reviews Reviews lotus restaurant outside 1For “a reasonably priced visit to Delhi” North Bayers head to this trio where a “sweet staff” serves “Indian food done right”, with a health-conscious bent and made “spicy if you ask”; the San Rafael original is “warm and inviting”, especially “when they open the sliding roof”, and both offer “bargain” lunch buffets, while the cafe dishes out more casual, mostly organic bites. – ZAGAT Survey

One of the best Indian restaurants in the Bay Area
“Prepare your palate for a sensuous journey through the flavors of India at Lotus Restaurant. It’s a great place for a date and for families, as well as business. Lotus is a soothing sanctuary for sustenance of body and soul, where you can exhale deeply, leave the West behind and savor exceptional Indian cuisine. “>>>> – Yogitimes

“Lotus is full of warmth and welcoming hospitaliy…Lotus’ lengthy menu offers more than three dozn curries….Tandoori selections – meats and seafood cooked in a clay pit overn – come to the table sizzling and steaming on hot cast-iron platters…delectable deserts…the sort of thing that is so good, I find myself thinking about it in the middle of the night.”San Francisco Chronicle

“San Rafaelites rave they’re ‘transported to India’ after tucking into the “superb curries’, ‘great flavored naans’ and other Delicious items meted out by a ‘delightful staff’; bargain hunters should head here for the ‘awesome lunch buffet.'” – Zagat Survey

“Dishes notable for their careful preparation and expertly balanced seasoning… in tune with Northern California palates, thanks to the careful execution of the chef… what really gets my taste buds going is the wealth of vegetarian dishes that, to my mind, are the glory of Indian cuisine… blends sweet, savory and hauntingly smoky flavors and is absolutely impossible to stop eating… I’ve certainly acquired a taste for Lotus!” – San Francisco Examiner

reviews Reviews buffet“The food at Lotus is simply wonderful. It shines with clean, bright flavors… a generous selection of sauces and condiments that add layers of flavor and/or heat to any of the dishes…How can something a humble and unassuming as a lentil taste so good? …Kashimi pilau was light, tender and seductively aromatic… Vegetable curry that practically made us swoon… Service was very attentive throughout our meal.” – Pacific Sun

“A superb addition to the Marin County dining scene… Everything is thought through: fresh ingredients, carefully trimmed to present only the most tasty elements… offered in sauces that have rich and complex tastes. Service: Excellent.” – Marin Independent Journal

“Dishes notable for their careful preparation and expertly balanced seasoning… in tune with Northern California palates, thanks to the careful execution of the chef… what really gets my taste buds going is the wealth of vegetarian dishes that, to my mind, are the glory of Indian cuisine… blends sweet, savory and hauntingly smoky flavors and is absolutely impossible to stop eating… I’ve certainly acquired a taste for Lotus!” – San Francisco Examiner

In India, Everything Starts with a Lotus

In October 1998, Surinder Pal Sroa and his wife, Linda, opened Lotus Cuisine of India in San Rafael in the red brick building on Fourth Street that some Marinites remember as a French restaurant, The Petite Auberge.

Lotus Cuisine of India

Consistently rated Marin’s Best Indian by Zagat, this tranquil spot serves traditional northern Indian cuisine in a landmark 1910 building. Its location is convenient to downtown shopping as well as the 101.

reviews Reviews lamb rackChef Parshotam Lal Shows How to Make Chicken Curry Surrender

The chef from Lotus Cuisine of India shows how to make this Punjabi dish.

L is for Lamb Rack, Tandoori-Style

Meat chewed off a bone — it sends me. I have a weakness for it; my inner Cro-Magnon goes nuts when I have an opportunity to gnaw on any kind of rib, chop, shank or knuckle.

B is for Buffet

San Rafael is Marin’s epicenter for buffet lunches, which are the best restaurant bargains in the county.

 Our customers rave about our Marin County restaurants:

“Whenever I can find an excuse to go towards San Rafael for supplies or materials, I tend to do so around lunchtime (Monday to Saturday) to take advantage of the incredible buffet at Lotus Cuisine of India, on 4th St. They are consistently voted ‘Best of Marin’ by the local newspaper, and with good reason: they have been the best for 14 years, and just keep improving.

Having grown up in England, I have been a huge fan of Indian food for many years. Most such restaurants in California have been a bit disappointing, but not Lotus! They use only the freshest ingredients, and the food is not overly hot spicy, but instead has rich flavor, with a complex blend of spices, and loads of garlic & ginger in certain dishes. The menu is different each day for the buffet, but never less than excellent, with a vast array of complementary dishes, home made chutneys, & delicious desserts. My only (minor) complaint was that they didn’t bring fresh, hot naan (bread) to the table, but instead piled it up on the buffet, where after a few minutes it tends to become rubbery. The owner has made a point of bringing me fresh naan ever since I mentioned it, and the difference is huge. If you are a new customer, you only have to ask.

As a vegetarian, I cannot vouch for their meat dishes, but from the compliments I overhear every time from other satisfied customers, I am pretty confident they get those right too. The decor & cleanliness of the restaurant also sets it apart from the…I was going to say ‘competition’, but there is none!”
– Andrew H.

“I feel extremely nourished and filled with healing food energy. Outside of eating in India, this is the best Indian food I have ever eaten.
Thank you so much for such a fantastic meal. I feel sustained and energized!
Also it is calm in your restaurant and the servers are so friendly.
I love it here!”
– Sarah

“I love you guys! I cant imagine how you could possibly make Lotus better!”

“Lotus is the best!” – George

“Hi, We are coming to attend the Bioneers conference & see that you are again a sponsor. Thanks! One year you offered a discount for attendees. Will you do this again? I hope so. Thanks again We love your restaurant & that it’s mostly organic & no GMO is your goal!” – Jan

“I miss you ALL soooo much!!!
I won’t even try another Indian restaurant here in LA!
Hope to be back to visit you soon!
Take care and give my best to the Lotus family!!” – Angie!

I have a connection with Bioneers in Santa Fe and congratulate you on your involvement with such an important organization working towards world progress! Good for you!
Wish now that I had volunteered so I could enjoy your excellent cuisine but know those who are doing so will benefit with your help.
Continued success.
– Michael

We think what you do every year is so generous, particularly in a difficult economy. We wish you and your staff a wonderful holiday season. – Donna, Cole, Adam, Wendy, Nate and Ella

“Just want to tell you how wonderful we think it is that you do the free Thanksgiving Dinner!! It is very kind and generous of you.Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.” – Monique and Jeff

“Awesome that you are feeding the community this week for Thanksgiving! See you soon”. – George

“What a wonderful thing to do for those in need. I hope your Thanksgiving Dinner is a huge success.” – Marney

“You guys are great. I love your food and also your commitment to the community. Thank you!” – Heather

“Giving back to the community for Thanksgiving… What a wonderful thing to do. Thank you!” – Kurt

“Great Service. Great food. The flavor is unique. Thank you for the experience.” – Rahamses Aviles

“The food continues to be better and better! And it was excellent the first time I had the pleasure of eating here!”
– Carny Mali

“Please don’t change a thing. You rock! I love the food. I could have it everyday and not be bored.” – Malaika Kirkwood

“Can’t wait to come back. Going away but see you in February. The Christmas Dinner we ordered from you was scrumptious!” – Adrienne Karp.

Lotus Cuisine welcomes your comments and reviews. Please tell your waiter what you thought of your food and service or you may call us at 415 456 5808.

San Francisco Magazine

Life after George
San Rafael, the funky, affordable anti-Marin, continues to thrive—even after the departure of its star-spangled neighbor.

On the warm, balmy evenings so common in San Rafael, Lotus Cuisine of India opens up its retractable ceiling, letting the sizzling aromas of the tandoori oven, spinach pakoras, and chicken tikka masala waft outside. 704 4th St.

San Francisco Examine


Our Locations

Lotus Cuisine of India 704 Fourth Street, San Rafael Cafe Lotus 1912 Sir Francis Drake, Fairfax Lotus Chaat 1559 4th Street, San Rafael Leila by the bay 1991 Railroad Ave, Hercules

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Our Hours

Monday to Saturday
11:30AM to 2:30PM

Monday to Saturday
5:00PM to 9:30PM

5:00PM to 9:00PM

Contact us

Lotus Cuisine of India
704 Fourth Street
San Rafael, CA 94901

Tel (415) 456-5808
Fax (415) 456-5874

eMail us

For reservations please call us in the restaurant at tel 415 456 5808. Feel free to leave a message and we will call you back to confirm your reservation.

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Fine Indian Restaurant in San Rafael, Marin County, CA

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