1409 Polk St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410937.789792 -122.420700
Mon. - Sun. 12am - 11:30pm
Neighborhoods: Civic Center, Northeast
This place has really gone down Hill – This newer Shalimar when it first opened a couple of years ago was nearly as good as the original on Jones Street. Having been a regular customer I have found in the past six months that the food is really not that good anymore. Before Chicken Boti was moist and tender now it is mostly dry. The Kebabs look like they were cooked yesterday and reheated when customers ordered them. The food is just not good.
What really grates though is the Nan. These are the staple and they are now overcooked and hard on the bottom. It is as if they are using a different mixture or the oven is not cleaned. When other Indian restaurants and the original Shalimar can do it well not sure what the problem is here.
Having eaten here about once every two weeks it is hard to say goodbye but there is better Indian in this town now. Eat at the original Shalimar- the food is fresher and the Nan is lovely and soft just a perfect texture.
Not so great – I have been making my rounds up and down this state for the best place I can get Chicken Tikka Masala. What my journey has taught me is that there are many different ways to prepare this British-influenced Indian dish. I've also discovered that I prefer less yogurt and grease, and prefer everything simmered down into a consistent gravy. Shalimar's Chicken Tikka Masala is *very* greasy and the ingredients sit in the gravy as though they'd just been thrown together, rather than cooked. While not particularly bad, it's not what I prefer as compared to other mini-chains in the city, and certain places in LA. You cannot order a particular spice-level; it's pre-made (I prefer made-to-order I suppose). The atmosphere is as described by others: bare-bones tables and chairs, and an almost cafeteria-esque vibe, almost like walking into a hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint, for some odd reason. This is the "greasy spoon" version of an Indian take-out place. I will say that their Garlic Naan was one of the better ones I've had, with raw garlic inside the bread, which was not greasy at all. In fact, it was so good I wanted to order another one though I was completely full from the meal. The portions were decent for the chicken but they could've given us more rice. Payment is cash-only and you pay after you eat, as you're about to walk out the door. We weren't offered free tea, but were given two styrofoam cups with a pitcher of water. $18.50 for two people, without drinks.
Awesome, awesome food on the cheap – This is the greatest inexpensive indian food you'll find in the city. Shalimar definitely deserves its mecca status. Everything from the curries to the tandoori is amazing. It's greasy, flavorful, spicy food, and for $10 you can eat like a king. Great tea too (free). Don't come here for the ambience, though -- it's bare bones. The food speaks for itself.
My fiance is turning Indian after he found oiut about this place!! – If you like INdian food,this place is a must int he city.Everytime my fiance and I drive by Polk we think Shalimar and we almost always end up ordering some food.It's way cleaner than the Jones one and also safer if at night.Very cheap but very good too.NOt as greasy as the rest of the Indian places I tried int he city but I guess still fatty a bit(depending on what you order).
My fiance is getting so hooked on it that I'm afraid I'm going to learn how to cook all this spicy smelly food for him :(
I love the place too
Not Great! – Expecting awesome Indian and very dissapointed. You'll like if you like your mouth on fire! We like spicy food and this was just way too much.
As good as the Jones St location - but slightly less sketchy – The first time my boss took me to an Indian restaurant, it was in Santana Row and it sucked (the name rhymes with Amber). While I wasn't indian, I was thoroughly unimpressed with both the spiciness of the food and the decor. Seeing my disdain for this Americanized Indian joint, he cocked his head back and forth and promised to take me to a place that was "just like the hawker stands in india."
Well, after my first bite of the chicken tikka masala at the fremont location, HE WAS RIGHT. It was absolutely outstanding. The thing is (after doing the head bob thing again), he mentioned that the locations in SF were better.
Well, he was right again. Having done my tour of all the Shalimar locations in the Bay (except for the new one in Sunnyvale) as well as a half dozen or so other indian/pakistani (versus south indian = mostly vegetarian) joints in SF, I can say that THIS LOCATION is where I take all of my out of town friends when they profess they can love "spicy indian." My best friend, an Bengali indian whose family came from Calcutta, even approved of it.
Summary: Shalimar on Polk - All the charm of the Jones st location (formica walls, helpful staff, awesome naan, eggplant, okra, and chicken) but with fewer meth mouths.
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