Gajalee, a new restaurant on the increasingly packed Valencia corridor in the Mission, prepares a type of Indian cuisine that’s less common ’round these parts. Konkani food—from the southwest regions of Karnataka and Kerala—relies on coconut, fish and shellfish, vegetable dishes, and a woody spice called teppal. You won’t find pork on their menu, and while chicken is increasingly popular in those regions, many classical recipes lean toward vegetables and the fruits of the sea.
At Gajalee, vulber particularly admired the “spot on” mussel curry, served with a series of excellent side dishes as part of a thali platter. possumspice adored the “flaky, light, tender and buttery” paratha, and ranks the thali as up to Udupi Palace quality, if not better. vulber notes that the putative paratha is actually vade (i.e., fried rice flour dumplings).
To wash everything down, psb recommends ordering sol kadi, a drink made of coconut and kokum (a fruit from the mangosteen family), which he says pairs well with the food here.
Gajalee [Mission District]
525 Valencia Street, San Francisco