What are the odds that the only straight-up Sri Lankan restaurant in the Bay Area would be really, really good? Well, we must be really lucky because Kadupul, the offshoot of a catering company, is definitely worth a trek, in my opinion.
The tiny restaurant looks more like a Mediterranean café than a South Asian eatery. But the food delivers deep, complex flavors with the characteristic notes of sweet spices and coconut. Hoppers (a.k.a. appam) are bowl-shaped crepes made with fermented coconut-rice batter, fluffy on the bottom and lacy and crisp on the sides. They're perfect for sopping up the delicious prawn curry. The "prawns" themselves are just mediocre shrimp, but they're beside the point. A condiment of intense caramelized onions with star anise, on the other hand, was pretty great all by itself.
Lamprais is like biryani in a bundle, spiced rice and your choice of meat, chicken or mushrooms, and veggie croquettes wrapped in banana leaf. It's yummy stuff, and so is a side dish of okra, bathed in a light sauce.
But avoid the roti—it's like coconut-flavored cardboard.
Kadupul [East Bay]
8939 San Ramon Road, Dublin