Dosa on Fillmore: seriously sexy

Artwork abounds at Dosa.

Inside the double-height construction site with the massive windows opening onto the corner of Post and Fillmore, a team of craftsmen are grinding smooth the top of the expansive bar made of recycled glass, mirror and mother of pearl.

It’s immediately clear the dynamic young couple creating their dream restaurant here have fully embraced architect Jim Maxwell’s environmentally correct philosophy. It’s equally clear this is going to be a seriously sexy place.

Dosa on Fillmore is the full realization of ideas Anjan and Emily Mitra first expressed on a smaller scale in 2005 when they opened the first Dosa, their acclaimed South Indian restaurant on Valencia Street.

“We’re embracing the textures and colors, the warmth and the intimacy of the space on Valencia and elevating it to evoke a grand hotel lobby in India,” says Maxwell. “We’re making it exotically Indian, but contemporary — without it being the forbidden ‘something Anjan had growing up in India,’ which became one of our design edicts.”

There are nine-foot lotus petal light fixtures hanging in the huge front windows and bar lights dangling with red and amber jewels — “Emily’s earrings,” says Maxwell. Everywhere are shades of rusts and browns and golds, with wooden shutters made of coconut palm fiber behind the bar, softening the southern light.

Even the rest rooms are elegant, with tiles printed with red roses in the women’s room and a more manly mocha damask tile in the men’s room.

It’s a big place. The main dining room can seat 120, with room for 40 more up a sculptural antique gold metal staircase on the mezzanine. Plus there’s a communal dining table in the bar.

Almost from the day Dosa opened on Valencia, it has been in the top ranks of San Francisco restaurants — for its fresh and unusual food, its atmospheric decor and its stylish clientele. And the Mitras are upping the wattage considerably with their new place on Fillmore.