BARR - Annaporna
Last weekend my wife came and said "We have to go to Annapoorna's to eat!". I always thought this restaurant was at least 20-30 miles away in san mateo. apparently they opened an Annapoorna's in Sunnyvale. The restaurant formerly known as Madras Sri Krishna Vilas changed to Annapoorna! We never really ate at the Sri Krishna because the first time we walked in, the prices were exhorbitant, the restaurant was dingy, the guy didnt even say "welcome" or "come in"(considering there was no one else in the restaurant), and it was right opposite Spice Hut, one of our favorite hang outs and therefore it was no contest !
Now Annapoorna's is a well known name. We didnt really find out if it was a branch of the restaurant in India, but we went there anyways. It is located at the corner of Cezanne and El Camino Real (573 E El Camino Real).
It was a grand opening indeed ! The prices were affordable and competitive, a first criteria before we go into any restaurant. That said, the ambience was also much better. The place was well lit and there was a big crowd and the smell was very very inviting.
The food was excellent and so was the service. And for the record, this is the only place where the rava dosa arrived within 10 minutes !
Wait time : 1 minute (seat yourself)
Food wait time from order : 10 minutes for all items including Dosa
Check time : 2 minutes (Visa Mastercard , pay first then eat !)
Average price per person : $9
Rating "I miss my mother in law!".
Service : Excellent
Items sampled : Rava Dosa, Dosa, Malai Kofta, Tandoori Naan, Roti, Mango Lassi, tea
The rava dosa came first (a big surprise) and it was excellent. It was not all too crispy (I like it crispy) and so both the Mrs. and the mother in law had a taste. The sambar and chutney were excellent (Judging by the Andhra Style my guess is that the cook is from Andhra). Please note that most bay area Indian restaurants have started charging a dollar when you order extra sambar, thanks to the export ban on Lentils !! Luckily for us this restaurant had so such charge.
Then came the plain Dosa. The thing that set this place apart was that the dosa was served on butter paper (i dont know what else to call it.. the paper on which you roll pastry). This way the dosas, did not stick to the plate and you dont have to scrape off half the stuff from the plate. A+ for this idea !!
The malai kofta and the soft breads were excelllllent. Very well done. The only disappointment was the Chai. I expected some thing along the lines of home made tea, but it tasted like Tea bag tea! On the whole, it was great food (Although there was no kids menu, Jr. gave the Dosa two thumbs up!). I did not try the Mango Lassi, it was perfect (per wife, mother in law and Jr.).
I guess one of the reasons this place is drawing a crowd is because the previous owners had the place as a pure south Indian Vegetarian restaurant. The current owners have made it both south and north Indian with veg and non-veg items ! From the approving looks of the people on the next table, it looked as though the non-veg is also going to get rave reviews.
Recommendation : Yummmmy !!
ps. do not confuse this review for Annapurna (another All Indian restaurant in Elko drive .. I have not gone to that place yet.. when the time comes, will review that place!)