Bay Area biryani crawl

When getting Take out Dosa I would think only “Set Dosa”, which are thick and soft to start with,would work.

Service was friendly from what I remember. I personally wouldn’t go back for the biryani though.

I was reading the Chronicle article from a few months ago about Juhu’s biryani (or at least the version the chef makes at home). Anyone tried that at the restaurant?

Palo Alto Rangoon Ruby’s burmese version lacked aroma besides an overabundance of salt.

Bawarchi in Fremont seems to have a number of biryanis- Vijayawada chicken, Ulavachaaru and Hyderabad biryani. They also have Thalapakattu biryani, which they say is from Dindigul region of Tamil Nadu. Not so sure about the shrimp and fish biryani though.

Looks like a trip to Fremont is in the future. If anyone has tried please share your experience.

I didn’t realize that Bawarchi has a couple of branches in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara…

Vijayawada chicken biryani with chicken 65 from the Sunnyvale Bawarchi. Bawarchi on the web site claims they are the biryani capital of the Bay Area. Bold indeed. Some people claimed the Santa Clara branch was better so I’ll have to try next time. The V. chicken biryani was not bad. The basmati was fluffy, though a little bland. I was a bit weary about the bright red chicken 65 and the food color that bled into many of the rice grains. (Lots redder than in the picture). Above average attempt but would love to go back and try their other biryanis. Giant serving (for takeout).

I specified medium spicy and it came out just mildly hot. I think I need to adopt an Indian name for takeout to get them to perhaps not dial back the spicing and risk blandness. I asked them about the various types of biryanis. They said Thalapakattu was spicy. Dum biryani’s not. I think the next one I’ll try is either the Thalapakattu or Ulavachaaru.

Tried the (new to me) Thalapakattu biryani from Bawarchi Santa Clara, which is a biryani from the Dindigul region of Tamil Nadu. This biryani used the Seeraga samba rice instead of basmati in biryanis from other states. This rice is the most expensive variety of rice grown in the state, and has the smallest grain.

The rice they used in this dish had small grains for sure, though some looked like Vietnamese broken rice. Perhaps a lower cost source for the Seeraga samba? Another observation about the rice is that it is not fluffy and loose. A little mushy, in fact.

The dish was well seasoned. As with anything from Tamil Nadu, it was hot, and it was certainly the hottest biryani encountered in recent memory. The marsala added some extra spiciness/ fragrance to the rice and was highly welcomed.

Interested in trying their other biryanis. Bawarchi Santa Clara is located near the Levi’s Stadium.

Other places that serve Thalapakattu biryani in the Bay Area. Anyone tried these?

Chennai Grill, Sunnyvale, Dublin
Himalayan Kitchen, Mountain View
Lotus Indian Express, Fremont
Hyderabadi Biryani Pointe, Cupertino
Little Delhi, SF
Gulzaar Halal Restaurant, SJ

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I just had a really good well spiced fish biryani (a special) from vik’s over the weekend. They were very generous with the fish portion. Their lamb biryani is also quite good, and that is available most weekends

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I like Himalayan Kitchen generally, and have eaten their biryani, but not the Thalapakattu. I recommend trying them!

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The Indian community is either in love of or crucifying (generally for service) this Milpitas, and first US outlet of a Chennai chain Thalappakatti Restaurant. They have dindigul biryani, made with their grandma’s recipe.

A profile of their Milpitas branch from a newspaper from Chennai:

Anyone been?

My wife and I had a good chuckle about their web site’s soothing music, which sounds like a cross between Indian and K/J-Pop…

ETA: which may not be the type of music I associate with a fiery Dindigul biryani, but perhaps I should put that track on next time I have this biryani to cool down the fire.

The other place where I had the Thalapakattu Dindigul biryani, the Bawarchi branch near Levi’s Stadium, is no more and is now replaced by a place called Golkonda Indian Cuisine, which serves some different biryanis of its own.

The high from the mutton biryani at Dindigul Thalappakatti last time…

was followed by the disappointment of the amaravathi chicken biryani this time from the new BiryaniZ branch on Castro, Mountain View:

They didn’t have the Hyderabad biryani so the amaravathi it was. I just couldn’t get past the unpleasantly dry and starchy texture of the rice. The chicken at the bottom was coated with a spicy sauce. I don’t recall the Vijayawada biryani from their Milpitas branch had the same type of rice texture. My suspicion is that they used lower cost basmati.

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Continuing my monologue. There’s word that the new Arusuvai in Santa Clara makes a mean seeraga samba biryani. Gotta try it some time.

New place on Castro in MV. Don’t have high hopes, because, high rent, but… any reports?

BiryaniZ? Here:

Peacock in Mt View is reborn a few blocks away on Mary in Sunnyvale. Still got the same biryanis from a few years ago. And, as far as I can remember, still taste pretty good just like before, with the caveat that they could use a better source for rice since it was a little starchy. Northern style. Very moderate heat. Came with a hard boiled egg.

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Annachikadai’s mutton biryani was ok. I think there aren’t too many biryani competitors in Mt View (e.g. Chennai Kings, BiryaniZ) so this would do, or we’ll have to go high end like Amber.


Crossposted here. The seeraga samba rice in Arusuvai’s chicken biryani was quite wet, the wettest I have had in a biryani. Hidden from view were pieces of seasoned chicken. I’d say the biryani was average, compared to a similar one from Bawarchi that’s made with seeraga samba rice a while ago.

Crossposted here. Biryani buffet at Sankranti. Probably better to order al la carte since all the biryani blends together, though its a good value. They also have ‘personal’ biryani to go at $5.

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Zareen’s in Mountain View/ Palo Alto excel in many dishes, but unfortunately the Friday special at the PA location- chicken biryani- is not one of them. I specifically seeked this dish out because the biryani here, according to Zareen Khan, is actually cooked in a dum the long way unlike other Indian restaurants, and hence doesn’t offer 49 meat options. But alas, its not meant to be- soggy rice kinda ruined it. Many Sunnyvale Indian restaurant biryanis are better. Also didn’t know what to do with the raw green bell pepper.