Taking over the former West Cafe venue at 1201 SW Jefferson St., Dil Se Indian Cuisine is the second restaurant by Ranesh Rajendran (Tandoori Kitchen), and it is now open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday, with Indian brunch dishes available starting at 10:30 a.m., on Sundays. The 2500-square-foot Dil Se seats 65 and offers full table service.
“We have our soft opening going on right now,” co-owner Shamla Puthuparambil tells Eater, “as the bar and the takeout area have yet to be set up. We’ll hold our grand opening on August 27.”
Puthuparambil says Dil Se serves dishes traditional to both South and North India, and the expansive menu reveals pakora, samosas, tandoori seafood and meats, and entrees like aloo gobi, chicken tikka masala, chennai lamb curry, saag, and malai kofta.
But based on Rajendran’s cooking experience, which includes time cooking at Beaverton’s acclaimed Chennai Masala, dosas are the dish to watch. Dosas are giant, gluten-free, Indian-style crepes made of rice and lentils, and at Dil Se, they come either plain or stuffed with fillings, like paneer cheese and peas, and accompanied by mint and tomato chutneys and lentil and vegetable sambar soup for dipping.
Dil Se also offers a thicker version called uttapam. They are gluten-free and made with rice and lentils like dosas, only more like a pancake in width, and instead of being stuffed, uttapam are topped with ingredients.
The brunch front brings a menu of around six dishes, including french toast infused with cardamon, steamed idli lentil fritters with chutneys and sambar, and an Indian bread omelette — the latter, a popular Indian street food in which the bread is incorporated into the omelette, either stuffed inside or folded in with the eggs.
Dil Se is now open Tuesday through Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and again from 5 to 9 p.m. (9:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays). Brunch begins at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. The restaurant’s grand opening will be held on August 27, kicking off at 10:30 a.m.