Bombay Exotic Cuisine of India

Veg-Friendly Restaurant
Average: 4.1 (17 votes)

Indian restaurant with many vegan options. Try the Malai Kofta, vegetarian meatballs in curry sauce.

Location: Hillcrest (map)
Info Hours
3975 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103-3101
Mo Fr
Tu Sa
We Su

Reviews (Write a review)

Author Title / Comment Rating
shroo (unverified)
Oct 25, 2007
pretty place, food alright

the ambiance attempts to compensate for to generic flavor. Nothing is too special about this place in terms of other words it tastes like all restaurant food. but great for a first date!!

stacy (unverified)
Jun 07, 2007
favorite indian in SD

LOOOOVE this place. it's super nice inside, the service is wonderful, the food is AWESOME! try the malai kofta!

Rob (unverified)
Feb 16, 2007
Great if you've got the dough

The food is delectable and the waterfall is fun, but the portions are a tad small and very pricey. Maybe an annual trip is recommended for special occasions. I've spent $50 there for a dinner for two.

Local San Diegan (unverified)
Jan 12, 2007
Average food, poor service

This place was excellent 5 years ago at it's old location, but since moving to a new, chic place, with waterfalls, and new lounge and bar, the food and service have been on a decline. Food is dry and small portions, and not cheap. Long wait, even with reservations, and this is not worth the wait. Would consider going to other places in this area.

Emerson (unverified)
Nov 13, 2006
I love it..

1. Service was great!
2. Very Clean unlike most Indian Restaurants.
3. Ask for Mild if you like Med and Med. if you like hot.
4. Food was great.

Overall I say try it!

local san diegan (unverified)
Apr 07, 2006
Easy does it

I've eaten here a couple of times and although the food is good, it is very spicy. I'm all about spicy food, but this food tends to be overwhelmingly spicy, to the point that you don't really notice any other flavors. But again, it is good, just warming!

Bombay employee (unverified)
Jun 05, 2005

I am a fellow vegan and I work at bombay so I thought I'd let you all in on a few tips when visiting. Idian foods are traditionally made with a lot of cream, yogurt, butter, and ghee so if you are vegan you need to make sure you specify no dairy to the servers. The curries have base sauces and a few of the bases are made with dairy. The dishes that I tend to recommend to vegans are the vindaloo, the madras (both with mock duck or tofu), the channa masala, dal makhani,and aloo gobi. Avoid the dishes that say 'creamy' like the tikka masala and the korma. Also the naan is NOT vegan! The reason why is puffs up is because it has eggs and milk in it! The breads that you are going to want to try are the tandoori roti and the chapati. These two breads are whole wheat and they do not have dairy in them. There are no vegan friendly desserts here either. We have 4 chutneys and the only one that vegans can comsume is the tamarind (the dark brown one) the raita and the mint chutneys are both made with yogurt and the mango chutney probably has gelatin in - it although I am not sure. I think that's it but make sure to specify to your server that you do not comsume dairy and they should be more than accomadating. Also the colorful 'candies' in the front are fennel seeds and they taste like black licorice and they are to aid in digestion and to help your breath after your meal. Hope this helps your next visit go a little more smooth!! Also we don't validate so you should park on the street!

jonquil (unverified)
May 08, 2005
v very expensive but yummy

i have eaten here twice now and the food is so good, but you do have to be careful about what they tell you is vegan. most items on the veggie list can be made vegan, but make sure to tell them that means no dairy whatsoever. best indian food i've tried in san diego.

Tyler (unverified)
Apr 25, 2005

I've been to Bombay a few times.. each time was amazing. The Nan basket was great, with 4 different types. I had the ginger curry. it was awesome. the 'Mock Duck' is a few more dollars more but is amazing. much better then the tofu.. it seems to be seitan. great tastes, amazing flavors.. the 'medium' (2nd hot on the list) is really spice, and the 'mild' is decent hotness.. it is a bit pricey.. we had a group of 8 and it was $280 for our dinner! ... but it was worth it for us to all have a great feast. they don't validate parking, unfortunately. I Highly recommend Bombay.. don't forget the pink dessert beads by the cash register.

Stephane (unverified)
Mar 28, 2005
Not so great

Went there last week for my birthday, as a compromise to go out with meat-eaters.
I was very disappointed by the food. I had the okra masala, which was very greasy, and spicy (even if I asked for the mild version). My friend ordered the veggie biryati, which was really greasy too!
The curry for my wife was allright, but not great.
The only plus, the waiter pointed the dairy free entrees, and substituted the cream to coconut milk in the curries. But other than that, the food was not great, and very greasy to compensate for the lack of taste I guess.

Nathan (unverified)
Jan 09, 2005
Vegans, beware....

The food is excellent (four stars for the food) but vegans need to be wary about the veganocity of some of the dishes. Trip One: We were first told the Nan was vegan and ate some. Trip Two: We were told the Nan wasn't vegan, but the mint sauce with the samosas and the eggplant dish we ordered was. Trip Three: Neither the mint sauce or the eggplant dish were vegan according to that waiter. The story keeps changing. We are done with Bombay.

fishygirl (unverified)
Nov 14, 2004
ahh fancy

It is fancier than eating at a Hilton hotel and the staff is very nice. I always expect the food to be better than it is. I love the little pieces of herbs you eat after your meal they taste like licorice.

Alexis (unverified)
Aug 27, 2004
Great Dining Experiece

This place makes you feel so private, very romantic, and feels like you're getting what should be an expensive meal, for moderate prices. I love this veg- friendly establishment. :)

David (unverified)
Mar 29, 2004
Expensive but wow

Some of the most tasty pakoras and Samosas I have ever had. This place is for the faint of pocket book.

Shana (unverified)
Jan 26, 2004
great tasting food

the food was wonderful, couple items had dairy in it so be careful. i was only surprised by the attitude of the regulars, they seemed to be uncomfortable with people outside their own race. my best friend in high school was indian and her father was different, so no biggy to me, but i warned you :)

Linda (unverified)
Oct 24, 2003
Really nice.

The servers here are not the most knowledgeable but the food is great. Last time I was there my server had know clue what ghee was! That didn't inspire much confidence. I have had great experiences with other waitstaff. One server was able to go down the list and tell which could be vegan and which could not. I loved that.
They serve the curries in these great silver dishes. I got a kick out of that.
Be advised that there is NO PARKING. They do not validate for the parking garage!

4 (unverified)
Jun 19, 2003
rockin indian food

My womanfriend and I eat here all the time. They have an wonderful malai kofta and veggie korma. Many items on the menu can be ordered vegan. It's a bit pricey, entrees are in the $12 range.