Thursday, January 27, 2005

Dosa Place - Tustin

Recently, I tried for the first time this South Indian place in Tustin called Dosa Place. I first heard of it in last week's OC Weekly. Being a relative newbie in Indian cuisine, I didn't quite know what to expect, since my exposure to the food has been so far limited to my staple of Natraj Tandoori take-out over at the Irvine Marketplace, and one visit to a good but overpriced experience at Royal Khyber in Costa Mesa. I've been a meaning to take Suvro's list of restaurants to try in Artesia's Little India, but let's face it, I don't go to Artesia all that often.

We arrived early in the evening. The restaurant is free standing in the Drug Emporium plaza, next door to Noodle Ave. (a place recently reviewed here for the Chiu Chow Noodles). Walking from the parking lot, I was tempted to veer over to try Noodle Ave., since it was a cold crisp night - prime weather for soup. But it was curry and dosas for us tonight.

Dosa Place was empty, save for one couple. Fake, white leather booths and a garish neon border around the serving counter made the place feel like definite joint, but a clean one. Our pristine red table cloth was soon to be sullied by food dripping from our lips.

Dosa Place, as the name implies, specializes in dosas, large crispy crepes, usually stuffed with curried fillings, all of which would be completely new to me.

We ordered the Moong Masala Dosa ($5.95) which came out with a side of vegetable soup (I think it is called sambar). The sambar, which tasted like standard Campbell's punched up with spices, was good but it was the dosa that demanded our attention. Promptly, we started tearing into it. If the dosa was unfolded, it would have had the same diameter of a large pizza. At present it looked a dark, large, flat, folded crepe. The outer pieces were crisp and tasted faintly nutty. The bulk of the dosa was filled with a nice potato masala curry, which was a mash of spiced potato and peas. The waiter told us about the sauces that was to be used on the dosa. There was; the green mint chutney - bold, acidic, and herby; the white coconut chutney - mild and creamy; the orange chili and onion sauce - sour and hot; and the dark brown tamarind sauce - tangy, spicy and sweet. I tried one for every bite. My favorite had to be the tamarind sauce.

The Tandoori Chicken ($9.95) and Mixed Vegetable Koorma ($7.95) was brought out with a plate of white basmati rice ($1.95). I know...Tandoori Chicken is kind of a safe, unadventurous choice. But it was quite good. It was half of a chicken cut up into nicely charred pieces, served on top of sliced onion, peppers and lemon wedges on a sizzling plate. The chicken had a nice taste of smoke and tang from the yogurt marinade. The Koorma was also good. Savory pieces of potatoes, peas, beans, green peppers in a creamy, mildly spicy sauce. Curry heaven.

We left with plenty of leftovers, and our clothers smelled of curry. We are still novices at Indian food, but I think Dosa Place will soon make us become connoisseurs.

Dosa Place
13812 Red Hill Ave
Tustin, CA 92780
Phone: (714) 505-7777


At 10:42 PM, Blogger OC Paul said...

This is one of my favorite Indian places because they serve unique dishes from Southern India. We just went there tonight by coincidence. The fish fry dish is very good as well.

At 1:41 AM, Blogger Andytgeezer said...

Dosas are brilliant! Hard to do well though cos theu have to be really fresh. Check us out on we'll be tryin out dosas across India in a few months

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would suggest you try Udupi on Pioneer Blvd in Artesia to get a real taste of South Indian cuisine. I am of Indian origin and let me tell you, Dosa Place fails miserably when it comes to serving up authentic South Indian cuisine.

At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have gone to this place a couple of times.I am from south India.I can tell the quality of the food is not very good. Also they are charging $5.50 dollars (buffet) for a 4 year old which I think is a little expensive than other indian restaurants. ( In some places they don't even charge for kids less than 5 year olds). Also the customer service is not very good. Last time when I went there, there was a lady who works there(maybe owner?) glued to one table (must have known that customer) and never even bothered to visit other tables.

At 6:07 PM, Blogger Sabiha said...

We are going to try this restaurant out tonight... Your review gives us hope :)

At 6:18 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Wow, I didn't realize people have been commenting on this post. Sorry for the late reply.


Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you like Dosa Place. I have to get back there soon. It's been a while. Also if you have one of those Entertainment Book coupons, there's a BOGO offer in there.

At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried this place just last week for lunch. I’m not a connosieur of Indian Food but I liked the food there. I just had the buffet so I could sample everything but found that It was presented nicely. Service was so-so. I wouldn’t say they were rude but I will say they didn’t make you feel very welcome. Food was good though. I would also recommend the Noodle Ave next door.

At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Went couple of times to this restaurant, quality of the food is not worth for the Dollar.

Service in the restaurant is worst and they don’t have courtesy to take care of their customer. Even though there were few free tables ,restaurant manager was not able to provide table to their customer

At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good friend of mine told me about Dosa Place. I'm a connoisseur of Indian Lunch Buffets. One thing about Indian All-you-can-eat's hard to find a bad one. They're all good. But, it's rare to find a GREAT one.

One of the best Indian buffet's was a place in Mountain View, CA (just south of Palo Alto...i.e. Stanford University) called Amber India. I also really like Haveli's buffet in Tustin.

However, Dosa Place was average. In fact, they probably were on the lowest side of the good buffets. Again not bad, but bordering on it.

At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am South Indian and while Dosa Palace may not be as authentic as some of the Artesia joints, I take delight in being able to chomp on an egg dosa or chicken curry dosa which you do not typically find in the more traditional South Indian establishments. So in short-- for the veggie stuff-- hit up Artesia-- for the interesting non veg dosas-- this is your joint!!


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