Thursday, May 18, 2017

Flying Idlis

9411 Richmond

This business started out as delivery only, I think.  Hence the slogan 'You Order, We Fly' and the name I suppose. They've built up such a following they've moved into a big strip center on Richmond across from Blue Nile Ethiopian restaurant, sharing the center with Mi Pueblito and Dodo's, two stalwart Colombian restaurants, long-time Cuban venue La Vina, and a new West African spot, Mea's African Cuisine and Lounge which features Nigerian and Ivorian dishes.

The menu centers on idlis and dosas but has begun to expand beyond that.  I started with the Magic Idlis and some Chai.  The basic rice and split black lentil steamed dough is dressed with butter, salt, onion, gunpowder and coriander (cilantro), served on a section of banana leaf and accompanied by a peanut chutney and sambar.  I was delighted.  I love finding little places like this and the fact that portions are modest only adds to its appeal for me.

I went back a few days later for the Magic Masala Dosa which challenges my long-time fave at Shri Balaji Bhavan as best Masala Dosa in town. Most of the dishes listed on the menu as 'coming soon' are now available so the menu offers close to a dozen varieties of idlis and dosas.

Just the mention or sight of the word thali and I start salivating.  It's perhaps my favorite way to partake of Indian food so I had to check out the weekday lunch thali.  Clockwise from the top this was lentils and spinach, eggplant, sambar, yogurt (curd/dahi), a buttermilk curry with vegetables, a small gulab jamon and wheat chapati, plus a more than adequate portion of rice.  The server (owner?) said the buttermilk curry included a  little bit of sambar as I understand and various vegetables.  I could only identify a small portion of onion.  Everything was very tasty; I loved especially the first two dishes and the buttermilk curry.

The staff lacks a little bit of polish (they've only been open a few weeks) but more than make up for it with eagerness to please.  A wall poster indicates on weekends the thali is a special Andhra thali.  The place has been sparsely populated when I've been in on weekdays but I stopped by on a Sunday to try the special thali and discovered there'd be a wait for a seat.  I've never developed much appreciation for standing in line so I'll try again another time.

This stretch of Richmond has always been interesting for the variety of cuisines offered.  The strip center across the street where Blue Nile is located is getting a sprucing up and a couple of Colombian restaurants in there have changed hands; one specializes now in Colombian empanadas and the other is a second location of Paisa's Twin.  I can't remember what each of those were before, though.

Flying Idlis

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