Along El Camino Real, from Santa Clara to Sunnyvale in particular, has become one of the South Bay’s best bets for ethnically diverse dining choices and it now has another option to add to the list: Thali, a Gujarati-style restaurant that opened a few months ago.

Gujarat is a state of western India that is predominantly vegetarian due to the influences of Jain vegetarianism and traditional Hinduism. Many dishes are sweet, salty and spicy at the same time. Salt, sugar, lemon, lime and tomato are used generously in Gujarati food.

In Indian cuisine, thali refers to the traditional large, steel serving tray used to present a number of katori, small cookery bowls.

Thali serves a prix fixe menu ($11.99 weekdays/$14.99 weekends) of vegetarian items. The meal begins with an empty thali—diners fill their tray by making selections from different categories that include appetizers, vegetables, dals (lentils), bread, rice and sweets. Meals are served with accompaniments: pickle, buttermilk, salad, chutney and papad (thin, cracker-like wafers). Also available are options for Jain (no onion, garlic or root vegetables) and vegan (no dairy or animal products).

Thali has been open for just a few months and is already drawing crowds. Despite longer waits on the weekends, however, service is gracious and accommodating.