South Indian vegetarian restaurant Udupi Palace is worth visiting to ogle at the ginormous food (and to enjoy some of its better menu items, including the Masala Dosa), but its atmosphere and service leave something to be desired.
6 out of 10 Peppers = Medium
The management at Udupi Palace should consider placing a basketball-player size sign outside saying, "You must be [this tall] to eat here." This vegetarian Indian located in Artesia is home of the giant food. It's pretty impressive when your meal is literally bigger than your (already huge) plate.
In my notes, I had Udupi Palace as a 5 Pepper restaurant, but reflection has made be a bit fonder of this place so I upped it to 6. The food here is, overall, worthy of a higher rating. But I had some issues with the atmosphere and was bummed with my specific order. I have eaten here once before, and I remember being astounded by the size of my Uthapam, which is like a savory pancake. I didn't like the flavor much, but the impression of the huge pancake sitting on my plate has stuck with me.
This time around I went with Nick, Nick's brother, and Nick's mom (during one of her visits to California).
The restaurant was sweltering on this October day. I could have closed my eyes and literally believed I was in South India. Air conditioning would have been a welcome improvement. I don't remember it being this hot in here the previous time I went (but I also don't remember what month that was), so I hope this was a temporary issue. But we were all uncomfortable.
The artwork is fun bold images of Indian spices, lentils, and other food-themed items. There's a sign for parking in the back. I can't confirm that as I like to park far away on random side streets and walk when I'm in Little India, but you shouldn't have a problem finding free parking in this neighborhood. The service was bleh. Our server ran off without pausing to answer our questions.
The menu cracked me up because next to the drink options, the menu exclaimed "no refills." And by exclaimed, I mean four exclamation points.
The food is South Indian vegetarian cuisine. I'm still learning about South Indian food, but, like most folks, I love a good dosa.
I'd love to try out some of the other vegetarian Indian restaurants in Artesia to see how they compare. That said, if this turns out to be the best one, I'd be OK with that. I'd just get a different type of dosa and probably get it to-go, if it's a South Indian-hot type of day.
Udupi Palace, 18635 Pioneer Blvd., Artesia, CA 90701. (562) 860-1950.
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