Cheap Eats: Sri Venkatesh Bhavan
Chow down on tasty vegetarian Indian cuisine.
Why Come? This typical vegetarian South Indian restaurant offers a cuisine unfamiliar to most Americans. You won’t find saucy curries, tandoori, or kebabs. At Sri Venkatesh Bhavan, rice and lentils are transformed into a variety of nourishing dishes and breads.
Where is it? 3180 Santa Rita Rd., Pleasanton, (925) 425-0901, srivenkateshbhavan.com.
When is it open? Lunch and dinner Tuesday–Sunday.
What’s the atmosphere? Stark. This is a wide-open, bare-bones dining room. But the quick service makes up for it.
Which dishes are best? Most popular here are the dosas—thin, crispy crepes offered in two-dozen guises. Tiffins are the best choice if you want to try a variety of tastes. We loved the vadai, light lentil donuts, and the moist vegetable biryani, with its haunting flavors of cardamom and curry leaf. Coconut chutney and super-fresh raita cool the South Indian spice. Top it all off with a mango lassi.
How much? Most everything is under $7.