Savory dishes of India

Preethi Indian Cuisine

Paneer Kadai (fresh Indian cheese) is pan-fried before it’s mixed with a spicy masala.

Paneer Kadai (fresh Indian cheese) is pan-fried before it’s mixed with a spicy masala.


Good for: Workday lunch, casual get-togethers and vegetarian options
Notable dishes: Lunch buffet, Goat Curry, Aloo Mutter, Galub Jamun
Indian, Midtown

Preethi Indian Cuisine

715 2nd St.
Davis, CA 95616

(530) 759-2040

Preethi Indian Cuisine has brought its popular daily buffet and voluminous dinner menu from Davis to Midtown Sac. Its homemade, from scratch Southern and Northern regional dishes are highly conducive to the buffet format. The vegetarian and non-vegetarian offerings are evenly split, allowing for optimal grazing and increased chances that everyone at your table will have their dietary needs met.

The buffet menu changes daily, but when I visited there was an abundance of aromatic basmati, coconut and tamarind rice; tender on-the-bone chicken biryani; an assortment of crisp, fresh pakora; intensely spicy goat curry and channa masala; juicy tandoori chicken; robust sambar (lentil and veggie stew); butter chicken (although, I am convinced it was actually a mislabeled mellow tikka masala); delicious dal curry and much more, including fresh chutney for dipping and saucing. The pleasant staff also brought complimentary mango lassi (a yogurt-based smoothie) and garlic naan for the table.

I ordered Gulab Jamun ($3.99) for the first time. I first thought the drenched orbs were small, swollen grapes warmed and bloated with fruit juice, but no. Fried dumplings made with milk pastry are rolled and soaked in saffron syrup. Think of the best doughnut holes you’ve ever had and then cry because they weren’t Gulab Jamun.

With Preethi’s buffet ($12) a success, it was time to explore its dinner menu. It’s a sizable menu, maybe too big. A smaller, more concise and cooked consistently well menu might be preferable than offering everything and the kitchen sink.

Our table enjoyed some spongy-yet-crispy Dosa ($8.99), thin and crepe-like, perfect for sopping up sambar or coconut chutney. I also ordered some sweet lassi to counter the impending onslaught of spicy heat. The Goat Curry ($14.99), tender and chewy, blasted instant heat throughout my mouth. The succulent Lamb Biryani ($13.99) also scolded me with fiery sass. While both were too hot for me (making me the wimp in the group), they were savored by everyone else. I headed back down to my comfort level with the extra creamy, buttery Chicken Koorma ($13.99), which has a nice, slower heat that grows from the back of the throat. Same with my favorite dish, Chicken Tikka Masala ($13.99): A low, slow heat combined with a yogurt and spice sauce so well-balanced and flavorful. I could have given the chef a high-five.

Also noteworthy was the Aloo Mutter ($11.99), a potato dish so savory, you’d think there was meat broth involved. The Paneer Kadai ($11.99), with cubes of pan-fried cheese coated in spices and mixed with green peppers had snappy, chewy textures and the Okra Masala ($11.99) was so spicy it kicked everyone’s butt. Add in fragrant rice, crunchy naan, copious raita and you’d better believe everyone left with numb tongues and round bellies.

Preethi’s is affordable, casual and friendly. The perfect combo for workday lunches and/or dinner with friends. They have an arsenal of homemade family recipes ready to tempt your eyes and prompt your taste buds, and a mighty menu to prove it. Preethi’s doesn’t just go big—they go buffet.