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Saravanaa

81 Lexington Ave.
New York , NY , United States http://www.saravanabhavan.com/
(212) 679-0204

Those looking for authentically vibrant South Indian vegetarian cooking will find nirvana at this Curry Hill lunch spot—a no-nonsense joint brightened with neon-pink and bright-orange panels. A branch of a famous Chennai establishment, Saravanaas gets its spices right in the pillowy idli (dumplings) served with a mosaic of sambars and chutneys; onion and chile utthapam (a thick rice and lentil flour pancake the size of an individual pizza); and yogurt rice studded with cashews and raisins and spiked with mustard seeds. The restaurant is best known for its dosas, mammoth-sized yet lacy-thin crispy-edged crêpes rolled around mildly spiced mashed potatoes and served with the requisite sauces and garnishes.

Tip: Come back for a breakfast of sweet spiced masala chai tea and savory doughnuts called medu vada.

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