Spice Expedition to the South Bay
Our dining group is doing a little spice tour in the South Bay area on a Sat. Penzey's is on the list, but we will hit other spots too. Do you have a favorite ethnic market besides usual 99 Ranch?
Can you send us to a decently chowish place for something spicey for lunch?
I promise to post our final itin. with pix
You can go to Famima, which is on Hawthorne Blvd. and Sepulveda. They sell Japanese snacks and pre-made food. I only tried the Cha siu bao (which, of course, wasn't Japanese) and it wasn't very good). The bread was mushy and the meat filling was spiked with curry--I don't care for curry.
My favorite restaurant in the area is Al Noor in Lawndale on Inglewood Blvd, right off the 405. It's Pakistani/Indian, and can get VERY spicy if you're asked the spice level. I'd get the paneer tikka massala. panner palak is good, as is the saag paneer. It's pretty well respected place.
Now for buying spices, there is an Indian Sweet and Spices mart on Hawthorne in Torrance, a block or two away from the corner of Torrance and Hawthorne blvds. There is also another India Sweets and Spices about a mile or two away on Sepulveda, west of Hawthorne. I don't know which one is better. These places also serve yummy and cheap (like $4) lunch. I assume you can buy some spices at either.
I tried the lunch at the India Sweets and Spices, 3920 Sepulveda. It's vegetarian, pick your items from the steam trays. A few tables inside. I don't know which is better, but this lunch was definitely spicy.
Market World, 3030 Sepulveda, is a Korean market. They have a pretty large self-serve deli section. Huge selection of kimchi, of course.