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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 11 times today

Mela Tandoori Kitchen

4.5
339 reviews
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$30 and under
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Indian
Top Tags:
  • Casual
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Authentic
The word "mela" means carnival or fair. When the mela comes to your village, it means an explosion of color, fun and good times (not to mention good eats)! Mela Tandoori Kitchen evokes the mela spirit with colorful striped walls, glittering candles and fragrant Indian dishes. This place is all about family: Mela's North Indian and Pakistani recipes come from three generations of Indian restauranteurs. Brothers Sohel, Zoaib and Moiz run the show now, but it was their father who opened Mela's original location as one of the cities first Indian restaurant in the early 80s.

Mela's food is family-oriented too. It can be ordered family-style to take in the full range of deliciousness on the menu, like the prawn biryani, creamy chicken tikka masala, and house specialty tandoori mixed grill. Save some room for the faluda dessert (an Indian-style ice cream sundae). Sounds like the carnival is in town, and it’s headed to your mouth!
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Indian, Pakistani, Halal
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Thursday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm
Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(415) 447-4041
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Moiz Subedar
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Private party facilities
A Perfect Space for groups between 20-40 people, located in our upstairs Mezzanine, this "traditional" setting is popular with the masses for birthdays, graduations, work events, etc.
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Private party contact
Sohel: (888) 925-8840
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Catering
Please consult the Management Team for details.
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Cross street
Van Ness Avenue
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Parking details
Plenty of street parking is available as well as reasonably priced parking garages nearby
Additional
Banquet, Beer, Delivery, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 339 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.0
service
4.0
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 3 days ago

The service staff seems to be getting more attentive.

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4.0Dined on March 24, 2018

Always enjoy the Indian food here. Staff is very friendly. Perfect for pre-show dinner at the symphony or ballet.

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1.0Dined on March 11, 2018

On a Saturday night, they had no host/hostess. It was possible to reserve a table with OpenTable, in fact all times were still open when we arrived at 8pm, but they weren't honoring reservation times, all the tables were full, and we waited over 30 minutes after our reservation time in the same line with walk-in customers.

We flagged down a waiter and were seated after several tables cleared. One appetizer came out after a long wait. We had to ask what happened to the second one. The sauces to accompany the first appetizer were brought out just as we were finishing. There was a long wait before the entrees arrived. At the end, we couldn't wait to leave.

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5.0Dined on March 11, 2018

Best indian food in San Francisco!
We almost go every week!
The chicken Tika Masala is my favourite.

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5.0Dined on March 9, 2018

Love the wait staff
With their sashes
And the food is impeccable

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5.0Dined on March 7, 2018

excellent place close to the Opera, Ballet and Symphony

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5.0Dined on March 4, 2018

Service was a little late given the peak dining time but were extremely friendly and accommodating! Loved the food and ambiance!

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3.0Dined on February 23, 2018

Over the course of the evening, we found ourselves dealing with about four different members of the staff, all of whom tended to be clueless about their basic job.

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5.0Dined on February 18, 2018

The food was delicious. The portions a bit small. Service was great. Overall, I would highly recommend this restaurant.

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4.0Dined on February 18, 2018

We reserved a table at Mela Tandoori for dinner before a 7:00 event at the Herbst Theater, only 2 blocks away. We were immediately seated, had a very tasty dinner, the price was moderate, and we had no trouble getting to our event.

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5.0Dined on February 17, 2018

The food was wonderful. The wait staff very attentive and courteous. We will certainly come again when we are in the city.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Took my girlfriend there on Valantine‘s Day and we both loved it, even though we had to wait quite a bit, because there were a lot of people. It was worth the wait. We love indian food and this is one of the best places we ever went to.

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3.0Dined on February 14, 2018

The wait was painful, they didn’t account for Valentine’s Day (somehow). Our reservation for 7pm got us seated at 7:30. First appetizers came at 8, and food came at 8:30 (we ordered promptly at 7:30 since we had half an hour to read the menu).

The food was fantastic but I certainly won’t go on a busy night.

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4.0Dined on January 26, 2018

Really enjoyed our meal. The seafood tandoori wad very good, the naan excellent and a spicy chicken appetizer that was a special of the day was very tasty.

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3.0Dined on January 20, 2018

Then food is pretty good but you need to know what to order. The service staff but seemed overwhelmed by the number of parties that showed up. As another reviewer noted, be prepared to wait for 15 minutes to be seated even if you have a reservation. This place is good for everyday Indian food.

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3.0Dined on January 13, 2018

Amazing, amazing food. Just the worst service I’ve ever experienced. But if you have time for your dinner to take over two hours, the food is truly fantastic!

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4.0Dined on January 13, 2018

We tried Mela Tandoori for dinner before we went to the symphony. It proved to be a very good choice. The food was very good, the service prompt and friendly and the atmosphere was lively.

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4.0Dined on January 8, 2018

A really nice range of different dishes for different palates. Well prepared with fresh ingredients. We got the mixed grill, the eggplant, chicken biryani... all standout and yummy. Friendly and efficient staff, as well. It's a big space and looks like it could accommodate a pretty serious group. We saw some other customers getting hookah, which is a nice option. We went on a Monday night when it was pouring rain, and it was pretty quiet, which was perfect for being able to talk.

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3.0Dined on January 6, 2018

Had a LONG line to be seated with a hostess that only showed up about every 10 minutes. Waited for water until about 15 minutes after papadum came (when I asked a second time). Very slow service and just okay food. I would head to another restaurant for better Indian food in the area!

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5.0Dined on December 16, 2017

Everything was delicious. We had chicken samosas to start, and shared chicken tikka Masala, prawn spinach dish and another spicy prawn dish, and naan. Do yourself a favor and order the cheese naan! Looking forward to going back soon. Great place to go before a show. Bring a bottle of wine or try an Indian wine. Cheers!

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4.0Dined on December 9, 2017

Food was fantastic, good levels of spice and really well prepared. They have a nice, varied menu with standard favorites, but also some dishes you don't see on everyone else's menus. We were there on a Saturday evening just before show time so they were slammed and service was really slow. The staff was courteous, but simply too busy to really pay proper attention (we waited a very long time to order, then drinks took more time than you'd expect and we had to ask for water several times). I would still go back since the food was wonderful, I will just pick a less busy night/time.

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4.0Dined on December 9, 2017

We dined at Mela before the Opera, on a Saturday night. Even though it was very busy we were seated, fed and out the door in time for our event.

The meal was delicious, including a vegetarian dish with Okra that I would recommend. The lamb Tikka Masala was very good as well.

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3.0Dined on December 9, 2017

It's quieter when we go in the middle of the week!

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4.0Dined on December 8, 2017

Mela makes consistently good Indian food at a price that is more than fair. We had a quick dinner before a performance at the opera house -- two dishes and two naans. A tandori chicken marinated in yogurt and herbs was perfectly spiced and cooked, flavorful and tender. The bindi (okra) here is more interesting than at some restaurants, with onions and other vegis mixed in. Onion kulcha and a seeded naan rounded out the meal. Friendly staff too.

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5.0Dined on December 6, 2017

It had been awhile since I last visited Mela Tandoori Kitchen while in San Francisco. It was even better than I remembered. The food was delicious and the service was excellent. I especially recommend the Lamb Saag. Enjoy!

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4.0Dined on December 2, 2017

Mela is a great dinner spot in San Francisco's Civic Center district. We'll often eat there before opera or theater performances, and we've never been disappointed.

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4.0Dined on November 28, 2017

Very tasty North Indian fare (plus beef, as it's Pakistani) and not really very spicy. Samosas were OK, mixed grill and a full range of sauced dishes were excellent, each distinctively spiced. Huge variety of naan, both the chili and the garlic were wonderful.

Pleasant environment a short walk to Opera/Davies. We had 6:00 reservations on a Tuesday before 7:30 opera and made it, as there were few other customers. The wait staff was attentive, knowledgeable and professional. Longest wait was actually to get the bill, for which their standards apparently require that all the plates be cleared, so will initiate sooner next time and there will definitely be a next time!

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3.0Dined on November 20, 2017

Service was terrible. Three waiters covered the entire restaurant while the owner or manager sat in the corner counting money and doing whatever else he was doing. Rediculous way to run a business. Food was mediocre. Quantities for appetizers were very small. Entree portion was appropriate. Our waiter was a nice guy but he was running in many directions. He forgot our second round of drinks (we just gave up and did not bother to remind him again). Would not go again.

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5.0Dined on November 16, 2017

Wonderful place. This is my go-to restaurant when I am going to the opera or symphony. I love it! :-)

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5.0Dined on November 15, 2017

We thoroughly enjoyed both the attentive service and special dishes. We each ordered a dish outside our usual picks so were even more surprised at how delicious our selections were. We were seated at 6 when there were few present. But by 7 p.m. every table was taken!

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2.0Dined on November 4, 2017

Service was extremely slow. We waited over 15 minutes to be seated (even with having a reservation). We were also seated for over an hour and a half before we got our food.

Food was good, but the service made it unenjoyable.

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3.0Dined on November 4, 2017

Vegetarian and chicken dishes were tasty and well prepared. Beef and lamb barbeque dishes were overdone and dry. One in our party waited almost 15 minutes extra for her main dish. Friendly staff.

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4.0Dined on November 3, 2017

Authentic, high value, courteous & efficient. Feels like home cooking. Clientele is a mix of South Asians & others. Young as well as old. I usually order Chicken Tiki Masala, Garlic Nan, a wonderfully aromatic rice & a glass of wine. The also have great beer. And I bring home enough leftovers to have a second meal. They have an upstairs club for late night. Thanks!

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3.0Dined on October 26, 2017

Ordered 2 mains.New hotel with ocean view as upgraded 👍😁xxxx
First was the Chicken Tikka Masala
with separate sauce.
It arrived yep with sauce on.
Told waiter order was wrong & it was brought back with seperate chicken this time but obviously just taken out of the sauce as still covered!!
Sauce was flavourless & runny as water.
Luckily the other dish which was Chicken Jalfreze was great.
We put all the chicken in the Jalfreze sauce & tucked in.
Was good now & ate the lot.
Not great restaurant but enjoyable enough for price.
Wouldn't rush back as lots of choice in San Fran

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5.0Dined on October 25, 2017

This was my third time bringing friends to Mela. It was so wonderful again- great authentic dishes, attentive service, easy to hear your own table conversation

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4.0Dined on October 20, 2017

Great food. Good service but could be better!

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1.0Dined on October 14, 2017

Ordered Saag Chicken and Benghan Burjia. Chicken dish full of bones (no warning
on menu or by waiter) and the Eggplant dish was very poor. Rice and Naan
were fine. Will definitely not return to this restaurant.

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5.0Dined on October 13, 2017

Excellent Indian restaurant. The food is delicious.

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5.0Dined on October 6, 2017

Awesome restaurant. Delicious food and great service.

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5.0Dined on September 21, 2017

Was perfect. Just need to notice that the medium spicy is very Spicy

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