I had lunch today at Athithi, a vegetarian Indian restaurant in Berkeley, right off of Telegraph avenue on Dwight Way. It has been mentioned in previous posts. The restaurant is small, sunny and cozy, and the chef-owner is very friendly and courteous, using words like "gentleman" and "sir".
The food is delicious. I had the veggie squares, hearty fried squares of leafy greens in a lentil batter, served in a green chutney. I also ordered the rice plate, which comes with a generous amount of pristine basmati rice, a tin of stewed vegetables (cauliflower, green beans, carrots, and potatoes) in a delicate coconut sauce, a smudge of red, salty-sour, lemon pickle, a bowl of lentil soup full of spices, and a thin crispy papad (lentil wafer). While the vegetables and lentil soup were a little undersalted, the balance of flavors overall was excellent, and the heat and spices helped alleviate my cold symptoms. The food tasted as if it had been made with excruciating care, and the owner's pride in the food confirmed this hypothesis.
I will definitely return.