Lotus Chaat and Spices 1559 4th St./F St., (415) 454-6887. L-D daily; $. Indian street food is the name of the game in this comfortable spacious dining room with table service. The menu describes dishes fairly well. Items at the top of the to-try list include dahl puri (small crispy rounds filled with mashed potatoes and yogurt), sambar vada (deep-fried lentil donuts with a bowl of spicy sambar soup), chole bhature (a big deep-fried puffy bread with chickpea stew), papdi chaat (deep-fried flatbreads topped with potatoes and sweet-sour tamarind and mint sauces). The large dosa selection includes one stuffed with eggplant and another with no stuffing. Almost everything can be made vegan or gluten free. For drinks, I like the milkshake-like mango lassi. A small adjacent store sells ingredients to take home.
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image ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers