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New Indian restaurant to open in Burlingame
August 19, 2014, 05:00 AM By Angela Swartz Daily Journal

RASA on Park Road is undergoing major construction before opening around the second week of September.

There will soon be even more food options in downtown Burlingame with the opening of RASA — Contemporary Indian on Park Road.

The new restaurant — slated to open in mid-September — will be one of the only Southern Indian food eateries along the Peninsula. The owner, Ajay Walia, has run Saffron Indian Bistro that serves Northern Indian food in San Carlos. Although born in Northern India, Walia has traveled throughout the south for college, family business and family vacations.

“Northern Indian food will always be my comfort food,’’ he said. “But Southern Indian foods evoke so many childhood memories that are special to me.’’

Walia formerly worked at tech companies in Silicon Valley like Oracle and Cisco, but gave up that life to fulfill his dream of owning a restaurant.

“This is something I enjoy a lot more,” he said. “This gives me a joy of meeting new people every day and food is something that’s always been really close to me.”

India’s Mediterranean-like southern cuisine is characterized by its seafood and vegetarian options, along with coconut and tamarind. The menu is also inherently gluten-free. RASA, which takes its name from the Sanskrit word for “essence,” will highlight the specialties from the area bounded by the state of Goa. The word also refers to the emotions depicted in dramatic Indian dance, hence the image on the restaurant’s logo. Walia is excited about the team and the neighborhood.

“This is a community we’re familiar with,” he said. “There is a good amount of traffic. Burlingame doesn’t have any good Indian restaurants.”

Walia secured the 2,600-square-foot space a year ago, however, due to permit delays, did not aggressively start the construction until a few months ago. The two-story space used to be another Indian restaurant, Roti Indian Restaurant. The new restaurant will seat roughly 80 people, with private dining available for about 50.

The menu will feature several variations of dosas, the rice and lentil crepe street snack most associated with that cuisine. Signature dishes include crisp idly chaat, a reinterpretation of the classic snack. Desserts are inspired, with choices such as the warm mung bean cappuccino accented by jaggery, roasted banana froth and cassia and chilled elaneer payasam, tender coconut with cardamom granita and pistachio appalam crisp.

Located at 209 Park Road in Burlingame, RASA will be open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday. Brunch also will be available during the weekend. Small plates will range from $5 to $14; large plates $15 to $26; and desserts $5 to $8.

For more information go to

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105



Tags: indian, restaurant, walia, southern, burlingame, northern,

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