Mela Tandoori Kitchen
Mela Tandoori Kitchen
  • Address:
    536 Golden Gate Ave
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    Neighborhood:
    Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
  • Cuisine:
    Indian
    Price: $30 and under

Mela Tandoori Kitchen

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.melatandoori.com/
  • Phone: 4154474041
  • Hours of Operation:

    Lunch: M-F 11:30am-2:30pm
    Dinner: Daily 5:30pm-10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Indian, Asian
  • Executive Chef: Moiz Subedar
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Delivery, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: check with Management for details..

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Van Ness Avenue
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Plenty of street parking is available as well as reasonably priced parking garages nearby
A word from Mela Tandoori Kitchen
Welcome to Mela Tandoori Kitchen, San Francisco"s Premier Restaurant specializing in Indian and Pakistani Cuisine !!! Here at 'Mela' we offer the most exquisite assortment of Indian and Pakistani dishes in the Bay Area. With an extensive menu, serving only Halal/Zabihah meats, brilliantly designed decor, blending a beautiful ambiance with silk sarees, candles and wall tapestries we have more to offer than just great food and a cool vibe, we have perfected the most memorable experience in Indian and Pakistani dining !!!
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerIndian
Mela Tandoori Kitchen reviews from OpenTable diners
30 reviews since June 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.5
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.6
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (12)neighborhood gem (11)good for groups (10)special occasion (4)great for lunch (4)romantic (2)late-night find (2)hot spot (2)kid-friendly (1)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Great food, comfortable atmosphere
    SFdiner
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    My girlfriend and I tried this place on a whim and were not disappointed. Though it took some time for our server to get to us initially, the service was great after that. I order the Lamb Tikka Masala and she ordered the Aloo Paneer, and we got a side of Cheese Klucha naan. The naan was a fantastic appetizer, and we both enjoyed our dishes very much. I'm not a huge fan of spicy food, and I would rate the food as moderately spicy. Overall great food in a nice atmosphere and good service, would definitely recommend.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best northern Indian food
    jgtobgVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    It was our first, but not our last visit to MeIa Tandoori Kitchen. The chicken Tikka Marsala was my favorite. The tandoori white meat chicken was dry, so we will pass that up next time. The bite sized vegetable samosas was the perfect start to our meal. The coconut ice cream was a treat for dessert. Thank you!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Phenomenally Mediocre
    5Stars
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I had a great dining experience overall. The Saag Chicken meal I ordered had unedible chunks of (only God knows what) that I'd had to remove from my mouth. The waiter was very mute and hard to understand (English barrier) so that we didn't actually know if he understood how we wanted our entrées prepared. Ultimately we picked around our food instead of enjoying it. Still had no clue as to whether they have a bar or not.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Scott! Good Indian food!
    smkarizonaVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Indian cuisine varies wildly, but Mela hit all the right spots for us. Perfect rice. Garlic cheese naan that was heavenly. Tender tandoori and my favorite vegetarian dish, Aloo Paneer. All done perfectly. Dessert of coconut ice cream and the semolina wheat pudding flavored with rice tasted good steps retro and together! We did wait quite a while to be spoken to after seating, but the rest of the service was adequate.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A la Carte v. Buffet
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    I think that this restaurant may be geared for buffet. We waited so long for our order (about half an hour)! Chicken in a tomato sauce with peppers & onions delicious and cauliflower & potatoes in a tomato sauce (way too hot)! I would go back for the buffet. Ready to go. A la Carte may cost more and made to order but takes way too long!
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasty
    pablito
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Very good food and attentive service. One of the better Indian places I've tried.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • AWESOME
    Farri
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    It was worth the money is all I can say - took a my family there for a treat and they loved it - which means a lot considering my aunts and my mother are very hard to please. The food was great, the service was great and the atmosphere was too! They do add the tip to your bill, but oh well they deserved it!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    plongwalkingsVIP
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    First time based on reviews and will definitely go back again to try more dishes.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Another great meal
    expta
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Another GREAT meal at Mela Tandoori Kitchen! This is our favorite Indian restaurant. We love the fact that it's family owned and makes a great date night. I normally have the tandoori chicken with yogurt and mint, and eat some of my wife's Chicken Tikka Masala, but this time decided to eat order the CTM, too. Wow, what a great meal! Jasmin saffron rice and onion seed naan was the perfect accompaniment. We started with some crispy Chicken Samosas with two kinds of chutney. More food than we could eat, but we now have lunch to look forward to. :-) The chef sent us a gift for dessert - a pressed dough in a sweet milk sauce with rose water. Yum! Later in the evening they open for hookah in the upper dining area,
    Special Features:
    special occasion, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • LAHSVIP
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    We enjoyed the flavors of some Pakistani/Indian foods that were new to us as well as some familiar. The masalas were perfectly seasoned and the portions just right. Since we were in a bit of a hurry they accommodated us with quick, pleasant and very efficient service. Will definitely keep Mela Tandoori on our pre-Opera dinner list.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for pre-concert dining!
    David
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    One of the best Indian-Pakistani restaurants in the Bay Area. Very tasty food; I have never been disappointed. The only problem is slow service. Plan ahead accordingly. If you have a large appetite, the Mixed Grill can't be beat.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • It Just Keeps getting Better!
    SFStand
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    I live one block away from Mela Tandoori Kitchen and have eaten there at least five times. I appreciate the beautiful surroundings, the attentive service and, most important of all, the excellent Indian cuisine. It is a perfect place to dine befor the Opera, Symphony or Ballet. If you alert the waiter that you have a curtain to make, you will be served promptly. I adore Indian Cuisine, and Mela just keeps improving in every way. It is a gem!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food
    StillHungry
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    This is a wonderful restaurant close to the Civic Center - so great for pre-opera, pre-ballet, pre-symphony dinners.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 17 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 22, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance3.5
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 99 reviews are from the Mela Tandoori Kitchen reviews archive.
  • great environment and staff!
    FeedYourFriends
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    I came here with my mother. She was very impressed! The table, menu, dishes, everything looked nice. The staff was always polite and prompt. The prices are very reasonable. And the food was great! I just had the chicken tika masala and some cheesy nyan bread and rice. But I would like to try other things on their menu next time. The mango ice cream was a delicious dessert. It's nice to have a reliable Indian place nearby.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious food, fresh flavors
    cmerrell37VIP
    Dined on 5/14/2014
    I have had so much greasy Indian food, and Mela was so refreshing. Fresh vegetables in the curry, the tomato gravy was so creamy and the acidity and spice were well-balanced.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Incredibly reasonable good food
    TheIronDukeVIP
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Tandoori dining for westerners is always a bit of a crap shoot because of the spice level, but this chef manages to capture the essence of Tandoori without going overboard. The prices are very reasonable to start with and the portions are HUGE. It took me three days to eat all of my Tandoori mixed grill. A lot of hard surfaces so a bit noisy, but the tables are well designed to be long and a little narrow, so you are actually sitting close enough to be heard.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Unusual dishes
    smorr
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    More than just your standard Indian fare. food was great! Fabulous fruit lassis. Service uneven.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was really outstanding!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    Food was really outstanding! Large and diverse menu, not just the usual Indian standards. Everything is a la carte, but our total tab including two main courses and sides of rice, naan, chutney and raita was quite modest. And we had more food than two people could eat! Decor is metro-trendy, not at all typical Indian restaurant. A terrific addition to the Symphony/Opera/Ballet neighborhood!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Lunch Buffet
    NessieVIP
    Dined on 4/9/2014
    We went there for lunch after finding out there was a lunch buffet. The food was good, I just wish there was more to choose from. I would have ordered something from the regular menu, but our server took a while to come to the table, so I just opted for the lunch buffet. Definitely worth 11.95. The next time that I'm in San Francisco, I will try this restaurant for dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We arrived right on time for
    avercampVIP
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    We arrived right on time for our reservation, there were multiple empty tables but we were kept waiting.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding value, excellent food
    David
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    Excellent South Asian cuisine - Indian, Pakistani, etc. A great addition to the Civic Center / Hayes Valley restaurant scene. Mixed grill is very generous and delicious. Highly recommended. We have already scheduled a return visit with friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Curries
    aldenteVIP
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    Outstanding quality food, especially the curries. Great spot for pre-Opera, etc. dining in the Civic Center area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Food in the Civic Center
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/17/2014
    How refreshing to find a comfortable, moderately-priced restaurant in the Civic Center with well-prepared, delicious food. I have not had better Indian/Pakistani food in San Francisco. I was there for dinner on a Monday night -- ordinarily not a good restaurant night, especially in the Civic Center -- but everything was fresh and flavorful. Service was friendly and professional. The background music was a bit loud, but I think that the management would have accommodated us by turning it down had we asked. Overall, this is a great find for those looking for a place to eat before the symphony or ballet, or after work. Mela also serves a lunch buffet. I haven't yet tried it, but I expect that it would be delicious, and a great deal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Indian food
    Blondarella
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    Everything was flavorful, the spices were fresh and the presentation of the dishes was inviting. Will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beet Indian/Pakistani food in SF
    DarenPVIP
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    Food is cooked fresh, the Naan was soft and fluffy. Best Indian. Food period!! L
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Indian food near Opera House
    LizaB
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    My last review I complained about the speed of service (we had an unexpectedly long traffic jam and were late - we told them we had a curtain but and they assured us it was ok but that didn't make anything faster). This time we got there at 6om - the traffic was unexpectedly easy and had no trouble making our curtain. It is a wonderful restaurant, foodwise. The chicken tikka masala, the kulcha (special naan), the lamb vindaloo was wonderful. The Indian Chenin Blanc is also really nice. Light, not very sweet, not very dry. They are closed on Sunday but for the rest of the week, parking on the street just before 6 and taking your time to eat before the show is a very pleasant plan. There is little enough in the area that isn't $$$$
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Authentic food at great price
    BostonDiner
    Dined on 2/26/2014
    We love this restaurant - great food and flavors, nice wait staff, and reasonably priced. We've been 3 times, and will be back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • pre theater option
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    Good Indian food, at least most of the dishes. Very crowded pre theater though and the staff had trouble keeping up. Since everyone was heading for the theater, it was a bit of a problem.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I came in on Valentines Day
    Darien
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    I came in on Valentines Day with my girlfriend and was promptly seated for our 7:45 reservation. All the servers where very courteous and made great recommendations on food choices for the both of us. Will come back very soon and try the traditional seating area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ballet Night Find
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 1/30/2014
    I read about the opening of this restaurant and decided to try it Thursday evening before the ballet. Very friendly staff and extremely attentive making excellent recommendations; it's clear they have an intimate knowledge of the menu items. There is a lot of care put into the presentation from the stoneware plates carrying the restaurant name and heated to the well laid out menu and lighting that was low enough to be cozy yet still bright enough to read the menu with ambient lighting. This is definitely a step up from most of the other Indian/Pakistani restaurants in the area. Prices are a couple of dollars more the but quality of the meats and sauces are top notch and worth the bit extra. I will definitely go back again.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent find!
    JillD415
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    I was searching for a good place to eat before going to the ballet and I have found it! Mela's food is superb - I had the Palak Paneer and Garlic Naan - the staff were friendly and prompt, and the atmosphere was nice. I didn't feel too dressed up, eating here before going to the opera house around the corner, and the value for all of that cannot be beat.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Indian Cuisine
    lutke
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    We've been here before and will go back again and again. We especially love that the sauces all have distinct flavors but are not too spice for American tastes. The eggplant is not to be missed (I wish I knew how to make it - I'd eat it every day). The Tandori chicken is succulent and tender.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Indian Food!
    Sandy94901VIP
    Dined on 1/15/2014
    This was our third visit to Mela Tandoori and it was better than ever. I cannot imagine the food being more delicious and the service was excellent. Absolutely our favorite and a great pre-show choice!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great for dinner before the ballet
    patron
    Dined on 1/9/2014
    This Indian restaurant has terrific food at reasonable prices. The portions are very large. The tables are far enough apart and the background music at low volume that it is fairly quiet,. allowing easy conversation. The mixed grill was heavenly; samosas and lamb with spinach excellent. Just back from India, I found the food as good as much that I had eaten there. The outside is now covered with scaffolding, but the inside is dim and reasonably attractive. Cost was $50 for two with appetizer, 2 main dishes, beer, and rice.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good tandoor and curries
    wearybashful
    Dined on 12/30/2013
    We enjoyed the food and service. It should be noted that though the main room is in a neighborhood rather than special occasion style, there is a banquet room upstairs with traditional seating that would be good for a special group event.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best Indian we've found in the city
    SunshineMomma
    Dined on 12/19/2013
    After living in Europe for two years, we thought we'd never find any Indian food that equalled what we ate in London . . . until we ate at Mela Tandoori Kitchen last week. The flavors were exquisite. Service was thoughtful, super-attentive, and friendly. Ambience perfect. And what's more? The prices are more than reasonable. Super affordable for the amazing quality of food you receive. We are recommending this place to everyone we know. Eat here before the ballet, opera, or show at the Golden Gate. What a gem!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pre-opera, ballet, or symphony
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 12/13/2013
    Good spot for meal before an event in the Civic Center area. We ordered a lamb tikka marsala, tandoori chicken, rice and naan. The food was flavorful and plentiful. The chai was skimpy and weak; it was served in a small juice glass, whereas I am used to it being served like a cup of coffee. Service was friendly and attentive.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nothing special
    indian
    Dined on 12/7/2013
    I came here with high expectations after reading all the rave reviews but, was disappointed. First off we tried to order veggie samosas but, were told they ran out. What indian restaurant runs out of samosas?! We then ordered the chili paneer which was okay, a tad salty for my taste though. The main meal dishes weren't anything spectacular either.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good Indian food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 11/14/2013
    If you're looking for your favorite Indian food this place is great. Much of the food is moderately spicy which is what I love.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding
    skillzthatkillz
    Dined on 11/2/2013
    This was so good I don't know if I will ever go anywhere else for Indian food. It looks like a hole in the wall on the outside but inside the restaurant is quite lovely. We tried the chicken samosas and the chicken tikka masala that were listed as house specialties and the tikka masala was so good I wanted to cry. I also got a rose lassi and garlic cheese naan and highly recommend them also. The staff is flawlessly polite and attentive and when I complimented the food to our waiter he seemed genuinely thrilled that we had enjoyed it so much. Food was perfectly spiced and the extra effort they put into presentation really goes a long way. Even the rice was prepared with extra flourishes. The entree was only $11.95, but felt very high end.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.