1559 Fourth St.
What do they offer?
San Rafael is home to Lotus Chaat & Spice, the only Indian street food restaurant in Marin County. People as far north as Santa Rosa zip down 101 for the authentic dishes that originated on the streets of big Indian cities. The already cult-status/Yelp adored menu includes popular “snack meal” options such as Dahi Puri and Bhel Puri. Lotus Chaat also has a market with organic spices, herbal diuretic tonics and small meals ready for take out.
Who Are They?
Owner Surinder Pal Sroa is a long-time Marin resident and also the owner of four other beloved restaurants in the county, including , Cafe Lotus, Golden Egg Omelet House and Anokha Cuisine of India.
General Manager Elvis Fernandez is a natural host. “ I love the restaurant and love our customers. It’s an enjoyable place to be. Our regular customers are always satisfied, returning and bringing more of their friends. We do not compromise on quality," he said.
Lotus is fortunate to have culinary talents of executive chef Hari Mehta, former owner of popular San Rafael destination India Village. “There’s a lot of creativity in putting together chaat plates, which are the original street foods of India,” Mehta said. He knows his food, he knows his Chaat.
How long have they been there?
Lotus Chaat & Spice Restaurant celebrated 1 year of business on Fourth Street in April 2012.
Why are they in our business spotlight?
Lotus Chaat is ahead of the culinary trends. Quality always comes first at Lotus, and it is almost 90 percent a vegetarian/vegan restaurant. The demand for Indian street food has expanded over the years because these types of dishes are made with healthy ingredients: whole grains, grain and bean flours, fresh potatoes, chickpeas and vegetables such as onion and cauliflower.
Patrons, especially diet-attentive ones, will appreciate the genuine concern and the killer menu options at Lotus. Vegans and gluten-free folks will die for the dosas, a classic street food wrap made with lentils and rice flours. The Bhel Puri, another vegan option, is a delicious snack mix with fantastic ingredients including peanuts, puffed rice and tangy tamarind sauce. Elvis and his crew want customers to feel great about about what they’ve eaten, so asking for samples is encouraged! Every menu item is cooked fresh every day with many organic ingredients, and free range chicken.
Since Surinder is a resident of Marin County, he knows and appreciates the importance of community. Support the community and the community supports its local businesses, which is why, throughout the summer months, every Thursday is family day at Lotus Chaat and 15 percent of the total proceeds from daily sales will be donated back to two schools in the Sun Valley neighborhood.
In the coming months Lotus hopes to expand the market section of the spot, which already has a wonderful selection of spices, rices, frozen meals and other quality cuisine items difficult to procure. Those who were heading to Berkeley for spices and ingredients now need look no further than the spice shop at Lotus Chaat. The shop also offers local ice cream Three Twins for takeout.
Bonus Tip: Be on the lookout for the coming soon small wraps and takeout options for folks on the go!
Did you know?
Lotus Chaat & Spice offers cooking classes every last Monday of the month. The restaurant closes early. Elvis and Hari don their aprons and from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. a fabulous lesson ensues. The limit is only 10-12 people per sessions so please call to book a spot. 415.454-6887