Saravana Palace, web site, 11725 Lee Highway, #A15, Fairfax, VA, 703-218-4182, one light west of Fairfax Wegman’s, turn into the strip mall, directions on web site (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Washingtonian | MenuPages | Happy Cow | Don Rockwell]
UPDATE: This place simply isn’t very good any more! A real loss.
Go for the weekend lunch buffet, which has both better items and a broader selection. Right now this is the best southern Indian, or Indian vegetarian place around. The largest selection of dosas and related items, such as Pesarat. Great okra. Yogurt rice. Carrot dishes. Every vegetable dish is first-rate. Raises the bar for all other Indian vegetarian places. Go, go, go. Excellent for people-watching as well.
Here is a good Washingtonian chat about the place.
Wanted to provide you an update on Saravana Palace. I know you live and work quite nearby so it may be worth dropping in sometime to confirm this.
My wife and I visited Saravana Palace for the first time in a blinding snowstorm only 2 or 3 weeks after their grand opening a couple of years ago. From that first visit, we were hooked. We’d go a couple of times a month…often enough that the original staff all knew us and would come over and gently, in that polite Indian way, joke around with us a little. Which was over the top above what most visitors usually get, which is curt, brief service. The quality of the food was fantastic and the service was good, too.
About a year or so ago, our frequency visiting Saravana and eating Indian food in general really dropped off. About eight to nine months went by before we went there again.
During that hiatus, “something” happened…an ownership change, a management change, we’re not sure what. We tried to find out but the English of the staff and even the manager was limited enough that the explanation was unclear…suffice to say that:
1) We recognized NONE of the new staff and NONE of the prior wait staff and management we used to see was still there anymore, and
2) The quality of the food, particularly the buffet, DROPPED precipitously. We were SO disappointed at how the attention given to the quality of the food had dropped…FAR more greasy, over the top spicy, and too salty…than it had been…that we decided we didn’t want to eat there anymore. The difference was THAT STARK.
In other words, little to differentiate it from a run-of-the-mill greasy, spicy, salty Indian buffet that you can find in enclaves throughout the DC region, with little to distinguish it as standing out from the pack.
Disappointing, for sure. I’m sad it happened…we used to love Saravana.