Gujarati (Western Indian) food at Deedees in Santa Clara, CA

I had heard from various friends, over the course of last two years, about a good vegetarian Indian restaurant in Santa Clara called Deedees. Now the name sounded odd to me and call me stupid, but I put off visiting the place purely based on that. I am used to seeing Indian sounding names for Indian restaurants- a Shalimar or a Madras Cafe or a Bangalore Cafe or a Andhra Bhavan or Aachi Aappa Kadai. So the name Deedees rang no bell and didnt really work for me.

Fast forward to last week when a good friend suggested that we meet at that place for a weekday lunch. I figured if nothing else, I could claim that I had been to Deedees and write a review about it. On a surprisingly warm Bay Area afternoon, three of us met for lunch at Deedees. The place is slightly bigger than a hole in the wall, not too far from Santa Clara University. It is hard to find and pretty small. We arrived a tad earlier than peak noon hour and were able to find a good place to sit. I took a peek at the buffet and it seemed, well, different. And so started an excellent culinary experience.

Deedees, as I researched once I got back to my computer, is a Gujarati style restaurant with a history. It made its name at a previous location in Mountain View until the economy and a series of unexpected events brought them to their current location in Santa Clara. They were trying to regain their past glory and going by the food, I can confidently say they are on their way.

The buffet had some native Gujju dishes, of which I recognized Gujarati Kadhi, Khaman Dhokla,  and Shrikhand. They also had poori’s instead of the usual naan. The sabzis were excellent. There was also lemon rice. A lady brought warm rotis (not naans) to our table. The food was great. It felt close to home cooked. The typical masala flavors of an Indian buffet were surprisingly absent. And then there is the Shrikhand. It was heavenly. I went in for seconds and enjoyed every smooth and buttery inch of it.

I kicked myself for not going to this place earlier. Now I know where I am recommending folks at work.  Deedees reminded me that sometimes, its all about the food. The name is just that.

Rating:

Ambiance: 7.5/10. Casual. Completely unassuming. Pretty small place too.

Service: 8.5/10. Good service. Appreciate the multiple servings of rotis at the table.

Food: 9/10. Excellent. Loved every bit of it.

Price: 8/10. About the same as most other places.

Restroom: N/A

Overall: 9/10. Strongly recommended.