Bombay

$25 - $50 New Special Offer

A fanciful curtain of monsoon rain, visible through floor-to-ceiling glass doors, is a friendly greeting as guests enter the spacious and elegant dining room at Bombay restaurant. Aromas of exotic spices promise a feast of flavors. Having won awards for the “Best Vegetarian Restaurant” and “Best Indian Restaurant in San Diego”, from AOL City Guide and San Diego Magazine respectively, one can remain assured they will enjoy an authentic culinary adventure. The kitchen serves to satisfy expectations and the attentive wait staff ensures a delectable dining experience that you’ll want to repeat over and over again. Flavorful, mysterious fruit drinks and cocktails along with a variety of wines complement the spices of magical India.

A Feast of Spices at Bombay

Cleverly placed on 5th Avenue in the midst of the well established restaurant district of Hillcrest, Bombay restaurant offers a variety of dishes in the flavorful Northern India tradition. The exotic aromas of coriander seeds, cardamom and cinnamon among other Indian spices are the first mix of fragrances to greet us as you make your way in.

The restaurant is designed for comfort offering  outdoor tables,  roomy booths in the periphery of the dining room, and  traditional tables, all dressed in elegant white linen with sparkling stemware. You can also sit at the bar to enjoy appetizers and cocktails while you wait for your party.

The light from graceful crystal chandeliers lends a stylish mood to the large dining room which is complemented by a beautiful bar reminiscent of the whimsical Taj Majal while a gallery wall of festive and elaborate Indian turbans adds eye-catching exoticism. The ambiance is further complemented by the sounds of contemporary Bollywood tunes mixed with the gentle tinkling of a nearby cascading waterfall.

The Sapphire room, a spacious salon that accommodates 75 to 100 guests, offers an elegant and versatile venue for groups.  It features a projecting screen for photograph or video presentations and also has a buffet table should you prefer this form of serving over the sit down dinner format.

After a warm “Namaste” greeting at the door by a handsome Maharaja guard, garbed in classical Indian red and gold silks, we are greeted by manager James Lao who shows us to our spacious booth. We are barely over the awe of the graceful monsoon rain curtain and the understated elegance of the dining room, when Priscilla, our server, places a trio of sweet, non alcoholic drinks in front of us. The Mango Lassi, a smooth yogurt milk, is a carnival of sweet tartness in your mouth. The Goa Sunrise is a silky drink where the coconut bouquet blends with the tropical sweetness of ripe passion fruit make a party of flavors. Our third drink, the Masala Night, is a luscious cocktail of passion fruit mysteriously delicious with the spice of masala.

In addition to the delightful fruit drinks, Bombay’s full service bar offers an array of fascinating libations such as the Mumbai Mojito, which features a taste of mango that fits well with the tropical theme of this fashionable rum and mint cocktail. Another specialty cocktail is the Bindi Drop which is a lemon drop martini laced with exotic spice. These drinks combine the formulas of established cocktails with tropical flavors and exotic spice to create new and tasty results!

The wine list offers a variety of excellent pairings. It covers the map of California wineries offering red and whites like the Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon of Napa Valley, the Fess Parker Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara, or a Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma County. It also features Delas, a French Merlot and some alluring reds from Italy and France.

Bombay’s commitment to customer satisfaction doesn’t end at the attention to quality food and the generous selection of wines but extends to offering many ways to enjoy the array of foods and drinks, like the chef tasting menu,  the buffet brunch offered daily from 11 to 3 pm and the Monday dinner buffet from 5 pm to 9:30 pm.

The parade of dishes that follows our refreshing drinks is an experience I will savor for a long time. A rectangular tray of white ceramic holds a warm Desi Chatt of peas and potato samosas. The crisp pockets are bathed in three types of cold sauces:  sweet tamarind chutney, tangy mint sauce, and raita of tomato and cilantro. Together, the tamarind and mint sauces meld with the zesty peas and potatoes to satisfy every spot in my palate while the yogurt cools the heat of these spicy savory triangles.

The plate also presents a pair of golden crisp Coconut Shrimp on a bed of velvety orange mango chutney. Each tender bite of shrimp is contrasted by the crunch of the golden batter and the flavor is intensified as it mixes with the tartness of the mango chutney.

Our appetizers are paired with a sweet and bright house Riesling that complements the fragrant tanginess of the sauces with its own fruity and delicate floral tones. For the sake of variety I try a Martin Ray Pinot Noir and discover that its intrinsic earthy flavor and hints of berries bring out the exotic bouquet of the chutneys and sauces on the samosas. 

After the above appealing introduction of flavors, we taste a selection of five carefully crafted curries presented in hand hammered copper and stainless steel bowls. The assortment includes Sagwala, a creamy curry of fresh spinach with a harmonizing taste of cashews, peanuts and turmeric. The herby and tart taste of spinach comes together with the sweetness of the nuts and the spices in a symphony of flavor and texture.

The Tikka Masala is a sweet, exotically spiced, creamy yogurt sauce served with large chunks of tender chicken cooked in a and seasoned with the secret masala spices revealing a complexity of aromas that burst in your mouth in a festival of flavor. Chef Popat skillfully works a magic formula that rejoices my palate.

The Vindaloo, a velvety and toothsome dish of mock duck and potatoes is simmered in a smooth curry with the zesty taste of cumin and zingy ginger. The combination of flavors and textures is a pleasure to the palate in every bite of masterfully balanced hot chilies, and zesty ingredients: we eat it slowly, savoring every morsel.

The flavorful show continues with chicken and onions in Korma sauce, a savory curry flavored with the flowery aroma of saffron. Every piece of soft chicken is filled with the pungency of onions and further complemented with the sweetness of raisins, rendering a marriage of tastes in every fork full. Our taste buds hunger for more of these delicate flavors, tantalizing them as they linger in our mouths.

The symphony of flavors approaches its finale with the Masala Pasta, a dish of penne pasta cooked al dente in a red, creamy masala sauce flavored with fresh ginger and bell peppers. The tender diced chicken is enveloped in the zest of Indian spice, providing a delicate contrast of textures for every sweet and fiery bite.

As the last note, we are served Tandoori Lamb which is marinated in aromatic herbs and spices and baked in the classic tandoor clay oven, which assists in the melding of aromas. The succulent lamb is complemented with the refreshing taste of mint chutney, unmasking its distinctive taste while it melts in the herbs and spices to fill the senses with delight.

While the pungent spices are tamed with a bowl of basmati steamed rice garnished with fresh cucumbers, careful consideration is offered to meet every guest’s taste and tolerance as to the degree of piquancy in every dish. You can request mild, medium, spicy or “tikhi (extreme spiciness)…if you dare.” You can also dunk savory sesame seed, garlic or plain naan bread while pretending that you’re dining in exotic Mumbai.

The dessert selection is an imaginative assortment of sweet treats: the Bombay Sunset is an airy mousse of ripe mango that fills your mouth with tangy sweetness, the classical Indian Kheer, an earthly confection of rice cooked in milk and cinnamon, reminds me of childhood desserts; and the pistachio and the mango Kulfi ice creams, which are delicately sweet and remarkably fruity.

Since we want to freely enjoy our Chocolate Samosas, we leave them for last. As we break the golden and crisp pastry with our fork, the luscious chocolate runs loose onto the plate. We scoop it with anticipation and our mouths discover that a sweet and smooth heaven exists in the form of this confection.

We leave Bombay restaurant with the certainty that the dishes we savored have the ability to fulfill the requirements of comfort food by virtue of the simple everyday ingredients which are cooked in familiar techniques like sautéing and baking. At the same time, the exotic spices take us out of the familiar, making for an enjoyable voyage out of our comfort zone.

Hide Review

Copyright © TableAgent.com


Reservations

  I have a Gift Certificate issued by SanDiegoRestaurants.com
Enter your 10 digit gift certificate number in 1111111111 format with no spaces and no special characters. Separate multiple gift certificates by using comma such 1111111111,2222222222. For a list of participating restaurants, please visit our Gift Certificate page.

 Photos


 Deals & Special Offers

Deal:   Buy two $50.00 Bombay Gift Cards (Monsoon Group) for just $79.99 plus get a free shipping. Buy Here

Valid: Nov. 4, 2016 - Dec. 31, 2099

Days Available: Daily Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday,

Time Available: 1:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Rules: This offer is only available online through www.restaurantagent.com while supply last and may be cancelled at any time. Only limited number of gift cards is available at this price. No rain-checks.


  Restaurant Info

  • 3960 5th Avenue
    San Diego CA 92103
  • Address: 3960 5th Avenue, San Diego CA 92103
  • Cross Street: Washington Street
  • Location: Hillcrest & Uptown | Hillcrest
  • Cuisine: Indian |
  • Cost: $$ | Inexpensive | $25 - $50
  • Category: Casual Dining
  • Star Rating:
  • Reservations: Recommended
  • Dress Code: Casual
  • Meals Served: Brunch | Lunch | Dinner |
  • Parking: Street |
  • Payment Options: VISA | Amex | Mastercard | Discover |
  • Corkage Fee: 15.00 | Per 750ml bottle.
  • Staff: Ashley Popat | Executive Chef
    Rakesh Popat | General Manager
    Mark Dewey | Sommelier
    Mark Dewey | Matre D'
    James Lao | Director of Operations
    Host | Host
  • Phone: (619) 297-7777

  Business Hours

Monday
Main Dining Room | Lunch 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday
Main Dining Room | Lunch 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Wednesday
Main Dining Room | Lunch 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Thursday
Main Dining Room | Lunch 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Friday
Main Dining Room | Lunch 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Saturday
Main Dining Room | Lunch 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Sunday
Main Dining Room | Lunch 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Main Dining Room | Dinner 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Features

Occasion

 


  F.A.Q. - Frequently Asked Questions

No, valet parking is not offered at Bombay, but street parking is available.
Yes, Bombay has at least 8 vegetarian dishes on their menu.
Yes, you can order any dish to be extra mild by simply asking your server
Yes, Bombay offers a lunch buffet daily from 11:00am- 2:30pm and a dinner buffet daily from 5:00pm-7:00pm.

 Menus

Lunch & Dinner

Appetizers

Curries

Chef Specials

Indian Breads

Chutney

Pakoras

Soups

Salads

Tandoori

Biryanis

Sides

Vegetarian Dishes


 User Reviews

One night out  

Good food, good atmosphere and very friendly servers. We had an excellent time.

Great Atmosphere  

This place surpassed my expectations. Its a great place to take your wife fir a great dinner, and romantic atmosphere.

Wonderful dining experience.  

Even if you do not love Indian food you will love Bombay! High quality food at a reasonable price with an excellent menu.

Awesome atmosphere  

The ambiance was enchanting and food was delicious

Amazing Food, Great Ambiance  

I took my date to this restaurant and we had a wonderful time. The food was awesome and the service was great. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone.

If you like Indian food....It's a must.  

All you can eat. And most everything from the ambiance to the amazing samosas, to the rice pudding, to the chutney, to the meat. Just epic if you have a hankering for indian food. And dont think that if you are a vegetarian that this place isn't for you. they have an amazing selection of veggie dishes. Its a must, I'm going to make this place a regular.

Great dining experience  

Great food and atmosphere.

Excellent Restaurant  

This was my first visit to Bombay. I thoroughly enjoyed the food. The waitstaff was courteous and pleasant. I would definitely recommend Bombay to my friends and family.

satisfied  

Very pleased with my last visit at Bombay. We went into to celebrate a birthday for my son. It is his favorite restaurant. The food is always good everytime I go but this time I tried something new. I always stick with my favorites every time I go out to eat but we all wanted to share our curries and I was motivated to try something different this time. The mutter paneer was so tasty. I haven't tried the paneer yet and I have been in the restaurant about 8 times already. My server described the paneer as a unique homemade mild Indian cheese. I was so satisfied that I want to go back again next week.

Try it...!  

The chef came to our table! Nice touch... Server was young, but he knew what he was talking about... The food was really good. I like mine with some spice. Good wine list.. Overall it was a great night! Love the bollywood movies.

Outstanding  

Bombay was amazing. My server Veloso took such good care of us. It was a birthday and I had brought in flowers ahead of time and requested a special table in the dining room before the restaurant opened for dinner. Then when we came back later that evening to celebrate everything was ready for us. The flowers and ballons were on display at the table I had chosen. I think he would have even given us just as equal attention to us even if he didn't know it was a special occasion. Everything was so smooth. Food was fabulous. Definitly the best Indian in San Diego. At the end of our dining experience I even made sure I contacted the manager to let her know how pleased I was with everything. I will be back again for sure.

enchanting  

My experience at Bombay was enchating. The new restaurant across the street from the last location is completely different and more enviting. I was drawn toward the waterfall at the entrance and the lights at the bar lead me their next. The bar was so nice and clean. We had just wanted to come in for drinks and appetizers. The bartender took wonderful care with us and gave us top attention. I enjoyed the selections on the drink menu and we choose coconut shrimp with chicken lettuce wraps and fennel naan. The food was amazing. I was impressed how big and plump the coconut shrimp were. You can't even get it that good at an exclusive seafood restaurant. We didn't have room for dessert but should have made room. My eyes followed plates of dessert when I saw how nice the servers had presented them on the plates. Now I will have to come back just for dessert. We were impressed. I think the new location will be a real hit.

YOU'RE THE BOMB----BAY  

Thank you from all of us at the station. You made our event the Bomb! The only thing thatwould of made the party more fun is if you flew us all out to India.... maybe next time :) ( no, I am not Indian.... but I know good food when I tast it )

I LOVE this place!  

Indian cuisine is amongst my favs, and this place would definitely get 5 stars from me! We ordered Lamb Naan, and it was just delish!! Intimate atmosphere, buffet available during specific days/times, prices are average Hillcrest restaurant prices. But the food is great!

Bombay is the best in town  

I give Bombay five stars… the other night I went to go eat with my wife and we order some samosa and coconut shrimp a very nice young man brought it out to us and described are dishes in such a good way it made my teas buds jump, I was very much impressed by the presentation, the food just looked so great, I came back the next day and that nice young man was my sever I believe his name was Christian, I came in with some very important business panthers and are sever was very helpful, with the wine list that we had a little to much to drink, but EVERYTHING was great the food is the best! The service was outstanding, I’m really happy with the Popat Family and I’m always coming back!

Thanks!  

Keep up the good work bombay!! We love you :)

I Love Bombay  

My family and I had my sisters birthday at the new bombay and we had a great time. I will have to say it was very hard to get a table without reservations. This place always seems to be PACKED! We walked in and had to wait about 1 hour wihout reservations. Once we got a table it was AMAZING! The food had so much flavor and the staff was very nice! I would half to say try thy the mango lamb sliders.... YUM!!

The New Bombay  

The New Bombay is already predicted to be the number one Indian Restaurant on the west coast. Opening Oct. 13 2006! You have to visit San Diego's Indian Restaurant. It's where the locals go.

Bombay is excellent  

Bombay is an incredible restaurant with great and attentive service... I started eating there when they first opened, as I worked in the hospital next door... Can't understand how anyone can fault your restaurant for service.. I had the best service there in a restaurant that I had in a long time...I have eaten Indian food in Chicago,England, New York, Miami, and San Diego..and you are up there with the best... Thank you for being in our city..Melody Miller

Great food and ambiance!  

My experience there was a great one. Service is quick, friendly, and hospitable. Food is delicious to say the least. Just be careful not to order your meal to spicy though, when they mean spicy, that's what you get =).

Love it!  

Very consistant, great food and good service.

You'd best like GREAT Indian food!!  

The last time I was there with my family for my birthday. I had been once before and no one else in my family liked Indian food, until I took them here. The food and service are excellent. THe servers make you feel like you are the only ones in the restaurant, which is great because they give you just the right amount of attention. Our waitress was more than excellent. The food on the other hand was incredible. I had lamb, extra hot. I'm used to saying that and having the spices be only mild. HOT IS HOT! Extra hot...you can't taste anything else! Unless you're used to it, of course. The meal itself is very flavorful. THE NAAN BREAD is to die for. The best I've had in San Diego. My parents and I shared a mix batch of naan. THEY took the extras home! I am making reservations again. This place is quiet, romantic, and relaxing.

v good  

i think the food is really good and original...i really liked it lots...

Best Indian food in SD  

Wonderful food, great decor and atmosphere. Sometimes slow service, but overall, definately the best Indian restaurant in San Diego. Best Korma sauce I have ever tasted.

Outstanding  

Had a wonderful evening of exotic foods. The favors of the different dishes were so good and unique. The service was top notch. We are looking forward to going back many times and bring our friends

the best  

this is by far the best Indian restaurant in San Diego.. hands down... it is the only Indian place i have been where you can tell that the food is freshly prepared that day-- the place is not the cheapest and very small.. so get there early.. but prepared for a taste sensation.. if you want an Indian restaurant that stands out from the rest, this is the place.... the only negative i have to say about this palce is that the wait staff may know less about the food than you do-- so go with a native who knows the best dishes-- but still a 5 rating

Great atmosphere!  

I highly recommend everything Bombay has, their lamb dishes are amazing. This is a wonderful place to express your pallette to new flavors. If you love spicy spicy food, order it medium!

Bombay  

Very nice atmosphere the booths are very comfortable and the meal was very good.

good food, terrible service  

We went for the Valentine's Day prix fixe. Even though we asked to sit somewhere warm, we were still too close to the open front, and I froze. The food was good (the appetizer was fantastic!), but the service was so poor, it kind of ruined it for me. I think we waited 20 minutes after we were done with our appetizer for the main meal. They really should get rid of that open front idea on cold evenings. And the service needs major work. I love their food generally, but the rest of it makes it not worth it for me.

New Experience  

This is our first experience in eatting at an Indian restaurant. The atmospher and decor were well thought out, made a tranquil dining experience. Well, maybe the TV could go, at least the volumne was off. At first the wait for food was a little troublesome, however after we found out that every aspect of what we order is made fresh, that there is no hot plate of premade food waiting to be put on a prewarmed plate.....then the wait was worth the taste. Some of my family like it hot...well Mexican hot is not the same as Indian hot...and tums were in order later that night for some. I went for the mild Mahi dish and loved it..no heart burn for me. The fact that we filled up on bread and humus, well that could not be helped, it was just plain good. Bombay is worth a repeat visit. Don't let a review make your decision to go or not to go...everyone looks at dining out with different eyes and stomachs. Find out for yourself...you know what you like, you be the judge...

You won't even realize it's a buffet  

Ambience and mouth-watering food, at a reasonable price. I've eaten at some mediocre Indian restaurants in this city, but Bombay is not on that list. I think they are the best Indian restaurant in San Diego. Unlike most buffets, Bombay's buffet has an outstanding selection of quality selections, including two desserts. This is a great way to start if you are unfamiliar with Indian Cuisine.

Great place for Indian food  

The food is great and is priced just right. The ambience is great.Their lunch buffets are worth the money. Overall a great experience!

good enviroment and service  

beautiful decoration, good service and right amount of food. also the price was so reasonable! we end up spending $40 for two people.

What happened?  

2010 Pre Valentine meal. Monthly residents since opening. Booked a table. Waited 20 minutes or so for drinks. Hey Drinks were great - when they arrived! Appetizer; vegetable platter was semi-warm and soggy upon arrival. Didn't complain, it's Valentine's. Waited 40 mins for chicken tikka marsala, served on cold plates, portions were small. Staff seemed depressed, management seemed angry, Bombay doomed for disaster (may have something to do with the new indian restaurant opening across the street - may want to try that one!)

Great food, service was not that great.  

Hubby and I went at about 7:30 on a Saturday night and were able to get in without reservations despite the near full house. It took about ten minutes for our drink order to be taken, and service was SLOW. The food was good - Mini Lamb Sliders are awesome, I had Nyarit w/lamb and Hubby had Lamb Naan. Lamb was tender and delicious, spice was at just the right level. Overall, it was a delicious affordable meal with iffy service. I'd go back, but maybe during the week when it isn't so crazy.

Missing the old Bombay  

We used to visit Bombay at least weekly but have basically stopped since the new location opened. Based on the two times we tried the new Bombay they appear to have sacked all of the wait-staff and the service & ambience has nose-dived. The food has still been good but unlike the other reviewers we've only ordered off of the vegetarian menu.

Needs Improvement  

The quality of the food does not match the fabulous décor. Food needs to be fresher and prepared properly. Overcooked/dry chicken and shrimp cannot be improved by a good sauce.

Sorry but terrible experience  

I am compelled to review my last diner on 07/13/10 at Bombay, which was terrible. Several curry dishes were ordered for 100% indian customers from Delhi at the "indian spice" level. It was purely uneatable it was so hot, not spicy (=flavorful), just burn your mouth and melt your brain for no reason hot. My dish of chicken tandoori on the other hand, was tasteless, and with no exaggeration, so dry that in many instances I wondered whether I was eating the chicken (in very small amount) or the bones. Service to top everything was very slow, and nothing was done to try to salvage our experience. The waitresses that day were not pleasant. The only good were the room which is quite beautiful and the chapati which were also good. Finally, everything was overpriced even if it had been eatable.

Best to pay to fly to London than eat @ Bombay  

Upon arriving at Bombay, we were shown to a table in the back corner. The otherwise appealing decor could not be enjoyed, as our table was strategically located next to the beer coolers, which blared bright lights in our eyes each time the doors were opened. We started off with two appetizers. 40 minutes later, we received only one of them - a lukewarm yet overcooked version of Coconut Shrimp - notable only for the complete lack of coconut. We received our 2nd appetizer 10 minutes later, the Chili Fish. Described as a whole, crispy fried fish, it arrived presented as marinated, bite-sized skewered fish that had been coated in capsasin paste in an apparent effort to disguise that it had been insufficiently grilled, not fried. The result was inedible and was sent back. The Lamb Vindaloo and Tandoori Chicken arrived next w/ a side of Saag Paneer and naan. Vindaloo is supposed to be a signature spicy Indian stewed dish. Bombay's version resembled bland tomato paste, with undercooked lamb and vegetables, suggesting a hurried preparation. The Tandoori was inconsistant, with some pieces lacking the Tandoor's signature char marks, and other pieces blackened and dry. The Saag and the naan were only average, as was the presentation of all Bombay's dishes. In this diner's humble opinion, it would be a better use of one's time and money to book a ticket to London to eat proper Indian food. As to the service, the waitstaff spent most of the time rushing to and fro, with curiously empty hands. Perhaps they were trying to determine the status of orders sent to the obviously rushed kitchen. The vaunted Bombay may have had better nights, but this one was an evening-killer.

Save your money - go somewhere else!  

We just had one of the worst experiences we've had in a long time, at this restaurant. We had an out-of-town visitor with us, so it was all the more embarrassing. The customer service at this restaurant is DREADFUL! I have no idea what training they get, but it can't be much. Save your money, find another Indian restaurant in town!

Mediocre expensive Indian food in appealing settng  

Been to the old location a couple of times and thought the food was mediocre (I am Indian). Went to the new location twice, 1st time the food was very salty, gave them a second chance, food was salty again, we told the waitress who was indifferent to our complaint. Will never go there or to Monsoon (same owners) again. Food at both are the same...mediocre, same basic sauce with minor spice variations, throw in some meat/fish/chicken, terrible tandoori chicken. Best Indian is on Black Mountain Road....now that's good stuff and cheap.

One of the Worst Dining Experiences Ever  

The service during my visit was atrocious. Our server was on his second day there and had a lot of trouble with the meal. He told me something lacked cream (which it didn't), left the dinner plates for 10 minutes after we were finished, and brought out an appetizer after the meal. He then told us the appetizer had been removed, but failed to take it off the check. Even after complaining to the manager that he had told us it was off the bill, they refused to take the appetizer off the check. In addition, he checked my ID after I gave him my card (something that struck me as odd to do at "fine dining"). Beware...