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Without Meditation, Saransh Oberoi May Never Have Opened Masala Street

Oberoi began practicing meditation to help recover from an injury


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Illustration by Holly Exley

“I lifted a heavy stock pot by myself, and my spine gave in,” says Saransh Oberoi, chef and co-owner of La Jolla’s Masala Street. “I was disabled, then slowly started getting paralyzed on my right side. I was unable to work, I lost everything—so we had to move to San Diego. My in-laws were here.”

Oberoi began practicing meditation, which he says helped him recover. “When I started to walk, my dad and wife said, ‘If you can walk and you can move, let’s start a restaurant.’”

His father is celebrated chef Hemant Oberoi, who’s cooked for India’s famed Taj hotel group. Together they opened Masala Street in December 2016 with a menu of elevated Indian food, like samosa tacos and brie naan with truffle.

“Most of the menu was basically a lot of arguments between us. That’s how we work,” he jokes. “Not only do I get to work with him, I get to learn from him.”

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