With Cafe Dhaka closed, I wondered where I should search for a new southern outpost on the Great Biryani Road that follows El Camino through Silicon Valley. I decided to try out Zafran based on a nice review in Metro - Stett Holbrook is the best newspaper critic I've read in the area.
This was a great idea! The biryanis are listed on the menu as particular "chef recommends" specialities. The chicken biryani here was extremely tasty, and different from the other great biryanis I've had in the area This apparently is a more Pakistani-style biryani. It's full of fresh herbs and spices - I hadn't seen thin slices of fresh ginger in other biryanis, and it's a lively touch. The overall flavor is just fantastic, with the combination of complexity and comfort that makes great biryanis so enjoyable.
On another visit I tried the achar gosht, made from goat rather than lamb (yay!) and with a nice pickle presence. It's not as great as my all-time favorite achar dishes at Hyderabad House, but it's quite respectable.
I need to go back and try the behari kebab and some of the other specialties.
1855 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA