Dasaprakash: Cuisine of South India
2636 Homestead Road
Santa Clara, California
Monday - Thursday: Lunch: 11.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m; Dinner: 5.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.
Friday: Lunch: 11.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m; Dinner: 5.30 p.m. to 10.00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: Open ALL DAY from 11.30 a.m. to 10 p.m
The finest Indian restaurant in California is Dasaprakash. The founder of the Dasaprakash empire, which includes three hotels in India, was once a humble street vendor of dosas. His portrait hangs in the entranceway of one of the most handsome, understated restaurants in the Bay Area.
I used to patronize the west Los Angeles Dasaprakash, known as Madhu's Dasaprakash, and was crushed when it closed. But on my first visit to the Santa Clara restaurant I was told (two years ago, I think) that the Indian community of Silicon Valley had guaranteed far better business here, so I stemmed the flow of my tears.
On Saturday I had the following: rich and spicy Rasam soup, with curry leaves and black mustard seeds, a combination called Andhra Heat, which included the finest iddly I've ever had, a Conjeevaram Iddly, denser and less spongy than the typical iddly, made with cashews and presented with a trio of lovely chutneys--coconut cilantro, tamarind and a third, orange in color, that I can't identify. Also in the Heat were a Pesseret, a dosa filled only with minced red onion, chiles and ginger, that I dipp3ed into a thick and fragrant onion gravy, and a bowl of Onion Uppama that I adored.
I also sampled the South Indian Thali, which is a great achievement.
The food at Dasaprakash is elegant, hugely varied in flavor and texture, and utterly innocent of the crimes perpetrated by the likes of Naan & Curry, where texture is unvarying and flavors are muddy.
The cost of those three items, plus two glasses of lime juice, was $36, including the tip.
Our waiter was well informed, attentive, friendly.