A plethora of vindaloos distinguishes this intriguing Indian spot on Lombard
Did I say Madhur Jaffrey's recipes rely on easily-got ingredients? They do, with one exception: fresh curry leaves. These are not easy to find (she recommends basil or kaffir lime leaves as substitutes), but they somehow turned up in Viva Goa's malabar jinga ($7.99), an arrangement of shelled, sautéed prawns napped with a spicy red sauce that looked like caponata but with a much stronger kick, aromatic and exotic.
To round out the proceedings, starch-wise, are many of the usual suspects, from basmati rice to naan ($1.99, made with whole-wheat flour) and paratha ($2.50, basically buttered naan). There are also (for $1.50) fine pappadum. These would be excellent for cleaning up any leftover sauce, except they lose so much of their magic when cool. Luckily, they're almost sure to be gone long before then.
Dinner: nightly, 5–10 p.m.
Lunch: Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Sun., noon–3 p.m.
2420 Lombard, SF
Beer and wine