South Indian (Andhra style) thali at Pesarattu in Sunnyvale, CA

This past week, I had the opportunity to have lunch at a recent Bay Area (over a year or two old by that standards) addition- Pesarattu. Pesarattu is to Andhra cuisine, what the old Komala Vilas was to Tamil cuisine. Unlimited food, single item on the menu for lunch, hot food brought to the table, the works. Here is my review of the place.

Pesarattu is located at the intersection of El Camino Real and Wolfe Road in Sunnyvale. It is next to Taal boutique for those who are familiar. It is a small hole in the wall. There is no adornment to betray the Indian-ness of the restaurant but for the posters of various Telugu events in the area. It felt like the archetypal “eating mess” which many of us are used to from India.

As soon as we entered, we were seated and one of the kind gentlemen brought us each a thali plate with the vegetable, dal, pickle, kesari and “vathal/vadam” in place. Rice followed soon after. Rice was unlimited and the waiter offered as much as we wanted (like the old Komala Vilas). The kesari was tasty but too watery. The dal was a little on the salty side. Otherwise, it was tasty. The rasam and sambhar that followed were pretty good too. Food is not as spicy as I expected for an Andhra style restaurant. That said, it is not short on spice.

Rating:

Ambiance: 7.5/10. Not their fault. It is “mess” style. But dont come in for fine dining if that is your plan.

Service: 8.5/10. Very nice folks with good service.

Food: 7.75/10. So here is how it works. The food is good but very limited in variety. Taste (but for the extra salt) was pretty good also. If you are looking to fill your stomach on an afternoon, this is a good bet.

Price: 7.75/10. If you eat a lot of rice for lunch, this place is a good value for money. For folks like me who eat only the first serving of rice, variety is limited and thus not as much a value for money.

Restroom: 7/10. Skip it unless you have no alternative.

Overall: 7.75/10. There is nothing wrong about Pesarattu. It fills a niche and does well for that. It offers a simple lunch platter and unlimited vegetarian food for a decent $10. If that defines you, go for it. If you are looking for variety in dishes and something different, this is not your place.