Amaravathi opened two weeks ago serving up South Indian and Indo-Chinese vegetarian food. I slid in five minutes before the 9:30pm closing time on Sunday, and the hostess was gracious to seat me. The room was still more than half full with South Asian families.
We started with crunchy crusted Masala Vada, $6.
The vada, as did all the plates, came with four delicious chutneys. A well-spiced coconut, tomato, ginger, and my favorite of the lot, peanut. The sambar was in a thicker style, less spicy hot, yet very complex in seasoning.
Hot Ghee Pongal, $6, oozed decadently with the nutty tasting, buttery richness of ghee. The mash of grains was studded with whole black peppercorns, curry leaves, and other aromatics.
Special idli, $5, had green beans, carrots and curry leaves embedded in the steamed rice batter. The stripe of podi added spicy notes but could not rescue the sodden texture.
Amaravathi MLA special dosa, $7, was spread inside with podi and sprinkled with red onions and cilantro. Folded into a half moon, the texture of the dosa was quite soft and damp inside. Apparently MLA dosas are unique to Andhra, and I'd welcome more information about this regional specialty.
Rava kesari, $3, for dessert was moderately sweet, served warm and garnished with cashews and sultanas.
While we liked the chutneys and sambar a lot, the center of the plate items were not particularly memorable. The key to a satisfactory meal might depend on finding the prep among the many choices that stands apart. We did not uncover one this go-round, but the quality of the condiments makes us optimistic. Amaravathi offers a South Indian thali for lunch and early dinner, and that might be what I order the next visit.
Anyone else tried Amaravathi?
Amaravathi Indian Pure Vegetarian Restaurant
673 Grape Ave
Sunnyvale, CA 94087