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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.

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