What is Indian Paradox?
Indian Paradox (IP) is one-of-a-kind wine bar/restaurant in San Francisco’s Divisadero corridor, pairing old and new world wines with Indian street food (chaat) from all over the sub-continent.
IP was conceived and brought to fruition by owner and wine director Kavitha Raghavan.
Kavitha, a Chennai native, landed in Alabama for a graduate degree in Electrical Engineering. Fast forward to her move to the Bay Area, and strangely enough for this Madrasi, something she least expected clicked. While Silicon Valley is known for its startups and technology, Kavitha was smitten, bitten, and enamored by its infectious wine bug.
What began with fun trips to Wine Country and exciting food and wine pairing experiences in the great city of San Francisco, slowly transformed into something more deep and passionate than just a fun hobby.
And so was born Indian Paradox.
Her next few years were invested in academic wine training via the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) and Certified Sommelier (CS) certifications, working hands-on in wine bars in the Bay Area, and organizing several food pop-ups to test her concept.
Finally, the doors of IP opened in March 2016 - with a vision to serve Indian (street) foods that are quintessential and yet so rare in the city, along with their paradoxical pairings.
A few months into opening Indian Paradox Kavitha was serving as opening chef, wine director, and chief of everything miscellaneous, and was more than ready to hand off the day-to-day operations of the kitchen to someone who “gets” her mission, vision, and passion for this path she had traveled alone so far…
Enter Maribel Palomo. Kavitha and Maribel hit it off right from the beginning and today; Maribel is the badass Chief Operating Officer of the Indian Paradox kitchen. She executes an innovative brunch and dinner menu with pizzazz and deftly manages her very talented and passionate back of the house team.
Do not judge a book by its cover – or do you?
After a friendship with local artist Lorena Zertuche (designer and co-owner of SF’s Lolo), Kavitha and Lorena began sharing their passion for food, delicious beverages, books and art from their native hometowns. This creative discourse sparked the idea for a unique collaboration to bring both the warmth and spirit of the Indian streets here to San Francisco via IP’s vibrant visual aesthetic.
A special emphasis on wine is hard to miss in Lorena’s work, with her inspiration through a full-scale, three-dimensional truck mural and installation of dozens of colorful milk crates, which form the “truck bed” shelving that carries Kavitha’s wine offerings.