The world of quality Indian restaurants in the Twin Cities is in flux. Nala Pak, further south on Central Avenue, is now closed (the website says temporarily, until they find a new location); as such I'm glad that Dosa King has arrived to fill the void.
Granted, it's out in the middle of nowhere, but at least it's only a 20 minute drive from Minneapolis proper.
We shared a masala dosa ($7.49) which was good, and definitely one of the better dosas I've had in the Twin Cities. For those of you that don't know, dosas are crispy lentil crepes filled with potatoes, onions and spices. It's the quintessential South Indian dish. There aren't many places in the TC that serve it, as it takes some skill and equipment to produce with any quality, so do visit Dosa King for this dish, if nothing else. I think they could have made the dosa crispier, but that's a minor quibble.
Like any good South Indian restaurant, Dosa King also has about ten different variations on the dosa, using different crepe ingredients and fillings. They also have rare dishes such as uppma, pongol and avial, which are extremely difficult to find almost anywhere in the US (even a place like Chicago, with a huge Indian population). Props to Dosa King for taking risks with its offerings.
We next had an aloo gobi masala ($8.99) which is a standard North Indian curry with potatoes and cauliflower. I thought this dish was okay, but not great. It could have used some peas and fresh, diced tomatoes to give it a bit more life.
Their chapati ($2.99) was well-made: soft and warm and it didn't dry-out. Also, they gave us two large individual pieces, which made it easy to share.
While they don't have brown rice, they do have a high grade white rice which was excellently prepared: bone-dry, with no kernels sticking together.
The service was extremely friendly and helpful. Our waiter inferred we were vegan, without our having to say it, when we asked for dishes without ghee/butter/yogurt/cream (commonplace ingredients in North Indian dishes, and not as common in South Indian).
I wanted to try their gobi manchurian appetizer but, at $8, it was way too expensive, and it was also significantly pricier than any other appetizer on the menu (all of which were in the $4-5 range). If Dosa King added some Indo-Chinese dishes, such as veg. manchurian (not just gobi manchurian), I'd be back in a heartbeat.
As it stands, Dosa King is a welcome addition to the Twin Cities. I do wonder, though, why Indian vegetarian restaurants seem to be in a competition to see who could open up in the northernmost location; I mean, Spring Lake Park? Dosa King's biggest problem is that it's far from the large vegan/vegetarian population in the Twin Cities. You can tell it will either be a vehicle for cultural shift in that sprawled-out, bleak area, or it will suffer for not catering to the Harley Davidson dealership customers across the street.