Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Ajanta Restaurant
Ajanta features regional dishes from all over India, offered through a menu that changes every month. We feature organic chicken and vegetables. When possible, we use local and sustainable products. All seafood is sustainable, obtained from Monterey Fish Market. All meats are hormone- and antibiotic-free.
Ajanta has been voted best Indian restaurant in the entire San Francisco Bay Area by Zagat Guide from 2009-2014. We were also voted best Indian restaurant in the Bay Area A-List contest from 2009-2011 and 2013. In addition, we have received top reviews in several publications, including the East Bay Express, Diablo Magazine, and the Contra Costa Times. We are also included in Michelin Guide.
Our elegant dining hall features art inspired from the famous Ajanta caves in India.
Berkeley, CA 94707
Indian, Vegetarian / Vegan, Contemporary Indian
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Daily: 11:30AM - 2:30PM
Dinner: Daily: 5:30PM - 9:00 PM
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wine
Ajanta Restaurant Ratings and Reviews
My husband and I went to Ajanta to celebrate Valentine's Day. I always order the Chicken Tikka Masala. I love it. I always order it Mild Spice. My husband also ordered the Chicken Tikka Masala Medium Spice. When the waiter brought us our food I said, "I ordered the Mild and my husband ordered the Medium." The waiter nodded and put down our plates. I tasted my dinner and my mouth felt like it was on fire! So, I ate some rice, drank some water and tried another bite. There was a mix-up! My husband was eating HIS meal and told me it was delicious. At last, the waiter came over and asked, "Is everything okay?" I told him about the mix-up and he said, "I'll bring you the correct dinner." I told him, "I already ate all my rice and it's too late for another dinner." So, he told us, "I will deduct the cost of that dinner..." This has never happened before. The food and the service are always very good...and I hope to return...
Service was average. Servers had to be asked several times for water. And to clear the table to make room for food plates. One server handed a dish to my wife because there was no room at the table and expected her to figure out how to make room at the table.
Lamb was excellent. Veg dishes were average.
However restaurant was very accommodating in seating us.
I used to love Ajanta and so I'm sorry to see some of the ways the atmosphere now seems transformed. The room is lit too brightly for my taste, the tables seem crowded and noisy, and my friend and I waited at least 15 minutes before anyone took our order (they were quite busy). Once our waiter appeared, he was very friendly and service was excellent. The food is still delicious, and I may return for that reason -- but despite the beauty of the murals, the feel of the restaurant has changed and the ambience no longer is appealing. So sad!
It’s a real puzzle to me that this restaurant is still in business, but people put up with mediocre Indian food I guess. And calling this food mediocre is charitable. I had been there once before about a year ago and had a completely bland meal but thought it might just have been a bad night, which of course, any restaurant can have. Nope. The food this time was beyond bland moving into the territory of barely edible. If you truly like Indian food, look elsewhere.
Ajanta is still very good after being sold two years ago. The new owner was very cordial and explained the transition period. The food was delicious and many of the same staff members are present for continuity. My only complaint is that the lights were on very brightly. I mentioned this to the owner who said he could turn it down, but never did. It used to have a calm and subdued atmosphere...those bright lights made it feel like a diner.
This was our second visit. We ordered a kofta, a ball of veggies in a cream sauce, and an eggplant dish. Both were quite spicy although we asked for medium. We would go down a notch in future. The kofta was less creamy and delicious than malai kofta we've had elsewhere. The eggplant was yummy though a little too spicy for our taste. We also had an order of pappadum which was the best we've ever had, and an appetizer that came with the dinner, called something tikki that was very tasty. The ice cream was nothing special. The price for one dinner and one a la carte and 2 beers, with tip and tax, was $68, which is moderate. We're not in a rush to return but it's the best Indian food we've found in the area. The atmosphere is very pleasant.
The food is always excellent at Ajanta. But this time the service was lacking, in two regards. First, the server or the kitchen lost our order, so as we watched others being served, no food came to our table until we flagged down a server to say that we had been waiting and watching others who came after us being served food. Second, my companion's entrée was extremely spicy although he had asked for medium spicy; at the end of the meal our original server appeared to ask him if his "spicy" entrée had been okay. So first our order was lost, and then it was incorrectly recorded. We were not offered any compensation for the incorrect order. I was disappointed for the first time at this usually excellent restaurant.
We came in on Sunday at 6pm, and so did quite a few other customers. It took a long time to be seated and to order, and a nice waiter explained that Sundays at this time was always a terrible crush making service and kitchen super busy. The food was very good, but not exceptional. Oh well. I will give it another try some day and not give up.
1. Very poor ambience due to severely lacking ventilation (seafood preparation smell). It seemed like either the HVAC is intentionally underutilized or inadequately provisioned.
2. Poor cleanliness of cutlery.
3. Hastily executed dishes (even compared to a year ago when I last visited it, with favorable opinion at that point). Overcooked daal/lentils and veggies, undercooked mushrooms, incompletely roasted spices, missing ingredients.
4. Extremely unresponsive and forgetful young male waiter who listened to our requests for missing cutlery but just forgetfully just strolled around in a busy restaurant.
5. Public bickering amongst staff.
6. Unchecked (without auto-close spring) door that kept letting in cold air towards some of the outer tables.
I realize this restaurant is highly rated. What this review does is to convey to the superb staff that they really makes the meal complete. We took our six year old granddaughter with us. The staff and owners made her the star of the show. I can't wait to return
The food is delicious, the people very kind, fantastic customer care. In terms of price, it is not the cheapest Indian Restaurant, but it is high quality food, for a reasonable price. The food and experience are definitely worth more that you pay.
The environment is pleasant with Indian art all around the restaurant, and at least one statue of the Buddha, which like very much.
The staff are progression but not stuffy at all, and very attentive and accommodating.
Tables are set formally, but the atmosphere is light. Lighting is soft, yet sufficient and practical.
I have been going to Ajanta since 2002 for my first date with my ex-wife, and we went there in in 2016 when our divorce was final to honor the our relationship from begining to end.
We used to be a frequent customer of Ajanta. However, after the ownership change, we haven't been back too often. Tonight we tried eating there again. The food isn't as delicate tasting, service is less attentive, and dining room is not as clean as before. We will not be dining here as often as before. It's too bad the quality isn't the same or better under the new ownership.
I have been going to Ajanta with my family for over a decade, and every time I got it still impresses me. The food is a serious cut above every other Indian restaurant I have been to, including SF's new darling August One 5. This time I brought my girlfriend, her family, and my family together for dinner. We shared around 5 big plates and 3 small plates for the seven of us and it was just the right amount of food. It was also nice that it was quiet enough for my father and girlfriend's father to hear the conversation even though both have hearing aids.
What makes this place special is the food. It's simply more refined and more interesting than can be found other Indian restaurants. If you haven't been, and you like Indian food, you are missing out.
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