoyed the channa masala, daal, daal saag, and aloo gobi.

    Udupi Palace has good, inexpensive dosas.

    Dosa (two locations in SF) has fancier, more expensive S Indian food. Their seasonal mung bean salad is amazing, chennai chicken wings also great.

    All three are within a block of each other in SF on Valencia Street.

  20. #20
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    Not a huge fan but I love a place in Novato. Batikia Indian bistro. My wife loves this place, her favorite in Marin so far.
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  21. #21
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    Mayuri, (el Camino Real in Santa Clara) nextdoor to the ill-fated once-was has-been crackpot bikeshop providing injury-causing ill-advised bike fittings called “Calmar”.

    Anyhow, Mayuri is pretty rad. Several former coworkers of mine from India recommended it to me, and it is delicious!!! Their weekday lunch buffet is pretty rad too. Their palak paneer and butter chicken are simply delicious!!!
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    Udipi Palace is the name of a ... chain... franchise... copycat... some sort of business relationship outside of what we're used to in the US?

    You'll find them all over the world serving similar food (vegetarian dosas). Usually pretty good.

    Dosa (in SF) is definitely the step up fancier version. And also has meats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by king_dave72 View Post
    Flavors of India in Berkeley on College Ave. There is also one in Montclair in the Oakland hills.
    The one in Montclair and the one near Trader Joe's on Lakeshore both recently closed abruptly. Not sure if the one on College survives. I'm really bummed as the Montclair one was my go to for takeout for almost 10 years!

  24. #24
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    Kamakshi's in San Carlos. Veggie and fresh! So ono.
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  25. #25
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    For great Nepalese food, go to "Taste of The Himalayas" in Sonoma. It's just off the square behind the Theater.

    Damn, now I'm hungry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by somanygoodbikes View Post
    I'm really bummed as the Montclair one was my go to for takeout for almost 10 years!
    Yeah, that was our go-to as well. Not the best indian food, but very fast and convenient.
    A Himalayan restaurant has taken over the place, with pretty much the same menu. Haven't tried it yet.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    For great Nepalese food, go to "Taste of The Himalayas" in Sonoma. It's just off the square behind the Theater.

    Damn, now I'm hungry.
    thanks for the tip!!
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  28. #28
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    Best Norcal Indian food

    Quote Originally Posted by skyno View Post
    In SF:

    Mela Tandoori Kitchen - sorry FC, this place is all about the meat! - amazing Tandoori meat platter - I think it's same folks from Shalimar

    Tilak - good vegi options, almost everything I've had here is good especially the Sev Puri and Daal Makhani

    Udupi Palace - FC this one is pure vegi! - great South Indian food - I have only been to the one in SF Mission, but I think there may be other locations in BA?, damn good and damn inexpensive, easy to order just get a dosa, which is basically like a rolled up Indian crepe that is longer than your top tube, stuffed with all sorts of tasty business

    Pakwan - already mentioned, but super heavy and super solid, especially if you are drunk, Chicken Tikka (and CT Masala) and Bengan Bharta (Eggplant) are the tickets
    Is Tandoori Kitchen close to Brenda’s Soul Food? My first time ever in SF I saw a line forming before they opened for dinner. Been wanting to get back there ever since.

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    - Madras Cafe Mountain View - any dosa
    - Saravana Bhavan Sunnyvale- anything or undecided get the thali. treats to go!
    - DOSA in SF - I haven't been to either location recently, I have gone to Valencia St location a few times when I'm in the area. SF Gate did an updated review just the other day. They make (made?) great sambar. https://www.sfchronicle.com/restaura...e-12482610.php

    The best Indian food I've had in a while (now take note I live in Santa Cruz and we don't have a wide selection) was in this tiny town in Ohio. Just amazing family cooking with the best ingredients that they can get. "South India Cuisine" in Mayfield Heights. No excess salt or oil like some of the bigger restaurants around here. Just an oasis of flavor in an otherwise midwest bland flatland.

    Another idea that I always like to throw out there is getting premade dosa batter from an Indian market and making your own "Indian crepes" at home. The usual potato masala inside is pretty easy to make as long as you have a good spice cabinet and dosas are pretty similar to making crepes.

    I guess I'm making Indian food tonight..
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    My family goes to Sneha in Sunnyvale when we visit my MIL. It is set up for all-you-can-stand buffet for both lunch and dinner with a huge selection of tasty dishes. Casual atmosphere is mellow for young kids.

    Sneha - Home

    The buffet works well for me because it lets me try something to see if I will like it, rather than having to guess on a menu. Turns out I pretty much like it all, and I have to be rolled out of there...

  31. #31
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    I haven't a good indian meal out here. my parents have an indian restaurant back east, and even the dumpy ones like their's can make a legit curry. The biryani out here is abysmal at every place i've been. But i'm been down with Pakwan in SF for their saag, and Dosa is good when guests are in town (but it's hit or miss for things outside the dosas). Actually my fave is Little Delhi in SF...only for this shrimp dish in coconut milk. So i'd say not any great restaurants, but a specific dish at select places depending on the mood.

  32. #32
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    I really had no appreciation for Indian food until I spent 10 days in Edinburgh, Scotland (of all places). After having it there, it was hard to find anything that measured up.
    Why Johnny Ringo, you look like someone just walked over your grave.

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    there must be some awesome places in Sunnyvale!!

    i'm no expert..i could be eating swill for all i know..
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    Best Norcal Indian food

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    I really had no appreciation for Indian food until I spent 10 days in Edinburgh, Scotland (of all places). After having it there, it was hard to find anything that measured up.
    A lot of people claim that tikka masala was invented in Scotland. It has substantial roots there. So that explains some of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by griffsterb View Post
    A lot of people claim that tikka masala was invented in Scotland. It has substantial roots there. So that explains some of it.
    Since India was a British colony for so long, there was quite a bit of resettling in the British Isles.
    Why Johnny Ringo, you look like someone just walked over your grave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by griffsterb View Post
    A lot of people claim that tikka masala was invented in Scotland. It has substantial roots there. So that explains some of it.
    I read it was England

    Story goes that some English "gentlemen" were served Tandoori Chicken w/out a sauce and they said that English gentlemen cannot eat meat without a sauce or gravy, so the chef whipped up what is now called Chicken Tikka Masala and now it is the most popular dish in England - goes along with the old cliche that the best food in England is Indian

    I get a kick out of all the people on all these food threads who say "you can't get any good food in and California restaurants, for that you need to go to *fill in the blank for whatever spot they have an emotional connection to*" - eating is very tied to our emotions, and I'm sure there are probably people on the East Coast going "how do eat this rubbish? - you should try this in California - it is sooo much better!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by skyno View Post

    I get a kick out of all the people on all these food threads who say "you can't get any good food in and California restaurants, for that you need to go to *fill in the blank for whatever spot they have an emotional connection to*" - eating is very tied to our emotions, and I'm sure there are probably people on the East Coast going "how do eat this rubbish? - you should try this in California - it is sooo much better!"
    Truth be told, thanks to the wine industry and the melting pot that is California, we have some of the best food in the world, right here. Plus we're spoiled with the freshest meats, freshest produce and the freshest poultry. So yeah, the "you can't get" argument has no merit
    Why Johnny Ringo, you look like someone just walked over your grave.

  38. #38
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    Everything is available...it just depends if you want to pay a premium for it. We rarely eat out. Restaurants are expensive, and the quality of food is so-so.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    Since India was a British colony for so long, there was quite a bit of resettling in the British Isles.
    Yep! You can get some seriously great Indian food in Britain (and Pakistani, Afghani), and Indian restaurants are about as numerous there as Mexican restaurants are here. I found a good little hole in the wall Indian place inside a liquor store (yes, really) in South Lake Tahoe. I think it was called Curry and Grill, or something like that. It's probably best to get food to go from there because they only have a couple of tables.

    We have a new Indian restaurant in Carson City now, after being without one for quite a while. I've eaten there twice so far and it's been delicious both times. The lady who runs it is really nice too . I'm always thankful any time someone adds a bit more diversity to Carson .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker View Post
    Mayuri, (el Camino Real in Santa Clara) nextdoor to the ill-fated once-was has-been crackpot bikeshop providing injury-causing ill-advised bike fittings called “Calmar”.
    Not to steal the thread, but what have you got against Calmar? They did THE BEST fitting on my road bike 8 years ago. For a comparison, a very well know place, which has "Cupertino" in their name fitted me on the same bike prior that and I could not ride an hour without a back pain.

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    Anything good in San Jose with vegetarian options? Good Karma has some Indian-ish offerings (and a solid beer list), but I'd like to have the real deal occasionally.
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    Ambrosia in Monterey, also has locations in Aptos and Scott's Valley has a great fish curry occasionally during their lunch buffet in Monterey. I haven't figured out how to order the same dish a la carte at the Aptos location though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomchakabowwow View Post
    i also like Naan and Curry in Concord. that place is insanely packed..i dont know what to order..i usually just point at dishing going by..
    There's a Naan and Curry in San Jose on Saratoga Av now. I eat there a couple times a week with their $8 3-dish combo with dessert!
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    Does Nepalese count? Pretty close, right? If so, Taste of The Himalayas, just off the square in Sonoma is outstanding!
    Why Johnny Ringo, you look like someone just walked over your grave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    Does Nepalese count? Pretty close, right? If so, Taste of The Himalayas, just off the square in Sonoma is outstanding!
    it counts. at least to my newb palate. that Yeti restaurant is pretty good. my wife likes it, so that means i like it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomchakabowwow View Post
    it counts. at least to my newb palate. that Yeti restaurant is pretty good. my wife likes it, so that means i like it.
    See? This is what I'm trying to get through my boys' heads. They are with their SOs and still haven't learned this one essential truth. Life can get so much easier once this is assimilated.
    Why Johnny Ringo, you look like someone just walked over your grave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    See? This is what I'm trying to get through my boys' heads. They are with their SOs and still haven't learned this one essential truth. Life can get so much easier once this is assimilated.
    Good marital advice: Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?

  48. #48
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    Sigh....memories. Used to be a place in Eureka, called PAK. Run by the nicest Pakistani family ever. Mom, Dad, two teenagers. Still the best Indian I've ever had, closest being the place near University and 4th in Berkeley.

    But, Dad got sick and had to go back to Pakistan for affordable medical care. Is that a statement on our system or what?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    Anything good in San Jose with vegetarian options? Good Karma has some Indian-ish offerings (and a solid beer list), but I'd like to have the real deal occasionally.
    hey doug,

    not quite san jose, but sarana bhavan is a veg only chain (from india) that has locations in sunnvayle, and also santa clara. it is mostly south indian fare, but they do have a nice cholle bhatura. my south indian friends tell me that is pretty authentic.
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    I like Zareen's in Palo Alto.

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    Thanks, HK. You da man!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomchakabowwow View Post
    it counts. at least to my newb palate. that Yeti restaurant is pretty good. my wife likes it, so that means i like it.
    “Where do you want to eat?” That means I spend the next 15 minutes trying to figure out where she wants to eat.
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    Aroma Cuisine in Castro Valley, Ashoka Buffet in Pleasanton and "My Favorite Indian Restaurant" in Hayward are my local go tos.

    My Indian friends and coworks all swear by Kabila in Union City. They say it's more authentic which might mean to spicy for me.

    Kabila Cuisine of India | Union City, CA 94587 | Menu

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzaro View Post
    “Where do you want to eat?” That means I spend the next 15 minutes trying to figure out where she wants to eat.
    Yep, I always get the "I don't care we eat" then a bunch of "no, not there"
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    VIKS in Berkeley and India Palace in Mill Valley right on the frontage road. Hard to believe, I know, the restaurant is in a Travel Lodge, do not let the looks deceive its very good and relatively inexpensive.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post
    Yep, I always get the "I don't care we eat" then a bunch of "no, not there"
    hahhaha..
    Santa Cruz 5010 C
    Surly Crosscheck.

  57. #57
    fc
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    Need more South Bay recommendations. Simple lunch spots is m preference. Don't like buffett too much.
    IPA will save America

  58. #58
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    south bay? i thought finding indian food in southbay was low hanging fruit..isnt it everywhere?
    Santa Cruz 5010 C
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  59. #59
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    Curry Up in San Mateo. There is also one in Palo Alto but we haven't tried that one.

    Sent from my SM-P900 using Tapatalk

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