Guddu de Karahi Pakistani and Indian Cuisine
By Sam Lee
If you’re a fan of Pakistani/Indian cuisine and interested in finding the best place in San Francisco, then look no further than the Outer Sunset.
Guddu, aka Zulfiqar Haider, is the former owner of the famed Lahore Karahi in the Tenderloin, which he sold after eight years. He has re-emerged from hiding to start dishing out his culinary masterpieces yet again at Guddu de Karahi.
The signature dishes are the tandoori fish (tilapia marinated in homemade herbs and spices) and the shahi paneer (lightly fried cheese cooked with nuts in tomato sauce), which is utterly the best paneer in the city.
Notable dishes include the lamb vindaloo (boneless lamb cooked with potatoes and spicy sauce), chicken tikka masala (seasoned chicken in same sauce as the shahi paneer) and the garlic naan. Each dish has a unique flavor profile, and you can really taste all the unique spices.
Honestly, everything here is fresh, delicious and wonderfully made from scratch by Guddu himself. This can be a good and a bad thing. It’s good in the sense that all the food is consistently made and individually unique. He closely guards his secret recipes like the Soup Nazi in Seinfeld.
The bad thing is that you’re going to have to patiently wait for your food to arrive at your table. So expect to wait at least 30 minutes to an hour to savor the delicious aroma from the sizzling pan of tandoori fish to hit your tabletop.
If you think that great-tasting Pakistani/Indian food must come with a premium price tag, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Most dishes range from $7.99 to $12.99 — and even on a student budget, that’s pretty reasonable. The only negative here is the service is lacking. Hopefully you won’t mind filling your own cup of water or free chai and getting your own silverware.
Many locals believed that this location was cursed, the space reincarnated numerous times in the form of Hawaiian, Japanese and Korean restaurants. It may have finally reached a state of nirvana with Guddu’s presence.
Guddu de Karahi
1501 Noriega St. (between 22nd & 23rd avenues)
San Francisco, CA 94122
Open Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
Mastercard/Visa Acepted, minimum $15
Sam Lee is a first-year student in the Master’s Entry Program in Nursing.