We wanted to create a dining destination that shifted the impression of Indian food. Tired of “all-you-can-eat buffet for $7.99” being the first thing people mentioned when discussing our beloved Desi khana, we set out to craft a dining experience that felt as rich, warm, and comforting as the first bite of ma’s daal after a long hard day.
We gathered cookbooks. We spoke to our parents about their grandparents. We cooked, created, and tasted.
Somewhere in between the pages of those dusty cookbooks detailing the intricacies of “dum-pukht,” long distance phone calls to India discussing the twenty-one spice blend that forms the perfect Rogan Josh sauce, Saffron was born.
We serve high-quality, exceptionally fresh, and authentic cuisine featuring locally-sourced ingredients that celebrates India’s rich culinary traditions.
Meet Ajay Walia
Ajay Walia came to the United States from New Delhi, India in 1990’s to pursue his MBA. What followed was a career in finance, working at JP Morgan in the CBOT for Deloitte and Oracle.
Always hungry for the next big thing, Ajay (and family) moved to California at the turn of the millennium to pursue careers in technology under sunnier skies with Oracle.
Disillusioned with the state of Silicon Valley’s corporate culture, Walia soon decided to pursue his dream of being a restauranteur and opened Saffron Indian Bistro in 2003.
After a decade of owning Saffron (now an anchor in San Carlo’s vibrant downtown strip), Walia looked to shake up the state of South Indian food on the Peninsula and opened Rasa Contemporary Indian in Burlingame in 2014. The progressive South Indian restaurant has gone on to win critical acclaim and was awarded One Michelin star in 2016.