John Annachi and Suresh Seenichamy soft opened Annachikadai at 80 W. El Camino Real in late February.
Annachikadai is inspired by a restaurant Annachi's parents owned in his native Tamil Nadu, a southern Indian state. He grew up in the restaurant watching his mother cook and his father serve as host.
"Watching her (his mother) grinding spices and getting the best creative dishes out of it everyday has always been a fascinating experience," Annachi writes on the restaurant's website.
At Annachikadai, all spices are also ground by hand, and the kitchen uses Annachi's mother's recipes, he said in an interview.
The menu includes appetizers like pakora, or vegetable fritters; deep-fried cauliflower; masala fries; lamb chops and other dishes. For entrees, there's biryani (a rice dish), dosa and curries, with plenty of vegetarian options. Naan is unlimited, Annachi said.
Traditional desserts include gulab jamun, a doughnut soaked in syrup, and kesari, semolina reduced in milk and ghee.
Annachikadai is open Tuesday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 6-10 p.m.; Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.