indian food

Rap + Indian Food

Tip Jar at Valencia Eatery Asks Question for the Ages

The Valencia location of Curry Up Now is requiring customers to answer one of history’s greatest questions when tipping: Biggie or Tupac?

When answering such a question, one must begin by determining what criteria is being evaluated.  As both men were hip-hop artists, it would at first appear to be a meritorious evaluation of their output.  But perhaps a greater rivalry is at play here, as suggested by the relative placement of the two tip bins; Tupac is to the left of Mr. Smalls, which is indicative of their representation of West Coast vs. East Coast  hip-hop, respectively.

As a customer I was not inclined to take a stand in this battle as I appreciate both artist’s work equally.  Working in my favor is the particular nature of the tip jar vs. the conceptual nature of duality; as duality in an of itself cannot be manifested in physical form, thus a binary answer cannot be enforced.

So I ripped my dollar in two and put half in each.

Thing That Valencia Street Totally Does Not Need Is Now Coming To Valencia Street!

This sign has been up for a while so it isn't exactly new “news,” but another Indian restaurant on Valencia, are you fucking kidding me? We already have Udupi Palace, Aslam's Roti, Dosa, Gajalee and Amber Dhara all within a 6 block stretch on Valencia. Not to mention Pakwan on 16th, Alhamra on 16th, and probably a whole lot more in other parts of the Mission that we're forgetting. 

To be fair, all these Indian restaurants boast a slightly different angle despite basically serving the same cuisine. Udupi is vegetarian. Dosa is a little higher end and Amber Dhara looks like some type of 1980's coke club so who knows whats up with that. Pakwan is actually Pakistani. From the looks of it, this new spot will be serving up Indian street food which is probably a bit different. But still, thats a lot of Indian joints in a fairly small area, right? Is the Mission turning in to Little Dehli? Or better yet, is the Mission turning into the Tenderloin?!

… and dont even get us started on the number of taquerias around here. 

[PS: For lols, check out Curry Up Now's sexy, naughty menu of food that will definitely give you explosive diahrrea]

Maharaja Closing Up Shop?

From what I can tell, Maharaja Indian on Valencia and 16th has been unexpectedly closed for a few days now.  Perhaps the closure was random, but this photo was taken on Friday at dinner time and it was closed again on Sunday—not days a typical restaurant just randomly shuts down—without any posted notice of a reopening date.

As you may recall from a few months back, an ad selling a “1500 Sq. Ft. restaurant located on Valencia St. (between 16th & 17th Streets)” was posted up Craigslist.  At the time, no one quite knew what business was up for grabs, but this potential shuttering suggests an answer.  Looks like we'll have to stick with Pakwan from here on out.

Another Valencia Restaurant Up For Sale

Jay B. over at Grub Street noticed this specifics-free ad on Craigslist:

This Is Approximately 1500 Sq. Ft. Restaurant Located On Valencia St. (Between 16th & 17th Streets) In San Francisco. Same Owner Has Been In Business For 9+ Years. The Restaurant Has Full Kitchen With Hood And Can Seat About 50 People. A Beer And Wine License Is Included In Sale. There Is A Lot Of Potential To Grow.

Very Motivated Seller!

Jay went on to rule out that it couldn't be Puerto Alegre (currently expanding, full liquor license) or Limon (more than 50 seats), but speculated that it could possibly be Maharaja, Sunflower, or Frjtz.  I'm putting my money on Maharaja, the killer north Indian restaurant whose website is still a MySpace.  Unlike Frjtz and Sunflower, which are just too popular to have “potential to grow,” Maharaja is frequently empty.  After all, it's hard to compete with the BYOB Pakwan just up the street.  Plus, it barely looks like a restaurant from the street.

That said, I hope I'm wrong.  Maharaja is not nearly as bad as the yelptards make it out to be and it'd be a damn shame to lose it.

(linkphoto by Steve Rhodes)