If you are a fan of great North Indian food, look no further than Mountain View. Three great restaurants feature full buffet and 7-course dinner menus. Make your first stop at Passage To India on 1991 El Camino Real. This restaurant features full veg and non-veg entrees, indo-chinese, pav-bhaji (a Bombay street snack prepared with bread and mixed vegetables) south Indian dosas (crepes), thali (or Indian word for “full plate”), and variety of breads. Passage To India also has a bakery/café a few blocks away showcasing multitude of sweets and mouth savoring chaats. This restaurant has received rave reviews not just for the food and the atmosphere but also for its owner Sushama Taneja (http://www.passagetoindia.net/restaurant/?q=node/25) I’ve enjoyed the thali and the lunch buffets here and have mostly found the service friendly.
Next stop is the popular Ambar restaurant on 2290 El Camino Real (http://www.amber-india.com/MtnView/location.htm). This is by far the most popular hangout amongst the busy Silicon Valley lunch crowds. The lunch buffet for $13.95 features mouth watering 20 traditional and contemporary dishes. A La Carte entrees range from $9.95 to $24.95. Incidentally, just down a few blocks is Ambar Café, a more fast food version of the Ambar restaurant. Ambar Café whips up more street foods, chaats , and some east-west fusion recipes. I’ve found the pav-bhaji (bread and mixed vegetables combo) here to be the best and tastiest in the Bay Area.
Finally, in downtown Mountain View at the corner of Castro and California is Shiva’s, the contemporary fine dining experience. The lunch buffet here is for about $11.95 and is pretty comparable to most of the Indian restaurants in the bay area. This is a larger of the three restaurants. The taste and the service here is pretty comparable with the other two restaurants. The difference between the three occur with their dinner menus. This restaurant has more fusion recipes such as the Sami Dil Ruba and Shahi Samosa.
When you are in the Mountain View area and looking for a good North Indian restaurant, try one of these three venues.