Burritos are pretty much the go-to budget food in San Francisco. There are entire books, blogs and personal philosophies centered on the Mexican-American blimp-food. Makes sense, right? You get a full meal packaged in a convenient, carry-anywhere container under $10. What more could you ask for?
But the other day, when we mechanically ordered our normal carnitas burrito with no rice and guacamole, we found ourselves wondering if there might be… more. Could there be a good burrito alternative in San Francisco? Interestingly enough, only a day later we found what we were looking for.
Kasa Indian Eatery, on 18th Street in the Castro/Mission area, specializes in Kati Rolls and Thalis.
The easy thing would be to say that a Kati Roll is an Indian burrito. You basically get an entire Indian meal (Chicken Tikki Masala, Paneer, etc.) wrapped up in roti, which is a lot like a tortilla. But to be fair, roti has more texture than the Mexican flour tortilla and a Mexican burrito is a more of an al a carte experience with customers picking exactly what they want inside their wrap whereas Kasa offers 6 different meals (and one daily special) that you can have Kati-Roll-style, or forgo the carbs and have the filling on a plate with daal, basmati rice and raita—Thalis style.
One other notable difference is size. One Kati Roll is arguably a little more than half the size of one super burrito and you can get 1 Kati Roll for $5.50 or you can get 2 for $8.95. Now, we think this is ultimately a great thing—much like the Baby Burrito at La Corneta Taqueria in Glen Park—because frankly, sometimes you really just want half a burrito.
Each roll comes with a small, marinated salad of cubed carrots and cucumbers and other vegetables, and ratia (think Greek tziki), so it’s perfectly reasonable to have one roll for lunch. Two would be good for dinner or if you’re particularly hungry. The nice thing about getting two is you can get two different fillings. Imagine if you could get one half of a burrito stuffed with chicken and the other half with carnitas. So much menu stress avoided!
Anyway. The Kati Rolls at Kasa feel like a sound burrito alternative if you go with the one-roll option. If you get two you’re looking at a $9 tab, which is more than your average burrito, so it may not be an exact substitute, but then again, you arguably get more. In any case, we’re just happy for the opportunity to break a rut if need be, without breaking the bank.
Oh, and did we mention they deliver? Take that La Taqueria!
[Photo of two Kati Rolls From Kasa Indian Eatery via Alexis Wright]