The lunch plates are simple: a choice of a curry or stir-fried
vegetable, some basmati rice, a cucumber-onion relish, and a lightly
sweetened raita (yogurt relish) with chickpea-flour pearls. The curries
are simple, too, but not dull. SFoodie was served a saucy mixed-vegetable curry, cardamom and ginger arcing over its aroma, and a
simpler stir-fry of turmeric-dyed potatoes and parval, a finger-length
North Indian gourd that resembles dense-fleshed zucchini.
food wasn't quite up to the standards of Vik's lunch plates, but it was
lighter and fresher than the ghee-drenched North Indian curries that
lurk in the steam tables of San Francisco's Indian buffets. The rich
incense -- smelling like a field of flowers stuffed into a 10-by-20-foot room
-- seeped into our clothes as we ate, leaving us perfumed for the
return to work. This time, we passed up the packets of fresh curry leaves and cardamom ice cream, but at least we know where to get them should the need hit.
Bombay Bazar: 245 South Van Ness (at Division), 864-2193.