Dosa by Dosa in Oakland

It excites me to write about Dosa by Dosa, a hip new South Indian restaurant located in Uptown Oakland. The restaurant is owned by the husband and wife team, Anjan and Emily Mitra who already run two popular and successful restaurants in San Francisco by the name of Dosa. The Mitras bring a more casual menu to their Oakland location that I am loving.Let me start with the adult slushies. Dosa by Dosa have two frozen drink machines that are continuously running so that you and I can enjoy a boozie drink at the drop of a hat or rather a pull of a nozzle. One flavor is the monchichi which is made with vodka, coconut, pineapple, lime, green cardamom, and nutmeg. I’m not sure if it’s named after the toy I grew up with, but it was definitely delicious. It tasted creamy and gave me the feel of a beach.  The other flavor was shoeflower cooler which is made with rum, passionfruit, ginger, orange, lime, and lo-fi gentian amaro. This one was fruitier and sweeter. At $5 a glass during happy hour, I am elated.  If boozie slushies are not your thing, Dosa by Dosa offers a number of other innovative Indian spiced cocktails.
I never knew there was such a thing as an Indian french fry until I came to Dosa by Dosa. Called Idli fries, they are made from rice and lentil patties that are cut up into wedges and deep fried. They are served with a roasted chili garlic chutney. For some reason, eating these made me think about the Cream of Wheat that my grandmother used to make me as a child. I enjoyed these so much the first time that I ordered them again on my next visit. The serving is pretty large so it’s a dish that is easy to share.  

I also tried the Chenmai fried chicken during their happy hour. There is nothing not to like about the boneless fried chicken pieces that come out temperature hot. They have a little bit of a kick and served with raita dipping sauce to provide a ying and a yang.
Naan bread is one of my favorite things to eat when fresh. I tried two of their stuffed naan, the chicken and the cheese. For textural reasons, I preferred the cheese as it seems to blend better.  

Dosa by Dosa also includes rice bowls with your choice of Indian curries. They have chicken tikka masala, Tamil lamb, saag paneer, and butternut squash dal. You can also choose coconut, lemon, brown, or white rice. I had the excellent chicken tikka masala bowl with lemon rice.  

I believe there should be a rule that you can’t go to Dosa by Dosa and not have a dosa. A dosa is a beautiful paper thin, golden brown, savory rice and lentil crepe that is usually filled and rolled. I enjoyed both the masala potato and the habanero mango. The fillings are both potato based, but with a variation in flavors. They come with a coconut chutney, a tomato chutney, and sambar, a lentil and vegetable dipping soup. The crispy crepe with the creamy potato is pure harmony and perfection. I think I’ll stick with my rule and keep coming back for dosa!

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Dosa: South Indian Flavors

My friends and I crossed the Bay Bridge and attended CAAMFEST, the film festival put on by the Center for Asian American Media on Friday night. Although the festival is held in several venues around the Bay Area, it is centered in Japantown in San Francisco. We had a 9:15pm screening, so we planned for a nice leisurely dinner before the show. I made reservations for Dosa located at the corner of Post and Fillmore, which was very close to the theater.

Dosa serves South Indian cuisine. As a group of three, we decided to share a bunch of plates. We were first served some complimentary papadams, which are spiced lentil chips. It’s always nice when you get something to snack on while you wait for your food.

It didn’t take long before our Dosa arrived. Dosas are crepes made of rice batter and black lentils. We ordered the thin version which came out rolled with dips on the side versus being stuffed. It came with a potato mixture, some chutneys, and a soup known as sambar.

Bhel puri was served next which is a mix of puffed rice, mango, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and coriander. Two chutneys accompanied this dish, one sweet and one spicy. It was an exotic mixture of ingredients with a variety of favors and textures.

The Chennai chicken was another small plate we ordered which were pieces of boneless, skinless chicken marinated in yogurt, coriander, and cumin and deep fried.

The trio of grilled lamb chops were perfect for us to each have one chop. It was marinated in spices, lentil sauce, spiced potatoes, and cauliflower. We ordered a side of lemon basmati rice not knowing that there was a small side that came with the entree.

The bhatura, the oversized, soft, puffy wheat bread was a beauty. This hollow bread was great to eat with the lamb chops.

With plenty of time before our movie, we sipped on chai and coffee and shared a saffron cheesecake.

I had a great experience at Dosa. I have eaten some of these dishes before at other restaurants, but the quality at Dosa is much higher. With another location in the Mission district, you have twice the opportunity!