Inspired by Melanie's rave for Woodlands in Newark, I decided to give Woodlands in Sunnyvale a try. On a beautiful Sunday lunchtime, the place was almost empty, with only two other parties, so the food came quickly. The Mysore masala dosa was quite good, particularly the potato filling. The dosa itself lacked the complexity of Madras Cafe, while the chutneys were bland, perhaps the least appealing ones I've had in this area. The dosa also wasn't very spicy, but that often happens to me at Indian places until I go back as a repeat customer. My first Mysore masala dosa at Madras Cafe was the same way, but they know better now. The rasam had no such problem. It was good, but I prefer the greater complexity of flavor at Southern Spice Bistro.
With Saravana Bhavan and Madras Cafe both about a mile away, this place faces very tough competition and seems to be losing the battle. I drove by Madras Cafe on the way home and saw that it was full as usual on a Sunday afternoon. The crowds do indeed have wisdom in this case. This may be better South Indian food than you would get in many parts of the country, but it's pretty average for Sunnyvale.
Pretty average makes for tough business here. Rajmantra, the new place that claimed to be Nepalese but had hardly any specifically Nepalese dishes on the menu, is already gone. Maybe Woodlands is doing better during the week or at dinner. For now its main role for me will be as an overflow restaurant.