One of O.C.'s Best Rice Dishes: Puliyogre at Dosa Place

Dosa Place in Tustin remains the best Indian buffet in Orange County, not just because it's a rarity 'round these parts (a South Indian dive instead of a focus on tandoori everything, although that's available as well) and all-you-can-eat but because the food is excellent on all levels. Although the chefs stick to tried-and-true subcontinent parameters (curries, rice dishes, veggie meals), the fun is in guessing what will bubble up on a particular afternoon. Will the curry be carrot? Beet? Squash? Some indeterminate vegetable? And the rice: plain ol' basmati waiting for you to smother it in the sauce of another tray? Lemon-tinged?

Yesterday, the star rice dish was puliyogre, otherwise known as tamarind rice. Imagine the sweet-sour tang of the fruit, but reduced to manageable hint. Mix with dried chilies. Eat again and again. Repeat. Puliyogre is a regular item on the menu (one that, honestly I haven't asked for in a good year simply because that lunch buffet is so great and filling, but peruse through their dosas if you've yet to visit before graduating to the buffet), but nice to find it on the lunch buffet, ready for its transformation as Indian tacos with the limitless naan.

Dosa Place, 13812 Red Hill Ave., Tustin, (714) 505-7777;

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