In the overall realm of underrated-ness, it is perhaps Appu's Cafe
that most deservedly defines that honor—and I am perpetually shocked that it doesn't get more love when it's not only underrated but genuinely great.
The draw of Chef Vinod Venkataraman's food at his definitely-Indian-kinda-fusion restaurant hidden in the Woodruff Medical Offices over on the east side, is one of both simple quality and contagious affection.
It serves up some of the best quality vegetarian food in the city and Vinod's wife works as a doctor in the building so they can both promote health through food and direct care: a win-win no matter how you dice it.
Amid the many worthy dishes—their soups are genuinely great, from their stellar mushroom soup to spinach soup, and I particularly miss their mulligatawny which is sadly not on their menu—it is their Maharaja Burrito that is the most popular and, per Yelp!'s admittedly eyebrow-raising burrito rankings across each state of the country, was named the best burrito in the state of California in 2019. The vegetarian burrito is filled with turmeric rice, chunks of saag paneer, and lentils (and mushrooms if you request it).
And while I am admittedly a huge fan of the carb-on-carb monster that is the Maharaja, there are other wonderful things to get.
My suggestion? Go for their samosa chaat—one of the best versions I've ever had—their paneer tikka masala, their creamy or one of their incredible soups.