A while back, a friend of mine recommended Surati Farsan Mart for Indian food. She thought it was the best Indian food in San Diego when she was living here. I don’t know why it took me so long to finally visit.
I grew up in a part of the Bay Area with a large Indian population and with a lot of good Indian food. Most of the places in San Diego have tasted like a much more tame and watered down version of all the flavors and spices usually used in Indian food. I’ve also found that most of the restaurants are a bit high priced.
When we arrived, the casual eatery was absolutely packed. Definitely a good sign. You order up at the front and then grab a table while you wait for them to call you order. There are menus at the front counter. Surati Farsan Mart is completely vegetarian, but with all the different spices, I don’t miss the meat.
As we browsed the menu, there were quite a few things I didn’t recognize. Another good sign. Everything was priced around $4. With prices so cheap, it was easy to just pick a few things at random to try. The menu helpfully provides descriptions of all the dishes. In addition to the specialities menu, there are also a lot of desserts and other foods which you can buy by the pound to go.
Masala Dosa ($4.99) A thin crispy rice crepe, stuffed with spice onions, potatoes, served with vegetable soup (pour over crepe) & coconut chutney.
I love dosa. The thin, crepe-like bread is addicting and I love how big it is. This was quite filling and only $5. The dosa was so long that it barely fit on our table. Inside it was stuffed with a spicy onion potato mash. Rather than pour the soup over the crepe and let it get soggy, I preferred breaking off pieces and dipping it in the soup. I loved all the spice and flavors of the dish. The sweet coconut chutney helped balance out the dish.
Delhi Chaat ($4.25) Crushed fried whole wheat shells, mixed with potatoes, beans, covered with yogurt and sweet and spicy sauces.
This seemed almost dessert like because of the sweetness of the yogurt and spices. Underneath the yogurt were crispy fried chips and beans. It was like dessert nachos. I liked it but could only eat a few bites. FH enjoyed it more.
Bataka vada ($3.99) Fried spicy mashed potato balls covered in a flour shell served with cilantro chutney and sweet & spicy sauces.
These potato balls were quite yummy though a little too spicy for FH (though his tolerance for spicy foods is pretty low). I really liked the cilantro chutney as a dipping sauce.
We also ordered a lychee shake and a mango lassi ($2.50 each)
Both drinks tasted good. The lychee one was more sweet with bits of lychee pieces. I personally preferred the mango lassi.
We enjoyed our food here. This is definitely the best Indian food I’ve come across in San Diego so far. We definitely want to come back and explore more menu items. With such reasonable prices, we can hopefully make our way through the entire menu.
Surati Farsan Mart
9494 Black Mountain Rd.
San Diego, CA 92126