At noon, Los Altos customers enter Aurum one by one, 6 feet apart. A golden color glints from the restaurant signs as they wait to get their takeout.
Manish Tyagi opened Aurum in January with his partner Anupam Bhatia to deliver forgotten Indian flavors to Los Altos.
“South Bay [does not have many] Indian restaurants and this is why we chose this location,” said Tyagi, previously the chef of August 1 Five in San Francisco. “We are the first one here in Los Altos.”
The restaurant hopes to pioneer not only in location but in quality, its name meaning “gold” in Latin.
“My goal is to source the finest Indian Central and Southern ingredients to the local families who love to try intrinsic Indian cuisine,” Tyagi said. “We want to bring happy memories to our customers when they are having our dishes.”
The chef’s professional journey started in India, researching local Central and Southern recipes to create his own.
“I take inspiration from nature, culture and day-to-day life,” Tyagi said. “We are not able to do that much physical work we used to do before, so that food needs to suit your daily needs.”
Aurum also works to suit budgetary needs. Anupam Bhatia, CEO of the restaurant, said that Aurum tries to keep prices low while maintaining high-end service.
“You will see other restaurants are serving butter chicken at $24, $25, and we are serving it at $18, $19,” Anupam said. “We kept our pricing very affordable.”
Regulars said they appreciated Aurum’s customer service and food quality.
“The Saag Paneer is a winner,” said Lori Nguyen, a regular customer. “There was a good texture to this creamed spinach-like dish and I could taste the tiny bits of prominent ginger along with the complexity of spices.”
Aurum is open for takeout and delivery every day noon-9 p.m.