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A chain of Indian/Pakistani restaurants in Northern California.

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Willing to brave the Tenderloin? Well, here's one of the best Indian restaurants in San Francisco.

  • Feb 27, 2009
Shalimar is a chain of Indian/Pakistani restaurants in Northern California.  The one that I frequent is on Jones St in San Francisco.  So this Shalimar isn't the classiest restaurant in the world, nor is it in the best neighborhood.  So it's in the Tenderloin.  So the place is really shabby.  So everything is served in scratched up plastic plates and bowls.  So it's self-served.  So the bathroom is absolutely disgusting.  So I saw a drug transaction right outside the window as I was dining.  So my friend wouldn't let me walk here or back to BART on my own.

But it's still good.  It's still good.

I've heard about the wonders of Shalimar for quite some time before I actually tried it.  From what I've been told, they're pretty authentic (hey, I don't know what authentic tastes like!  I only know of deliciousness :D).  They've got land animals on their menu, plus seafood, and my favorite, a pretty generous vegetarian menu.  Their menu changes occasionally, but their staple dishes usually stay the same numbers:

#25 Palak Aloo Methi
#33 Paneer Masala
#11 Naan -A-Akbar
#15 Shalimar Chawal
#4B Banarsi Kheer (rice custard!)

I like ordering by numbers!  Everything is delicious, albeit the curry dishes being a bit too salty sometimes.  The naan is warm and fluffy and the rice is perfect.  The rice custard can be unnecessarily too sweet, though still delicious!  It's exciting and thrilling, yet scary, to eat because there are all sorts of mystery solids inside, all sorts of nuts and pods.  And the best part?  I can just throw down a $20 bill for two and have tax and tip included.  Super cheap!

I must add that their green chutney sauce is AMAZING.  I'm a condiment whore and when there are LARGE squeeze bottles at my disposal, I go to town!  I remember the first time I went to Shalimar, before I went to town, I went to heaven first when I saw how many full bottles that they had in their fridge.  I use it on everything except for the custard.  And when I have nothing else to use it on, I squirt it into my spoon and drink it like soup.  So good!  I usually end up eating over half the bottle on my own.

Compared to all the other self-served Indian restaurants I've been to, this one has surprisingly good service.  Plates, utensils and napkins were brought to us, and when the food was brought out, each plate was introduced instead of just tossed onto the table.  I can dig it.

So if you're brave enough to trek out to the Tendernob, Shalimar is where you'll find cheap, delicious Indian/Pakistani food with some seriously AMAZING chutney.
Shalimar Shalimar

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April 21, 2009
Lived in San Fran for 18 years now--I will brave the Tenderloin area for anything that is totally worth it! I say the myths about the tenderloin district is greatly exaggerated. (or is it?) Althugh spicy foods is more intimidating to me than Tenderloin area itself LOL!
April 21, 2009
I dunno... I've seen some pretty weird things in the TL! Some comical, some scary, but eh, plenty of good food there that I'm willing to trek out there for! :)
March 26, 2009
Wow. You really love condiments.
March 10, 2009
Nice review. Next time I'm in SF I'll have to check it out.
March 03, 2009
Looks tasty, I'll check it out if I'm in Norcal. And if you ever find yourself in LA, "Jaipur" near Pico and Westwood has the best nah I've ever had. The food tastes even better following a screening of "Slumdog Millionaire" :)
March 01, 2009
I want. Last time I was in the Tenderloin, I was with a friend, who was visiting SF. Someone came up and propositioned both of us. Nice. But I could definitely return for that green chutney stuff. Yum!
About the reviewer
devora ()
Ranked #4
When I'm not Lunching, I'm a jeweler, and an all around, self-proclaimed web geek. My passions include social media, the interweb, technology, writing, yoga, fitness, photography, jewelry, fashion, … more
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About this restaurant


Shalimar is a chain of Indian/Pakistani restaurants located in Northern California.  There are four locations:

532 Jones Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tel: 415.928.0333

1409 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
Tel: 415.776.4642

3325 Walnut Avenue
Fremont, CA 94538
Tel: 510.494.1919

1146 West El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
Tel: 408.530.0300

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