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Tabla Cafe
1167 Magnolia Ave.
Larkspur, CA

Local food with a Pulse

What kind of hum drum diner doesn’t like an Indian inspired café at hand? Not me. If you sihk good chow, hit tabla.

Queue at the counter, place your order, pay and your food is brought to your table. They seem to know most folks by name. Although it’s a casual place, they are serious about doing the job right. Hospitable, professional and friendly, they patiently walk everyone thorough their unusual yet simple menu.

A tiny little café with 3 outdoor tables surrounded by planters. A small group of tables indoors and a bar seating area that faces the patio. It’s calm and relaxing (even though you are in what amounts to a strip mall.)

Farro salad with summer squash, tomato, mint and feta ($4.75):
This was a perfect salad for a warm, sunny day. Not only were the grains of wheat (farro) cooked to an al dente perfection, the vegetables were all fresh and flavorful. The mint and feta added the right tang to meld all of the flavors in this fantastic cold salad.

Iced Tea ($2.00):
This black tea was refreshing and steeped to the right strength.

Chicken dosai ($8.50):
The delicate rice flour and dal crepe was wrapped around cubed, grilled chicken breast. Spinach and a soft, mild goat cheese lined this burrito-esque creation. You get a choice of a salsa, chutney or (the one I chose) cucumber raita to slather on your dosai.

The pancake had crisp edges and was wonderfully thin and warm. All the ingredients were top notch. I enjoyed this but wondered if I had made the correct condiment decision. The only thing missing was a little acidic zing to cut through the poultry and mild cheese.

The cooks at Tabla are devoted to seasonal preparations without trying to shoehorn in produce that is not at it's peak. During my visit, a customer asked if a preparation (that they served last winter) was on the menu. It was nicely explained that they let the seasonal availability of fresh food guide their menu. They use locally farmed, sustainable and organic ingredients. Many patrons also take advantage of their take home dinners.

I have also enjoyed their mint chip ice cream, Sharffen Berger brownie and gingersnaps with their French press coffee. I don't advise this if you don't have a little time to linger because they grind the coffee fresh and you need to wait before it's time to do the pressing part of the coffee ceremony (but it's worth it.)


Two and a half carrots out of four

Tabla Cafe produces delicious food with care and is definitely worth a visit.



Tabla Cafe Bathroom Rating

Go through the kitchen and out the office. Turn left and voila, there’s the little bathroom. They make the most of what they have. Tidy and well stocked. Lavender is placed as a decorative and freshening element.

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