Saravana Palace

Indian, Vegetarian/Vegan
$$$$ ($14 and under)

Editorial Review

NOTE: The restaurant serves a daily lunch buffet.

This vegetarian Indian restaurant pays homage to the many eclectic cuisines of India, with dosas, Indo-Chinese options and curries, but standouts include dishes from the southern region of the country.

The multipage menu can be difficult to navigate, so the restaurant maintains a helpful list of the most popular items and their locations on the menu. Idli, steamed cake made out of fermented rice and lentil flour, rightfully earns top billing. Start with an appetizer of the fried chili pakora or lentil dumplings. For those accustomed to standard Indian offerings, paneer butter masala is a vegetarian take on chicken masala, simmering tofu-like cheese in an aromatic, spice-laden curry. The voluminous menu offers dishes from across India, including over a dozen large crunchy crepe-like dosas stuffed with fillings like butter masala, potato and onion curry or grated cheese with vegetables. Hot and tangy Manchurian Indo-Chinese dishes and uthappam pancakes also grace the menu. Rice, the staple of Southern Indian cuisine, receives notable preparations in biryanis as well as with fresh coconut and in a bright dish with lemon juice with peanuts. Try a wide assortment at lunch, when the extensive buffet sprawls over multiple counters.

There is no alcohol, but the menu offers soft drinks and lassi yogurt drinks. In this family-friendly spot, kids can order from a special menu that comes with dessert.

-- Erin Hartigan (April 24, 2012)