East-side Indian eatery small but mighty good

December 13, 2011

Lovers of Indian food in Costa Rica have few restaurants to choose from. There’s the upscale Taj Mahal on the old road to Santa Ana, west of San José, Tin Jo downtown and, in eastern San José, Restaurante Gokul, specializing in traditional Hindu vegetarian cuisine. 

Gokul 1

Mukunda Das cooks up delicious Indian vegetarian dishes at his Restaurante Gokul in Barrio La California.


Alberto Font

This quaint little eatery sits on the covered front veranda of Giratablas Theater in Barrio La California. Mukunda Das, an ayurvedic chef from the western Indian state of Gujarat, for over four years has been offering very reasonably priced Indian favorites in his small soda-style restaurant. The atmosphere is friendly and homey, with bright yellow decor, half a dozen wooden tables and chairs, and Das frantically cooking in the open kitchen. The only help he has is Krista Keli, who waits tables and assists in the kitchen.

Saturday lunchtime proved busy, and we had a long wait for our meal as everything is freshly prepared and cooked. We ordered virtually all the choices on the menu, which proved a challenge for Das, but when it eventually arrived it was certainly worth the wait.

The fried vegetable samosas and pakoras were served with a tangy tamarind dipping sauce, and the freshly made naan and paratha flatbreads were delicious. The koftas (vegetable croquettes in a tomato sauce), chana masala (black chickpeas in a spicy sauce) and eggplant in tomato sauce were all superb. The only dish that didn’t get rave reviews was the mutter paneer, a dish of peas and cubes of fresh cheese in a masala sauce, which we found on the bland side. Prices for the above ranged ₡2,000-₡2,800 ($4-5.60).

Gokul 2

Freshly made parathas.


Alberto Font

The fresh fruit drinks and lassi yogurt drinks were very good. The restaurant also offers various kinds of chai, which we didn’t sample. The vegetarian daily special includes a fresh mixed salad and fruit drink for ₡3,000 ($6). It’s always in demand and looked extremely appetizing. 

We all agreed that the food that comes out of chef Das’ little kitchen is delicious, and outstanding value for money. We will certainly be returning to this little corner of India. More good news: Das offers catering services and local delivery.

Restaurante Gokul

Location: Teatro Giratablas, 50 m west of Bagelmen’s and across from KFC in Los Yoses

Hours: 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday to Saturday

Contact: 8380-2042

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Lifeguards call for help in Costa Rica: support their work in Osa
Changemakers
1046 views
Changemakers
1046 views

Lifeguards call for help in Costa Rica: support their work in Osa

Perry Gladstone - October 20, 2018

Over the last four years, the Lifeguards of Costa Ballena have performed 240 in-water rescues, administered first aid 100 times…

Costa Rica Rocks: An evening of progressive metal at Jazz Café
Arts and Culture
516 views
Arts and Culture
516 views

Costa Rica Rocks: An evening of progressive metal at Jazz Café

Eduardo Doryan - October 20, 2018

So there I was, at the fabled Melico Salazar Theater, about to experience the pleasure of seeing the Costa Rican…

PeaceJam to host first Youth Summit in Costa Rica
Peace Talks
837 views
Peace Talks
837 views

PeaceJam to host first Youth Summit in Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 19, 2018

Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams will headline the first PeaceJam Youth Summit in Costa Rica next month. The event, scheduled…