Dakshin: Southern Indian Cuisine

Dakshin (meaning South or Southern in Sanskrit) is a bomb Southern Indian restaurant located at 2127 Polk St in San Francisco. Now, I can’t claim to be an expert in the various styles of Indian food and how they differ from region to region, but what I can guarantee is your taste buds will be craving more after you’re done.

What’s cool about the place is how they blend the old school with the new. They focus on traditional dishes and flavors (with some pretty sweet copper-looking metal cups), but the vibe of the space is modern and well lit with ample natural light so you can still enjoy the day while inside getting your grub on. But let’s get to the goods, shall we?

The first dish they brought out was the Ghee Paper Dosa. Don’t be fooled by how thin this baby is. It’s probably about 2.5 to 3 feet long and wrapped in a circle, so by the time you’re done breaking off pieces and stuffing your face you’ll probably be feeling pretty content. My recommendation would be to split this with your crew so you can enjoy some of the other plates they have.

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Pro Tip: try getting a curry or two and dipping pieces of the paper dosa in those. Zomg.

Next up was the Ghee Roast Chicken with Yogurt-Turmeric Marinade. The chicken by itself is spot on, but dipped in the sauce it gets even better. Something about the creaminess of the yogurt mixed with the spices and onions on the chicken made this one pretty unforgettable. It’s basically the perfect side dish to go along with pretty much anything else on the menu.

Round 3 was their Medhu Vada. This was honestly my least favorite of everything we tried, which is saying something because I still really enjoyed it. The dish comes with light lentil fritters served with three different sauces and a small cup of lentil soup. My favorite sauce was definitely the red one. Had a small amount of spice and tad of sweetness to it .

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This was my absolute favorite dish by far. I’ve ordered this several times for delivery since trying it during my blogging visit. It’s their Mangalore Chicken with Barota. I’ve had similar dishes elsewhere, but this one really stuck out to me. The mashing together of spices, flavors, and textures was so out of this world. The barota was soft and doughy, the rice crisps added a much needed crunch, and the coconut curry with chicken had the perfect flavor. If you only have time (or room) for one dish, you gotta have this.

Feeling hungry? Then the Full Meals Platter was designed just for you. The server helping me out that day told me that this is what you order if you’re “starving.” It comes with Tamarind and Lentil soups, Channa Masala, Dal and two curries of the day, White Rice, Poori, Rice Crisps, Dessert and Buttermilk. Holy cow. The red curry was delicious, and just like the previous dish there was a good mix of soft and crispy with the rice and the rice crisps.

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I would recommend this place to everyone. Be prepared for a bit of a wait around lunch time, though. Another awesome tid bit is that lots of their menu items cater to vegetarians and vegans (each item marked on the menu) so almost anyone can have an amazing experience chowing down at Dakshin.

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