Thursday, September 18, 2008

I was led under false pretenses to Cerritos/Artesia with TP and crew. We were suppose to meet up that Friday because I had to go to BlackMarket Bakery for my cake. Of course nothing went as planned and she asked if I would like to join her and her friends on an excursion to get some great Indian food. I thought why the heck not because TP always raves about the food up there and since I wouldn't have to drive. She totally tricked me! As soon as I saw the restaurant said Vegetarian I stopped and asked how come we are going here. They all answered that almost all South Indian cuisine is Vegetarian. I told them I did not sign up for this! =*( I decided to go with the flow, but I am making a black mark next to TP's name from now on! "Udupi cuisine is a world-renowned cuisine. It takes its name from Udupi, a place on the southwest coast of India in the state of Karnataka. Udupi cuisine includes an entire school of South Indian vegetarian cuisine. This is 'pure' vegetarian food. The ubiquitous Indian dish Masala Dosa has its origins in Udupi. Rasam, a spicy pepper water, is another essential part of the menu.Udupi's sambhar has its own unique taste."
For those of you who don't know me, I am a total CARNIVORE! Vegetables? Yuck! lol We were with 2 people who were vegetarians. I judge those who only eat veggies. They now have to try meat since I was open to eat their veggies! lol At least I got my Mango Lassi to start off the night. It was sweet and flavorful.
We decided to share the Assorted Hord'oueres containing Medhu Vada, Samosa, Cutlet, Mysore Bonda, and Vege Pakoras. My favorite part was the Vegetable Pakoras which are sliced Vegetables Breaded and Deep Fried. Anything fried tastes better! Even veggies. =P The Samosas are Crispy Crust stuffed with Spiced Potatoes and Peas. This was not bad, but I still like TP's homemade samosas better. Medhu Vada is Lentil Flour Deep Fried in the shape of Donuts. I thought this was not too bad, but apparently everyone else did not like this. You dip everything in the Sambhar provided to add more flavor. The sauces give the food an extra kick. The Cutlet is Minced Mixed Vegetables with Spices and Deep Fried. This was not bad in flavor and had a different texture from the rest of the pack. Mysore Bonda is Golden Brown round Lentil Dumplings. Leave it to South Indians making supposedly healthy food unhealthy by frying everything. =P
Luckily I stopped TP from ordering 4 order of the Udupi Palace Special because there was just way too much food. The special comes with Idli, Medhu-Vada, and your choice of any Dosa or Uthapam. TP loves the Idli and since we already had the Medhu-Vada we decided to just substitute Idli. It's Steamed Rice and Lentil Patties. Everything apparently comes with Sambhar and the Coconut Sauce. Little did we know that she is the only one who likes Idli. Lets just say she had plenty to take home that night. It really had no taste and a mushi texture. TP told me to soak it in the Sambhar for flavor, but even after that... nope sorry. We all gave up, but that is okay since TP can have the rest!
Everything was shared and we decided to try the Butter Masala Dosa. It's a thin Crispy Crepe made of Rice and Lentil Flour stuffed with Mildly Spiced Mashed Potatoes made with Butter Ghee. This definitely was something different. It really is like a crepe in many senses. The potatoes inside are seasoned well. I think while I was at the restaurant I was not very pleased with the food, service, and ambiance. After having the leftovers I think that this place isn't as bad as it seemed. At least the flavor was good and it's something different. TP ordered the Tomato & Peas Uthapam. It's a large Indian style Pancake made with Rice and Lentil Flour. This really came out like a pancake with veggies stuck in the batter. I think the dosas were better and had more flavor because of the mashed potatoes stuffed inside. The pancakes were too one-dimensional in taste and texture for my liking.
The only main dish we were able to finish was the Special Rava Masala Dosa. It's made of Cream of Wheat and Rice Flour with Onions and Potatoes then stuffed with Spiced Mashed Potatoes. I liked this texture and presentation best because it's different from the other dishes. There was a lot more flavor in the crisp skin with the onions and potatoes that was only enhanced by the mashed potatoes inside. They should really put more mashed potatoes inside to make the whole dish better because it becomes lacking when it's only the skin.
All in all the food was decent and prices were reasonable. The service was questionable, but you can't really expect too much from places like these. They really should have turned on the AC because TP and I were dying of heat. Luckily I had leftovers that I ate later that night or I wouldn't have given this place a good review. I mulled over the food again and gave it another chance. If only it had meat! This still was not what I expected when TP said we were going for Indian food in Artesia. Next time she better get me some meat! ^_^

Udupi Palace

18635 Pioneer Blvd
Artesia, CA 90701
(562) 860-1950
Udupi Palace on Urbanspoon


H. C. said...

Haha and awww... while I certainly don't object to eating veggie only, I totally get the "who jibbed me of my meat?!" feeling. But that looks like a lot of bread you ate there! Do they not do anything saucy like veggie curries, etc.?

Anonymous said...

Yes it was ALL CARBS. I am normally not a carbs person... I am all about the meat! ^_^ Go Proteins!

I asked to order some curry when we were deciding... but they all said that I should not because, "You don't go to a South Indian restaurant to order North Indian food. Trust me." So they talked me out of it, since I was the only non-Indian there. lol Although I am often questioning TP's Indian food taste...

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