The Needle: Saravana Palace (December 2007)
Comments () | Published March 31, 2008
Saravana Palace
Address: 11725 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-218-4182
Neighborhood: Fairfax
Cuisines: Vegetarian/Vegan, Indian
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 to 3. Open for dinner Monday through Friday 5 to 10. Open for lunch and dinner Saturday 11:30 to 10, Sunday 11:30 to 9:30.
Nearby Metro Stops: Vienna/Fairfax-GMU
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Idli; channa batura; medhu vada; potato bonda; poori bhaji; Jaipuri paneer dosa; coconut rice; gutti vankaya; carrot halwa; papri chat; crepe topped with ginger and chilies; chili-and-onion-topped uttapam; lemon rice.
Price Details: Appetizers, $3 to $7.50; entrees, $5 to $12.

After a brilliant debut last fall, this strip-mall purveyor of South Indian cooking seems to have slipped precipitously. The range and depth of its 160-item menu, along with its impressive consistency, landed the Fairfax restaurant among the top 25 of our 100 Best Restaurants list last January, but a recent visit revealed a multitude of sins. Frying was careless, resulting in a couple of disks of poori slicked with oil. A dish of coconut rice, one of the glories of the menu, no longer sported thick curls of fresh coconut—what once was fluffy and fragrant was oily and dull. And the curries that had impressed us with their punch and clarity were lacking in both.

-This appeared in the December, 2007 issue of The Washingtonian. 

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 03/31/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Restaurant Reviews