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What is the best Indian restaurant in LA?

carln Aug 26, 2006 06:08 PM

I moved to LA from London (where there is a lot of very good Indian food) and have tried a few indian restaurants but found them all to be tamed down for the American palette. Which Indian restaurant do you hounds consider the best?

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  1. r
    Ravi RE: carln Aug 26, 2006 06:16 PM

    Can you elaborate on the kind of Indian food you enjoyed in London? There is a large cluster of Northern and Southern Indian restaurants on Pioneer Boulevard in Artesia. Annapurna in Culver City has very good Southern Indian vegetarian food but you will have to put up with Bollywood movies on plasma displays scattered on the walls.

    1. Joe Blowe RE: carln Aug 26, 2006 06:27 PM

      My question to the OP: How many of the "Indian" restaurants *in London* you were eating at were actually Punjabi or Pakistani?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Joe Blowe
        carln RE: Joe Blowe Aug 26, 2006 06:37 PM

        I honestly dont know. I have eaten at India's Tandoori on Pico, India's Oven on Wilshire and Akbar of India on Washington. The only one that i found to be decent was India's Tandoori and its only good when you tell them that its ok to prepare the dishes authentically and not to americanize them. I have also tried a place on Pico called Bombay Cafe (i think) and although i had heard good things about it, i was not terribly impressed.

        1. re: Joe Blowe
          kotter RE: Joe Blowe Dec 14, 2006 09:53 PM

          I had the best Pakistani food in London. It does not compare to the indian restaurant style food in LA.

        2. s
          sherpa50 RE: carln Aug 26, 2006 06:41 PM

          I like Jaipur (note: I am a vegetarian so I cannot comment on their meat dishes), but I am not sure how authentic the food is. It's on the south side of Pico, just west of Westwood.

          1. l
            Lee by the Sea RE: carln Aug 26, 2006 08:21 PM

            The favorite food of my wife and I is Indian, though we are not from the subcontinent. On our London trips since 1977 we have tried to eat only Indian (a wide variety). To calibrate us, our favorites in London are Bombay Brasserie and Sarkhel's, while we thought Chutney Mary's was pretentious and not really very good. Those are high-end restaurants but we enjoy most well-made and deeply-flavored Indian. We like it layered with spices, not merely hot (and as you know, not everything is hot, hot, hot, but much should be.)

            That said, here are some favorites (we do have a geographic bias, as my name implies; I don't know the Artesia area):

            - Nawab in Santa Monica. Certainly among the best lunch buffets; reliable at dinner.

            - Addi's Tandoor in Redondo Beach. Worth the drive. Everything we have had has been excellent, plus it is about the only place in this town where Vindaloo is made right, without the common, deplorable addition of tomato products.

            - Annapurna in Culver City. Fully vegetarian Southern Indian. Like Ravi says--simple and informal, but well made.

            An unusual place that you may like is Gate of India in Santa Monica. It is small and chef-owned; the chef cooks in a somewhat-personalized Bengali style. It is quite tasty and layered in spicing but VERY rich in cream and ghee, too much so for my wife. Service can be quite slow but is worth the wait. Don't go for the buffet.

            Stay far away from Tantra. And Bombay Cafe is training-wheels Indian, IMHO.

            1. l
              losfelizhound RE: carln Aug 26, 2006 08:22 PM

              There is clearly no best Indian restaurant in LA. There is too much variety in Indian cuisine and these are some of my favorites:


              India's Grill:
              428 S San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles
              Essentially Indian Punjabi - The chicken tikkas and seekh kababs are excellent, one of the best I have had in Indian restaurants. The curries are good but I have had better - noteworthy are chana masala and kaali daal. The fried okra (bhindi) masala is also quite good. The bread is generally good, and the portions are good sized (unlike most Indian restaurants). They serve beer and wine, but I am not sure about other alcohols.

              Tibet Nepal House:
              36 E Holly St, Pasadena
              Under-mentioned and under-rated. This place deserves some serious space on this board. It is technically neither Indian nor Pakistani and shouldn't be on this list but I have included it as Nepal is in the Indian sub-continent. Nepali food is most interesting - it is herbier and not as inclined towards spice as Indian food (though last time round, I ordered the Lamb Sekuwa ("Lamb Tikka" and it was spicy as hell - and please note, I am one of those "spiceheads" when I want to be). This is one of the few places, which I consider extremely date-friendly (amongst Indian place) :) The Tibetan is average, I have had way better in New York and Boston.

              Electric Lotus:
              Vermont & Franklin, Los Angeles
              This is India's Grill owner's second restaurant in Los Angeles. The chicken/meat dishes are pathetic but the vegetarian Punjabi stuff - chana masala, kaali daal is really good. The reason this is on my list (of course, it is in Los Feliz) is because it has a really good bar (Tantra and Electric Karma supposedly also have good bars) which is a rarity in Indian restaurants.

              Makkah Halal Restaurant:
              Vermont & 3rd, Los Angeles
              I wrote a review on this a long time ago. One of my favorite places in the city.


              Gate of India:
              7300 W Sunset Blvd # D, Los Angeles
              Again an Indian Punjabi-owned restaurant. The kababs are pretty good. This is always a second choice restaurant for me, and my bias is due to my inherent tendency to either order or go to Makkah Halal. The curries are quite nice. The vegetarian stuff is decent. Spice level can be modified to suit your requirements. Offers staple Indian *pathetic* beers (though I have suddenly started liking Himalayan Blue for some godforsaken reason). There is a Gate of India in Santa Monica as well. I was told it was good, but I found it extremely disappointing - *pathetic more than disappointing* on my visit.

              Clay Oven:
              14611 1/2 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks
              Excellent kababs and biryani - I would say one of the best biryani places that I have visited. I haven't explored the curries as much as I should have (though I did try one of their curries, which was pretty good), and that's because I go there when I want to have strictly kababs and biryani. I think they have a full bar but I am not sure. Another point to note is that the service is usually excellent and the decor is not that bad (though it tends to be typically Indian - with Indian movie songs playing on big LCD's).

              Shan Restaurant
              18621 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia
              I think this is Pakistani-owned. The curries are OK but the kabas, nihari and paaya are fantastic to say the least. I always visit this when I am hungry for nihari and paaya! I am not sure if they serve alcohol.

              Noorani Halal Restaurant
              14178 Brookhurst St, Garden Grove
              This is again on my list of best places for kababs and biryani (which is awesome!)- they make the lahori chargha, which surprisingly is much more delicious in my humble opinion than the usual tandoori chicken. Also, the first place where the chicken tikka tastes different from the tandoori chicken (in most Indian places, you would find that chicken tikka is essentially boneless tandoori chicken). The curries are typically Pakistani - delicious but OILY. The rotis are excellent. No alcohol is served though.

              India Sweet House (aka Paratha Place
              )5992 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles
              Excellent parathas and that's it. Cash only and quasi-fast food. I don't bother trying out South-Indian dishes when the owner is distinctly North-Indian.

              South Indian:

              Sunset & Normandie, Los Angeles
              Claims to be the oldest Indian restaurant in LA, and possibly could be. It is pure vegetarian and serves beer and wine. To be precise, I find the taste more Tamil than anything else (Andhra, which is also another style of South Indian cuisine is more suited to my taste as it is fiery). Paru's serves some good ol' dosas, idlis, uttapams - all the usual stuff. I like their rasam soup in particular and their salted lassi (a yogurt drink with corriander, chillies and other interesting stuff).

              Tirupathi Bhimas:
              18792 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia
              TB is Andhra - and they serve "Thali" which is similar to a lunch special (has like 2-3 vegetables, 2-3 sambars/rasam, rice, etc.). Since, its Andhra its spicy and yummy!. Though there can't be any benchmarks (my only ones are home-cooked Andhra meals, to which TB should obviously not be compared to) for comparison as LA does not have any other in this specialty.

              17631 Pioneer Boulevard, Artesia
              This is one of those places which has all the marks of greatness, yet falls short due to tremendous inconsistency. In three visits, the sambar has gone from Great to OK to Bad. When I say, great, it is as good as anything you could get in South India (and not the Udupi restaurants of Bombay). Interesting choices in the dosas and the uttapams. If it is your lucky day, no one can beat this place. There is also one in Culver City though I haven't visited it.

              Curry Bowl
              19662 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana
              This is Sri Lankan and I haven't found too many Lankan places in LA. Sri Lankan food and South Indian food are close in culinary terms and yet distinct from each other. Anyways, the food is hot as hell and delicious. I remember having a roti with eggs and some really fiery lamb curry (the lamb wasn't quite good and I should have ordered chicken). The dried fish pickle was awesome!

              West Indian:

              This is essentially Gujurati cuisine as it is served in Los Angeles as I haven't come across anything Maharashtrian.

              Surti Farsan Mart
              11814 186th St, Artesia
              Cheap, consistent and crowded. They serve "chaat", the origins of which are North Indian but is quite popular all over India. Modernist, whose extensive culinary knowledge is of great value to foodies like me, had written an excellent description of Paani-Puri on this board (can't seem to find that link though). This is an excellent place that one shouldn't miss.

              Yogiraj Restaurant
              3107 W Lincoln Ave, Anaheim
              IMHO, this is *THE* place for home-style Gujurati food (they do have competitors in Artesia). Nothing beats Yogiraj - its oily, buttery and delicious. Try the Village Thali (#3), they have a buffet only on weekends. Rasjraj and JayBharat are average clones of Yogiraj in Artesia on Pioneer Blvd. - though JayBharat's Pav Bhaji is better than Yogiraj's (Pav Bhaji is more Bombay food than Gujurati cuisine).

              While by no means is this list exhaustive (as I haven't tried a number of places in the westside) it should be considered as a list of places which are either serving food close to what I have had in India and are reasonably consistent.

              Places I AVOID:
              1. India Sweets and Spices: Cheap and that's it.
              2. Akbar: Most over-rated Indian restaurant. It’s terrific if you like calling a mediocre place - terrific.
              3. Anarkali/Others in the vicinity: On Melrose, there are three restaurants in close proximity, I have been to all three, and Anarkali is the only one I remember by name. You can guess how good the other two are.
              4. Udupi in Artesia: So avoidable, it continues to surprise me that its still open and doing business.
              5. Electric Lotus: Yes. It makes it on this list as well. For everything other than chana masala and kaali daal and Duvel.
              6. Agra: On Sunset, east of Vermont average for tandoori but not a single curry is memorable (though it offers Balti, the Birmingham-born cuisine in Los Angeles). The vegetarian is a disaster to say the least. My cat cooks better mutter paneer.
              7. Masala Bowl in Artesia: Thrice on three consecutive weekends - Good, Bad and Ugly. It has something to do with the owners - they also own Annapurna.
              8. Woodlands in Artesia: Clueless about the cuisine they are trying to promote. They had a buffet which served Punjabi, South-Indian and Indo-Chinese. Bad. Bad. Bad.

              13 Replies
              1. re: losfelizhound
                cjla RE: losfelizhound Aug 26, 2006 08:58 PM

                WooHoo!! Thanks so much for sharing this!

                1. re: losfelizhound
                  carln RE: losfelizhound Aug 26, 2006 09:25 PM

                  thank you so much for this. i have a lot of eating to do now.

                  1. re: losfelizhound
                    Lee by the Sea RE: losfelizhound Aug 26, 2006 09:30 PM

                    Thanks for your lengthy list and descriptions, particularly of where to go in the Little India area. Our experience of Electric Lotus was an unmitigated disaster; even if their chana masala was God's gift to humanity I would never go back. I'm not sure that the two Gate of India restaurants are related any more, though they may have been to begin with. The Santa Monica chef is emphatically Bengali.
                    Have you tried the Nepalese food at Katmandu Kitchen on Venice Blvd. (north side of the street, west of Overland, east of Sepulveda) in Palms? It is small, chef-owned, and you will have to look hard for street parking. Their momos are dim-sum-like dumplings that are out of this world. The other dishes we had were good but, as you say, less spicy than Indian. Service was excellent and prices are very reasonable.

                    1. re: Lee by the Sea
                      losfelizhound RE: Lee by the Sea Aug 27, 2006 12:33 AM

                      I have heard but haven't tried Kathmandu Kitchen. The momos at TNH were pretty good but need to try KK in order to see how TNH compares. Gate of India, I believe has different owners because when I went to the one in Santa Monica, it did seem Bengali, so perhaps my previous post may seem ambiguous. My last (and only) experience of GOI in Santa Monica was so bad, I wouldn't go there until its the last restaurant standing.

                    2. re: losfelizhound
                      JBC RE: losfelizhound Aug 27, 2006 05:16 PM

                      Thanks very much for the indepth anaylsis of the Indian food available in L.A. Your reporting reminds me of Howler's commentary on Indian food in London (you might enjoy doing a search under Howler on the U.K./Ireland board).

                      Update - 25 minutes have past since I typed the above and during that time I decided I'd follow my own advise and search Howler's postings. Sadly, only 8 came up and the good ones prior to the new software didn't show. Lost in Cyberspace? So I tried searching using "Indian" and ONLY 35 posts came up none of which were older than 5/04/06.

                      1. re: losfelizhound
                        moto RE: losfelizhound Aug 30, 2006 09:13 AM

                        Hello, have limited experience w. Indian foods in LA/OC, but we enjoyed the Andhra food we had at Dosa Palace in Tustin. Spicing was less Americanized than most places, we thought. enjoy

                        1. re: losfelizhound
                          rc_epionions RE: losfelizhound Nov 25, 2006 12:42 PM

                          Yogiraj on Lincoln is horrible and woodlands on Artesia is great. Read my latest experience about Yogiraj in epinions.

                          1. re: losfelizhound
                            Schweinhaxen RE: losfelizhound Dec 15, 2006 05:59 AM

                            I HIGHLY recommend India's Grill for Tandoori and Chicken Tikkas. I find that many people dont give this small mini mall restaurant a chance and they are surprised by the quality of the food. Great report.

                            1. re: losfelizhound
                              losfelizhound RE: losfelizhound Jan 16, 2007 06:14 PM

                              Need to update this:

                              1. Yogiraj is closed for reasons unknown to me. It's really sad at it was the closest to home-style Gujurati food in the Southland. Next best is JayBharat on Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, it is good, but lacks the punch of Yogiraj (read oil and spice) which made Yogiraj so good.

                              2. Since my previous post, I visited the Gate of India (Sunset Blvd location) thrice - the tandoori (grilled) dishes were pretty good but the curries left a lot to be desired. Too much tomato, and like all mediocre Indian restaurants, they all tasted the same.

                              1. re: losfelizhound
                                losfelizhound RE: losfelizhound Feb 7, 2007 03:57 PM

                                Some more updates:

                                Annapurna in Artesia apparently has gone a makeover and moved to a different location within the same strip mall, I haven't visited it yet, but I do hope it is as good as it can (or used to) be.

                                For Indo-Chinese (this is not fusion but simply Chinese food cooked with the Indian palette in mind):

                                Royal Cuisine of India
                                11454 South St
                                Cerritos, CA 90703

                                Serves "Frankies" which are found in Bombay (not sure about other parts of India), and are essentially burrito-like in form and substance, except they don't have rice and beans but instead have a hot curry-ish dish (with or without meat) on the inside. They also serve Indo-Chinese which is respectable by LA standards. They definitely have a weekend buffet, but the a la carte dinner is much better and enjoyable (not sure if they serve a la carte for lunch).

                                1. re: losfelizhound
                                  loreeLB RE: losfelizhound Mar 18, 2010 10:35 AM

                                  Albeit over-rated, I love the Tandoor Salmon at Akbar!

                                  1. re: loreeLB
                                    Servorg RE: loreeLB Mar 18, 2010 10:39 AM

                                    Is your rating of "loving" the tandoor salmon at Akbar an over rate, or is that an accurate assessment of how you feel about it? ;-D>

                                  2. re: losfelizhound
                                    mc michael RE: losfelizhound Dec 6, 2013 12:20 AM

                                    Thanks for the detailed rundown. Do you refer to the Akbar in Pasadena? What is your view of the All India Cafe in Pasadena?

                                  3. r
                                    Ravi RE: carln Aug 26, 2006 08:59 PM

                                    17631 Pioneer Boulevard, Artesia
                                    This is one of those places which has all the marks of greatness, yet falls short due to tremendous inconsistency. In three visits, the sambar has gone from Great to OK to Bad. When I say, great, it is as good as anything you could get in South India (and not the Udupi restaurants of Bombay). Interesting choices in the dosas and the uttapams. If it is your lucky day, no one can beat this place. There is also one in Culver City though I haven't visited it."

                                    I've eaten at the Culver City location many times and so long as I am there for dinner, it has been at least good and usually much better than that. I've eaten at Woodlands, Udupi Palace, and Thirupathi Bhimas in Artesia as well as Dasaprakash in Santa Monica when it was around. Only the long-gone Paru's in Northridge had the consistently fresh flavors and textures of the food at Annapurna, CC. This is no knock on Woodlands which was my place for authentic comfort food for years until recently. I'm also very grateful not to have to schlepp to Artesia from the South Bay.

                                    That being said, avoid the Annapurna lunch buffet. I've had it two or three times there and it wasn't nearly as good as the a la carte offerings. I don't think South Indian cuisine is well-suited to the steam table.

                                    If they'd only get rid of the video screens...

                                    --- Ravi

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Ravi
                                      Lee by the Sea RE: Ravi Aug 26, 2006 09:17 PM

                                      Thanks for your observations about South Indian food. Though we have eaten at Paru's (Hollywood), Dasaprakash (West LA), and two other South Indians that are closed now (one on Westwood and one on La Cienega), as well as at Annapurna (Culver City), we always have trouble knowing what and how much to order. (At Dasaprakash the service was so slow that we would forget what we had ordered by the time it arrived.) We have only had the lunch buffets at Annapurna so it looks like we should go back in the evening.

                                    2. Fresser RE: carln Aug 27, 2006 04:34 PM

                                      You have to try Ambala Dhaba on Westwood Blvd. It's very good, nice little outdoor patio. We love the Ludiana Chicken. If you're adventerous, try the goat. One of my last experiences in London...asked for spicy, but it was sooo hot that it was inedible. If you want more spice, ask for it. For amazing vegetarian, you can't do better than Chadni on Wilshire in Santa Monica. Not spicy, but so tasty and they have a inexpensive lunch buffet. Bon Appetite!

                                      1. r
                                        Ravi RE: carln Aug 27, 2006 09:48 PM

                                        "For amazing vegetarian, you can't do better than Chadni on Wilshire in Santa Monica. Not spicy, but so tasty and they have a inexpensive lunch buffet. Bon Appetite!"

                                        Agreed mostly on Chandni - wouldn't call it amazing but they're usually very good. I've had good luch asking them to spice up my dishes.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Ravi
                                          nyleewood RE: Ravi Nov 25, 2006 04:09 PM

                                          We've really enjoyed Chandni for many years now. Good northern vegetarian dishes, which can also be ordered for take out.

                                          1909 Wilshire Blvd
                                          Santa monica, California 90403
                                          (310) 828-7060

                                        2. c
                                          clarega RE: carln Aug 28, 2006 08:50 PM

                                          My friend moved here from Delhi a few years ago, and he swears by India Sweets & Spices on Los Feliz Blvd.. He said it's the closest thing to his mother's cooking that he's seen here. I've been there a few times and they have a sort of cafeteria-style section in the back of the store that's pretty tastey.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: clarega
                                            BurritoLover RE: clarega Dec 6, 2008 07:25 PM

                                            India Sweets and Spices is very authentic and IMHO very good, especially for the price. Ask the owner what specials they have and he will take care of you. Although unhealthy, I've had some very tasty meals there.

                                          2. j
                                            jlq3d3 RE: carln Aug 29, 2006 05:08 AM

                                            How about Flavor of India on Santa Monica near Doheney. Nice casual ambiance and good food (although portions could be bigger). They frequently send coupon ads in the mail in the Valuepack.

                                            1. sing me a bar RE: carln Aug 29, 2006 04:43 PM

                                              Is the Clay Pit still good in Brentwood? It is between San Vicente & Sunset. I used to be able to get a really burning Vindaloo there and great garlic naan.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: sing me a bar
                                                blue4food RE: sing me a bar Jul 10, 2011 03:23 PM

                                                Unfortunately Clay Pit is closed, and the best indian prepared okra in LA is gone with it.

                                                Clay Pit
                                                145 S Barrington Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90049

                                              2. e
                                                epop RE: carln Aug 30, 2006 07:26 AM

                                                Pradeep's in santa monica is on the healthy side and very much like the indian food i've had in people's homes and in India, also not in restaurants. their food isn't greasy and overly spiced in the way most places are.
                                                that said, it is largely dependent upon a person's idea of what this cuisine is.
                                                for example some people want the greasy cheap food like what one finds in roadside stands in india. that is one form of authentic.

                                                + so is an old grandma's kitchen. i stick to the latter. i'm not a big fan of this cuisine anymore, as i think it is hard on the stomach. but pradeep's is clean and focused and mostly vegetarian, which is more than i can say for a lot of other places.

                                                1. m
                                                  Mr. Cookie RE: carln Aug 30, 2006 06:43 PM

                                                  epop makes a good point. many classic indian sauces are high in butter content, to say the least, and i don't eat indian food too often, either. however, as a one-time resident of delhi many years ago, i would say tantra has some of the best indian cuisine in L.A., though it's overpriced. it's certainly reminiscent of many of the pakistani places in london. electric lotus and india sweets and spices are completely forgettable.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Mr. Cookie
                                                    anilk RE: Mr. Cookie Nov 5, 2007 06:40 PM

                                                    I agree with epop. The food I had at Electrifc Ltous is the worst Indian food I have ever tested ( I am an Indian).

                                                  2. z
                                                    zigzagzigalo RE: carln Aug 30, 2006 08:29 PM

                                                    Here's a few to add to the list :


                                                    2406 S Barrington Ave
                                                    Los Angeles, CA 90064
                                                    (310) 477-6263

                                                    I've been eating here at least once a week for the past 6 years and never once have I been disapointed. The place is small but charming, and it's been around since 1986 so you know they're doing something right. The tandoori chicken is excellent, and if you want tandoori with a twist try the dahi(yougurt) chicken. The seekh kabobs are mouth-wateringly flavorful, they go great with the green chutney at the mini chutney bar. For those that are a bit more adventurous I would HIGHLY recommend the Nehari. I'm not even sure if it's on the menu but they do serve it. It's a speciality dish that will have you hooked; I can attest, I need to have some at least once a week. In general, I have not been disapointed by pretty much anything on the menu, the prices are good(lunch for around $6, which comes with salad,rice,naan and an entree) It get's a little busy around lunch time and parking can be an issue at times, but that's about the only negative I can see. I've lived in India and I can honestly say that this place blows away many of the restaurants in Delhi.

                                                    Jasmine Market and Deli

                                                    4135 Sepulveda Blvd.,
                                                    Culver City, CA 90230-4706
                                                    (310) 313-3767

                                                    Another small but charming place to eat. They have seating indoors as well as a nice little patio area outside. The food is cheap, but has a unique taste, unlike any other Indian restaurant I've been to. I think the reason for that is because owners are Malaysian/Indian and have a distinctly different style of cooking. If you're looking to try something different the keema(ground beef) is good and so is the daal gosht(lentil curry with meat). The chicken biryani is good and if you go on Friday's they make their special lamb biryani, but only on Friday and it goes fast, so get there early! Overall, the cheap prices, unique taste and charming patio area make this a place worth checking out.


                                                    1117 West Manchester Blvd. #G
                                                    Inglewood, CA 90301-1594

                                                    This place definitely has an authentic feel to it, you almost feel like you're in India when you walk in and sit down. They have a large selection of food on the menu, and I believe on Friday's they have a "special biryani" that they make. It's not as cheap as the other two places but still quite reasonable. I would recommend the chapli kabobs, they're spicy but damn good.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: zigzagzigalo
                                                      madforindianfood RE: zigzagzigalo Sep 2, 2007 04:08 PM

                                                      Nobody knows why the Indian Restaurants here tend to Americanize their food when it's mostly Indians and Pakistanis who frequent their restaurants. The food at Bilal Restaurant located in Westchester is very inconsistent. When the owner is there to prepare, the food is simply delicious otherwise you have to be contented with a Mexican chef preparing Chicken Biryani that taste like tomato chicken rice and chicken kurma that tastes so bland and anything BUT Indian or Pakistani food. My husband and I found an Excellent Pakistani restaurant in Inglewood called "Al Watan". The food is comparable to Noorani's in Garden Grove,CA. They're famous for their Beef Nihari, Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Kirahi, all types of biryani, kurma's and best of all the "Pulao Rice with Leg of Lamb on Friday's only. Their lunch and dinner special is of generous portions and good variety.The restaurant is not fancy but the quality of food is always consistent and patronized by mostly Pakistanis and Indians. Reasonably priced. Was told the chef was cooking for a prominent hotel in Pakistan. Service is average. Waiters are polite. Hope this information is helpful.

                                                      1. re: zigzagzigalo
                                                        Mr Grub RE: zigzagzigalo Sep 6, 2007 11:54 PM

                                                        The Grubs have never had so much as a single mediocre dish at Bilal. We think it is the best Indian/(mostly) Pakistani resto in LA. Consistently fine tikkas, vindaloos, saags, breads, Paki specials. Since its expansion, no longer cramped & oppressive. With Al-Watan, great Indian choice north of Artesia. Halal like Al-Watan, Bilal serves no alcohol.

                                                        1. re: zigzagzigalo
                                                          Servorg RE: zigzagzigalo Sep 7, 2007 04:19 AM

                                                          We love Chutneys too. Have you tried the kabob rolls? Chicken, beef, lamb or vegetable. Basically an Indian Nanurrito (a burrito made with nan) heaped with onions, tomatoes and some chopped lettuce and some raita, plus the chicken or whatever you choose. Really great stuff.

                                                        2. b
                                                          bern1 RE: carln Aug 30, 2006 09:50 PM

                                                          The best Indian food I have sampled is from an Indian Grocery store named Barat Bazzaar on Washington, west of Sepulveda. They have daily specials, tables to sit down at, and the store to peruse while you're waiting for your order. I find their dosa's to be far superior to Anapurna's.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: bern1
                                                            Kishari RE: bern1 Aug 31, 2006 12:52 AM

                                                            Bharat Bazaar has been remodeled and renamed and is now called the Samosa House. They specialize in Eastern Indian food, according to the new sign (much better than the previous sign that said Caskets!).

                                                            Was just there yesterday. Had a 3 combo plate at lunch for $5.95 (spinach, eggplant garbanzos). It was tasty, but a tad oversalted.

                                                            Have been to Pradeeps on Montana and was unimpressed. My feeling was that the food had watered-down Indian flavors for the tame Montana Ave. suburban crowd.

                                                            1. re: Kishari
                                                              westsidegal RE: Kishari Oct 30, 2007 10:03 AM

                                                              samosa house raised their prices on the combination plate to $7;
                                                              still, this is an unbelievable bargain for the quality food they serve.

                                                              1. re: westsidegal
                                                                liu RE: westsidegal Oct 30, 2007 11:23 AM

                                                                I agree...their food is delicious: always very flavorful and seemingly healthy.
                                                                You are really getting what you pay for.

                                                          2. g
                                                            Guerrilla Dining RE: carln Aug 30, 2006 11:44 PM

                                                            I haven't had everywhere but I've been to Akbar and All India Cafe in Pasadena and they were both amazing! Akbar is higher end and probably a bit more authentic, but I've always enjoyed All India too!

                                                            1. m
                                                              Mother Hubbard RE: carln Aug 31, 2006 03:44 PM

                                                              Bombay Cafe on Pico near Bundy!!!!!!

                                                              1. z
                                                                ZoeZ RE: carln Nov 25, 2006 01:48 PM

                                                                Ambala in Westwood - now good again after multiple new managers/cooks.

                                                                India Restaurant in Artesia is the best of the best. The oft told tale I tell is that time and again when we go there, we are the only non Indians in the place. Very popular with the locals, for a reason. Their lunch buffet had 33 items on it including a full salad bar and three desserts - was $7.95.

                                                                1. hrhboo RE: carln Nov 25, 2006 04:20 PM

                                                                  The Indian food found in the UK is very different to that found in India. It doesn't matter how great or authentic a restaurant is by Indian standards, that isn't what the OP is looking for.

                                                                  I'm from the UK and Gate of India in Santa Monica and Balti House on Sunset both serve the sort of Indian food I am used to eating at home. They are both in very close proximity to English pubs, and cater to a largely British clientele.

                                                                  1. a
                                                                    at4 RE: carln Nov 25, 2006 10:57 PM

                                                                    I gave up all hope of finding decent Indian in LA--which is a shocking disappointment and confusing as well...there is a substantial Indian population here, and there HAVE to be good chefs among them, but apparently they are not interested in the restaurant business.
                                                                    Anyway, to my great surprise i noticed a new stall at the Larchmont farmer's market a few weeks back...a table loaded with what I instinctively felt might be good--possibly even great food...tubs of fresh mint/basmati rice, vegetable korma, channa dal, etc., plus a very think mango lassi. The gent offered samples of everything and i went bought 5 tubs of assorted tastes for 28.oo. Got home, sat back and sampled everything again. And again. It was even better for dinner.

                                                                    The label on the containers said Masala.com or something like that. He said he's be selling there every other week. I was in Hawaii for the last 3 weeks, and now don't know if he's gonna be there tomorrow or not, but I certainly am...and I'm making a beeline for that stall. I HIGHLY recommend it. Spicy hot...not dumbed down and definately tastes homemade by someone's grandmother. AND They cater! Let's all pray he shows up...

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: at4
                                                                      anilk RE: at4 Nov 5, 2007 06:43 PM

                                                                      Try Bombay Cafe.

                                                                    2. j
                                                                      jhulla RE: carln Dec 12, 2006 12:01 AM

                                                                      I'm Indian and have lived spent a fair bit of time looking for good Indian food in Los Angeles.

                                                                      Here is the awful answer: there is none. LA does not have a single Indian restaurant that I desire to return to week after week, month after month.

                                                                      The LA area has a surprisingly small Indian population. As a result, there just aren't enough truly sensitive Indian palates around keeping the restaurants on their toes.

                                                                      When I'm desperate, I'll drive out to Artesia where there is a small little India section with a number of okay places.

                                                                      When I'm really desperate, I buy a ticket up the SF Bay Area.

                                                                      Brilliant food to be found at Vik's Chaat House in Berkeley and Shalimar (in the Tenderloin) and Pakwan (in the Mission) in San Francisco. THERE IS NOTHING THAT COMES CLOSE TO THESE 3 PLACES HERE IN LOS ANGELES.


                                                                      1. r
                                                                        RoachCoach RE: carln Dec 12, 2006 02:34 AM

                                                                        jhulla, You are on the MONEY. I have begged the owners of Vic's to expand southward and Shalimar-my first choice evertime I go to the Bay area. Pakwan is the best food in the mission. I can't think of a better weekend eating excursion than these 3.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: RoachCoach
                                                                          jhulla RE: RoachCoach Dec 14, 2006 12:33 AM

                                                                          RoachCoach: Totally agree with you. Although all three in one weekend would be tough on your stomach!

                                                                          I used to live in the Mission. I pretty much alternated between Pakwan, Taqueria Cancun and Jay's Cheesesteak. Not the healthiest time in my life -- but I sure loved it.

                                                                          My favorite meal at Pakwan was a combination of the basics: Tandoori Chicken, Tandoori Naan, Chana Masala and onions laced with lime juice and sulphurous black salt.

                                                                          It hurt me to type that previous sentence -- knowing that I'm not about to eat any of those things anytime soon.

                                                                          1. re: RoachCoach
                                                                            choctastic RE: RoachCoach Dec 15, 2006 06:39 AM

                                                                            Vik's is an overpriced, crappier version of a place down here like Ambala Sweet House, though Ambala is not the best down here either. Shalimar is a dump that serves okay food but nothign to write home about. I haven't been to pakwan.

                                                                            Of all the places you could have mentioned...

                                                                          2. t
                                                                            thewaz RE: carln Dec 14, 2006 05:48 PM

                                                                            Bringing it back to the LA area - I highly recommend Curry House on Lankershim in North Hollywood, and Gateway of India at 9545 Reseda Blvd, Northridge. I've never had Indian food in London, but these two places are consistently great.

                                                                            1. aching RE: carln Dec 14, 2006 05:57 PM

                                                                              I like these two:

                                                                              - Surya on 3rd Street (between Fairfax and La Cienega)
                                                                              - Bombay Cafe on Pico (at Bundy)

                                                                              I don't know how they compare to London, but I've been to both of these several times and thought they were delicious.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: aching
                                                                                banquisha RE: aching Dec 15, 2006 05:56 AM

                                                                                We went with some friends that were VIPs and the owner made sure that we were taken care of... being dinner guests with these folks is as good as it was ever going to get. The verdict? I hated the food... it was aweful! I will never go back. However, the service was superb and the place bustling and happenin.
                                                                                Try Addi's Tandoori. We had a party catered by them and the food was phenomenal. I bet it's even better in the restaurant! I also have enjoyed India's Tandoori (for delivery) on Pico, and Akbar.

                                                                                1. re: banquisha
                                                                                  aching RE: banquisha Dec 15, 2006 02:25 PM

                                                                                  Was your bad experience at Bombay Cafe or Surya?

                                                                                  1. re: aching
                                                                                    banquisha RE: aching Dec 15, 2006 05:10 PM


                                                                                2. re: aching
                                                                                  limaboy RE: aching Aug 20, 2007 04:53 PM

                                                                                  like the cauliflower frankie at bombay, and paru is a neighborhood fave..india restaurant in artesia ...99% indian clientele...consistently good and authentic (by london standards,where I spent many years..and where Indian food is WILDLY inconsistent)..sadly, didn't have a chowhounds to help then!!
                                                                                  avoid electric lotus and Makkah...


                                                                                  1. re: aching
                                                                                    westsidegal RE: aching Oct 30, 2007 10:07 AM

                                                                                    went to bombay cafe last week.
                                                                                    had the vegetarian platter.
                                                                                    the eggplant dish was sublime, everything else was bland/awful.
                                                                                    the chickpeas had that tinney flavor like they came from a can.

                                                                                    1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                      liu RE: westsidegal Oct 30, 2007 11:26 AM

                                                                                      We have really tried to continue our love affair with Bombay Cafe, but it has disappointed so many times in the recent couple of years that we just don't go there anymore. Also, I find the wait-staff a little too "space-y" to serve me adequately.

                                                                                  2. l
                                                                                    Liquid Sky RE: carln Dec 14, 2006 08:05 PM

                                                                                    Great thread! I moved from NYC and am desperately missing the Indian restaurants I used to frequent. (I'm sure they're not the same as the London ones, though.)

                                                                                    Does anyone happen to know if GATE OF INDIA on Sunset and Fuller is good for delivery?

                                                                                    I'm craving chicken tikka masala, saag bhaji, shrimp tandoori, etc.

                                                                                    Especially interested in knowing about the quality/freshness of the chicken and shrimp.

                                                                                    A million thanks!

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Liquid Sky
                                                                                      OCchowman RE: Liquid Sky Dec 16, 2006 07:18 AM

                                                                                      I work nearby, and we regularly order from GOI for lunch, usually a couple times a week. They are slow, but in general really good. The chicken is good quality: tender and moist, but I have never had the shrimp. So... go ahead and try!

                                                                                      1. re: OCchowman
                                                                                        Liquid Sky RE: OCchowman Dec 16, 2006 02:37 PM

                                                                                        Thanks, Chowman!

                                                                                    2. a
                                                                                      alliebear RE: carln Dec 14, 2006 10:10 PM

                                                                                      I have only been to Flavor of India since I moved here in March. I've enjoyed most of what I've tried there. I tried a few appetizers, some curry chicken dishes and some vegetarian stuff.

                                                                                      Which Indian restaurant should I try next? I live in the Pasadena area. A friend recommended All India Cafe, but this friend doesn't like Indian food.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: alliebear
                                                                                        Lee by the Sea RE: alliebear Dec 16, 2006 04:36 AM

                                                                                        We only get to Pasadena occasionally, but have had pleasant if not stunning dinners at Radhika's.
                                                                                        Have not tried the buffet.

                                                                                        1. re: alliebear
                                                                                          chrsstms RE: alliebear Mar 9, 2007 06:04 PM

                                                                                          Mezbaan (on Fair Oaks) is very very good. They validate the Parson's lot, on Holly and Fair Oaks. Tibet Nepal House is nearby there, too, but they aren't nearly as good as they were with the first chef (oh where did he go??) who was so good I used to go there weekly.

                                                                                          Also, if you ever get to Restaurant Row in Arcadia, Nirvana has excellent food. I go there every time I get a chance. Their curries are amazing. They have a "Madras special" that I've liked so much that I haven't had much else there. It's served in the standless steel dish with the little dishes in it in a row, with spicy, sour, salty, and sweet represented. Amazing!!!!

                                                                                          All India Cafe is pretty good but it is very very Americanized, so no surprise on your friends recommendation.

                                                                                          But, generally, you can't find really authentic Indian food around here, better to make Indian friends and eat at their house. But Nirvana is close to it, but the service isn't that great, but it's worth it.
                                                                                          I'd rather have slow service and great food, than swift service and crappy food - which you find in many many places.

                                                                                          I also should note that I like my food spicy but flavorful. Hot and bland is a no go.

                                                                                        2. e
                                                                                          Ernie RE: carln Dec 14, 2006 11:56 PM

                                                                                          All India Cafe is very good and reasonably priced. They have some interesting daily specials too.

                                                                                          1. j
                                                                                            jnc RE: carln Dec 15, 2006 06:21 AM

                                                                                            Have you considered "The Ferret Room" on 6th? It's run by a group of London folks specialising in fantastic Indian fare.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: jnc
                                                                                              condiment RE: jnc Dec 15, 2006 02:47 PM

                                                                                              You win: What and where is the Ferret Room?

                                                                                            2. m
                                                                                              Micako RE: carln Dec 15, 2006 08:09 AM

                                                                                              While I am by no means an expert in this area, I find that Suriya on 3rd is fantastic. My boss is Indian and he says that while it is not a 'classic' Indian joint, the food is, nonetheless fantastic and flavorful. The owner of the joint has a more modern take on food, but still produces dishes with the familar tastes of India.

                                                                                              The channa masala is some of the best stuff I have ever had and he has a special dish called Chicken Mangalore which is simply divine.

                                                                                              The owner, Sheel, is a gracious host who takes his time to get to know his guests. He gets help from his parents who moved over from the UK who are just as gracious. There have been a couple of occasions where we found ourselves outside the restaurant staring at a 'closed' sign only to be recognized by a member of the family - who immediately opened up the kitchen to serve us - despite our protests. They really do welcome regular customers as though they are family.

                                                                                              If you do visit, remember to get the milk cake for dessert. I call it the Indian version of tiramisu. Divinity!

                                                                                              1. v
                                                                                                Valleypinoy RE: carln Dec 15, 2006 05:26 PM

                                                                                                I personally like The Great Ashoka in Little India (Pioneer Blvd. in Artesia). Most of the clientele is Indian, so you know it's the real stuff. Best naan by far!

                                                                                                1. k
                                                                                                  ktanji RE: carln Dec 15, 2006 05:55 PM

                                                                                                  My favorites:

                                                                                                  Dosa/causal vegetarian ("sweets" type eatery): Ambala Sweets on Pioneer in Artesia, definitely a cut above India Sweets & Spices

                                                                                                  "gringo" Indian food: Nawab on Wilshire in Santa Monica (it used to be Chameli/Simla Pink's in Rosemead but it's now apparently closed)

                                                                                                  Southern Indian: Woodlands on Pioneer or on Topanga Canyon in Chatsworth, I've been there several times and different folks and they all approve

                                                                                                  other styles: Ambala Dhaba chicken dishes are great, they are on Westwood Blvd. in Westwood or on Pioneer.

                                                                                                  But my favorite of all is actually a Pakistani restaurant, Bilal on Manchester just west of the 405, great curries and naan

                                                                                                  1. g
                                                                                                    GVDub RE: carln Dec 16, 2006 04:23 PM

                                                                                                    I've become quite fond of Salomi (on Lankershim just north of Magnolia) in North Hollywood. Perhaps it's because I had an amazing endorphin rush from their lamb vindaloo once. Pleasant decor, good service (though sometimes a little slow if you're on a tight schedule), and good food. I will admit that I don't have a real deep knowledge of the different regional varieties of Indian cuisine, but I've never steered anybody to this place that didn't like it.

                                                                                                    1. g
                                                                                                      gosuyi RE: carln Dec 24, 2006 11:09 PM

                                                                                                      I had the best indian food in London too. It was fantastic even though it was reheated. I looked on Pioneer Blvd in Artesia. I asked an Indian guy and he said that The India Restaurant was the best in the area. It was pretty good but not as good as the place in London. It's mainly Northern Indian food.

                                                                                                      1. l
                                                                                                        Liquid Sky RE: carln Dec 25, 2006 05:11 PM

                                                                                                        Just recently ordered from Gate of India (Sunset & Fuller). I would say it is adequate for food from the region of Bangladesh, but nothing to knock one's socks off. (Had their tandoori shrimp and saag paneer.)

                                                                                                        I will try SURYA next since it's in the neighborhood...


                                                                                                        1. c
                                                                                                          Cinnamon RE: carln Dec 25, 2006 05:12 PM

                                                                                                          Akbar in Marina del Rey

                                                                                                          1. SauceSupreme RE: carln Dec 25, 2006 06:26 PM

                                                                                                            Most of the time I'm eating Indian food in the SFV, and while it's a far cry from these suggestions in the city, it's still tasty.

                                                                                                            I always promote Woodlands in Chatsworth as authentic South Indian vegetarian-only cuisine.

                                                                                                            My two other faves in the valley are Anarbagh and Taste of India, both on Ventura Blvd near Topanga Cyn Blvd.

                                                                                                            1. m
                                                                                                              mommycat RE: carln Mar 9, 2007 10:34 PM

                                                                                                              bharat bazar on washington. simply divine. the flavors burst everywhere in my mouth, the ambiance is nil, but the food--you can't get away from how amazing it is.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: mommycat
                                                                                                                westsidegal RE: mommycat Mar 9, 2007 11:49 PM

                                                                                                                gotta completely agree with you here.

                                                                                                                went there with a couple of friends for dinner tonight.

                                                                                                                the next time you go, ask if they are serving their warm mango banana soup.
                                                                                                                they often serve it, but it isn't posted anywhere.
                                                                                                                it is FANTASTIC

                                                                                                                tonight they were serving my favorite paneer with vegetables, lotus root, jackfruit, chana, saag, and a bunch of other things i ididn't try.
                                                                                                                everything was great.
                                                                                                                they are on my regular rotation.

                                                                                                                the food g-d put this restaurant on the earth!

                                                                                                                1. re: mommycat
                                                                                                                  liu RE: mommycat Sep 2, 2007 05:09 PM

                                                                                                                  mommycat and westsidegal -- I completely agree! Now called Samosa House, this market serves the tastiest Indian food we have had in Los Angeles. OK -- no fluff, but the food more than compensates!

                                                                                                                  Yesterday, at about 3:30pm, we couldn't quite make it to dinner. We stopped by Samosa House for just an afternoon savory snack, and we ended up sharing a plate of three entrees + bread + rice...oh, my! And this was all for about $7.00. The jackfruit is fun to shred. The chickpea dish was amazingly flavorful and sweet, and the saag paneer was as good as I know -- with no floating ghee on any of the dishes or puddling on the plate!

                                                                                                                  We have visited Samosa House many, many times over the years, and each time the owners and servers are friendly and helpful, and they show with a smile that they appreciate their customers.

                                                                                                                2. s
                                                                                                                  stokesy RE: carln Aug 20, 2007 04:16 PM

                                                                                                                  carin - I am from the UK and am used to great Indian food - the best place I have found so far in LA is Kabab Curry Cuisine Of India, 25332 Crenshaw Boulevard
                                                                                                                  Torrance, CA 90505. Phone: (310) 539-0171.
                                                                                                                  If you like English-style Indian food I think you will like it - it is the closest I have seen over here.

                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: stokesy
                                                                                                                    ZoeZ RE: stokesy Aug 21, 2007 09:10 AM

                                                                                                                    stokesy, I'm from the UK too and if you want to replicate that wonderful lorry stop flavour of curry and chips, try the Kings Head in Santa Monica - great peppery chicken curry on rice with chips covering it all. Lips burning from the reddish curry cooled by a nice cider. This dish truly reminds me of a cafe in North London. The real thing.

                                                                                                                    1. re: ZoeZ
                                                                                                                      limaboy RE: ZoeZ Aug 21, 2007 09:36 AM

                                                                                                                      that British pub on E Colorado in Pasadena (near PCC) does a great curry sauce with chips..their fish n' chips are some of the best in town too..


                                                                                                                    2. re: stokesy
                                                                                                                      DrBruin RE: stokesy Dec 14, 2013 08:47 AM

                                                                                                                      If this is the restaurant I think it is....the company I work with gets catering from them all the time...and overall, I find it disappointing. The chicken is squeaky in the Chicken Tikka Marsala... the tandoori chicken is just okay... the naan is nothing special either....

                                                                                                                      1. re: DrBruin
                                                                                                                        Servorg RE: DrBruin Dec 14, 2013 09:00 AM

                                                                                                                        Perhaps it "deproved" in the past 6+ years since that rec was made? Possible?

                                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                          DrBruin RE: Servorg Dec 25, 2013 08:53 PM

                                                                                                                          hahaha... yes, perhaps.

                                                                                                                    3. thievery RE: carln Aug 22, 2007 02:31 PM

                                                                                                                      Perhaps an odd addition to the list, and having moved out of town 5-years ago, not sure it still exists or same owners... but... dive fast food indian place LA Express Chicken (Westwood @ Olympic in West LA). With a name like that, hard to expect much... but for the basic tandoori it was my go to place -- the chicken tikka and tandoori are as tender as they're supposed to be with all the traditional red food coloring (both hard to find in LA). curries are okay... actually prob too authentic with the copious oil used at dives in india... but harder for western palettes. And of course, it's cheap.

                                                                                                                      1. liu RE: carln Sep 2, 2007 05:13 PM

                                                                                                                        carln -- For a ROYAL modern Indian experience -- fresh California foods served with all of the Indian chutneys and spices and breads -- I highly recommend Tanzore (on La Cienega Restaurant Row next to Lawry's). Our dinner last weekend was exceptional in both taste and beauty.

                                                                                                                        1. a
                                                                                                                          anilk RE: carln Nov 5, 2007 06:31 PM

                                                                                                                          For Indian palate the only suitable place is Bombay Cafe (High end) and Bollywood cafe (Budget). Tantra has some decent dishes. All other restaurants that I have tried in LA are not up to the mark. If you really want to taste Indian food, try the restaurants in NY ( Bayleaf. Devi, Tabla.. all are great)

                                                                                                                          1. s
                                                                                                                            sham70 RE: carln Dec 6, 2008 11:55 AM

                                                                                                                            Old Post, but not one mention of this place, atleast at quick glance...They have 2 locations, this one listed below, and one in Artesia(Little India), on Pioneer Blvd. I prefer this one!! To me, being Punjabi, this is as authentic as it gets, as far as restaurant food goes! Don't take me word for it, Go eat for yourself!!!

                                                                                                                            Ambala Dhaba Homestyle Punjabi Indian Food, Los Angeles CA
                                                                                                                            Neighborhood: West Los Angeles
                                                                                                                            1781 Westwood Blvd
                                                                                                                            Los Angeles, CA 90024
                                                                                                                            (310) 966-1772
                                                                                                                            * Hours: Mon-Sun. 11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
                                                                                                                            * Price Range: $$
                                                                                                                            * Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
                                                                                                                            * Parking: Street
                                                                                                                            * Attire: Casual
                                                                                                                            * Good for Groups: Yes
                                                                                                                            * Good for Kids: Yes
                                                                                                                            * Takes Reservations: Yes
                                                                                                                            * Delivers: Yes
                                                                                                                            * Take-out: Yes
                                                                                                                            * Waiter Service: Yes
                                                                                                                            * Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
                                                                                                                            * Outdoor Seating: Yes
                                                                                                                            * Good for: Dinner
                                                                                                                            * Alcohol: Beer & Wine Only

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: sham70
                                                                                                                              Servorg RE: sham70 Dec 6, 2008 04:30 PM

                                                                                                                              It was mentioned at least 3 times that I saw.

                                                                                                                            2. z
                                                                                                                              ZoeZ RE: carln Dec 7, 2008 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                              LA chicken express is still alive, well and cheap at Olympic and Westwood . A bit oiley and asking for less oil doesn't result in less - but lots of flavor including an unbeatable Mulligatawney soup which the chef on duty makes to order in a pan that must have come from his grandmother; getting a double order to go ensures a couple of tasty lunches at home. Naan pretty good too and I like the lamb dishes. Mme Zoe is fond of the chicken curry.

                                                                                                                              1. d
                                                                                                                                dare2d4l RE: carln Dec 7, 2008 03:07 PM

                                                                                                                                Moved to Hawaii from LA, and I miss bilal most of all :P (mostly I can't get good indian/mexican/thai here) I crave the creamy cow brain masala (don't knock it until you try it.....)it's oh so delicious and soft, flavored in the sweetness of onions and soaked in oil....goes perfect with rice, and the fish curry....the sauce is so red and bright and spicy and the fish is cooked tenderly in it. And some raita and mango drink to that and that makes me a happy man.

                                                                                                                                man i miss that place. And jitlada. And el super taco.

                                                                                                                                Bilal Cuisine
                                                                                                                                1117 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: dare2d4l
                                                                                                                                  dare2d4l RE: dare2d4l Dec 7, 2008 03:11 PM

                                                                                                                                  btw, i think bilal is more pakistani than indian....but no matter it's delicious anyways :)

                                                                                                                                2. m
                                                                                                                                  manku RE: carln Dec 7, 2008 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                                  Why is there no love for India's Grill on San Vicente/La Cienega?

                                                                                                                                  I've had take out from there maybe 100 times...it's never been less than stellar - huge portions as well (much larger than when dining in).

                                                                                                                                  As a former NYer, I've served this to countless guests from NY and they've all devoured it. It's really yummy. Very reasonable as well.

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: manku
                                                                                                                                    drewjay79 RE: manku Sep 13, 2009 09:00 PM

                                                                                                                                    It was mentioned above, but just I just went there tonight and must say this was an impressive find. It's very easy to miss, but obviously many people knew about its existence as it was bustling on a Sunday evening.

                                                                                                                                    I'm not an expert on Indian food, but having eaten Indian food from the Bay Area (Fremont, Berkeley, Sunnyvale) and Nepal, this is pretty solid. Best I've had so far in Southern California.

                                                                                                                                    I have been craving for good korma for some time and found India's Grill does a good job. The mint chutney was excellent--surprisingly but pleasantly spicy. Best of all, the restaurant was cleanly and not pretentious. I would and will recommend to all of my friends.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: manku
                                                                                                                                      Sandra W RE: manku Dec 14, 2013 10:01 AM

                                                                                                                                      Lots of love here for India's Grill. Always stop by when I'm in the neighborhood. Beautiful curries, good tandoori, and the began bertha (eggplant) is a must.

                                                                                                                                    2. m
                                                                                                                                      mdpilam RE: carln Dec 7, 2008 08:16 PM

                                                                                                                                      The India Restaurant (Artesia) - though I must admit, I haven't branched out too much since trying this place - great buffet!

                                                                                                                                      Non-Artesia: Ambala Dhaba (though I guess they have one in Artesia too), Westwood.

                                                                                                                                      1. 5
                                                                                                                                        5monthsleftinla RE: carln Dec 8, 2008 02:14 PM

                                                                                                                                        With respect to the posters' taste-buds, I concur with everyone who says there is really no great indian food in LA; definitely not on par with Korean supremacy for instance. Some dishes at some restaurants conjure up a whiff of authentic ecstacy every so often, but nothing evokes the delicious simplicity of well-made, home-cooked indian food -- the subtle spice bouquet, heat when necessary, good mouth feel . I have eaten at northern/ southern restaurants in NY, Chicago, Atlanta, and all of them trump what we get here. It's surprising considering the vast population of immigrants and 1st generation indians. But therein lies the paradox: indian food is best served homemade style, and why open a restaurant when you can get it from Grandma in your own family kitchen? As my brother says, who lives in Skokie with a large indian popluation, "if I could only convince each family's matriarch to cook at a communal restaurant one day a week, we too could enjoy the best of this great cuisine." But alas, and many of you will argue with me on this point, Los Angeles is just not the great culinary hub that other cities are where high-quality, affordable gems, both continental and ethnic, are constantly opening up right down the corner. At best, it's hunting for an every declining base of great Asian palaces or an occasional Mexican find after an hour in traffic. Sorry for the negativity, but it's true. There's always the farmer's markets.

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: 5monthsleftinla
                                                                                                                                          klyeoh RE: 5monthsleftinla Mar 17, 2010 02:01 PM

                                                                                                                                          LA's not that bad - I've had the best Thai, the best Indonesian, the best Chinese, and even the best Indian food in the US ... right here in LA! You just need to know where to look!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: 5monthsleftinla
                                                                                                                                            david t. RE: 5monthsleftinla Jul 10, 2011 07:17 PM

                                                                                                                                            You're allowed negativity. I just think you're wrong. LA stands with any city when it comes to great ethnic food. In fact, there are a number cuisines that you simply cannot get anywhere else at such a high level. And by my experience, it's a rather large number.

                                                                                                                                          2. bernardo RE: carln Mar 17, 2010 08:41 PM

                                                                                                                                            Second Ambala Dahba (Artesia outpost) & Addi's. Honorable mention for a positive Pakistani experience: Al Noor, Inglewood & Marine in Lawndale

                                                                                                                                            Al Noor
                                                                                                                                            15112 Inglewood Ave, Lawndale, CA 90260

                                                                                                                                            1. s
                                                                                                                                              sillygoosedown RE: carln Mar 17, 2010 08:53 PM

                                                                                                                                              At least the most interesting places are Al Noor, Surati Farsan Mart, Udupi Palace, and Ambala Sweets and Spices

                                                                                                                                              The difficulty is it's hard to find good Indian in LA proper. I would go so far as to say there is no very good Indian restaurant in LA proper.

                                                                                                                                              Al Noor
                                                                                                                                              15112 Inglewood Ave, Lawndale, CA 90260

                                                                                                                                              Udupi Palace
                                                                                                                                              18635 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                                                                                                                                              Surati Farsan Mart
                                                                                                                                              11814 186th St, Artesia, CA 90701

                                                                                                                                              Ambala Sweets
                                                                                                                                              18433 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: sillygoosedown
                                                                                                                                                losfelizhound RE: sillygoosedown Mar 18, 2010 10:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                Beg to differ: Udupi is very mediocre (even by LA standards). In Artesia, I would head to Woodlands (or Tirupati Bhimas, if I want Andhra-style), in LA, I would head to Paru's (Tamil, not Udupi) on Sunset.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: losfelizhound
                                                                                                                                                  sillygoosedown RE: losfelizhound Mar 18, 2010 10:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                  It's not mediocre. It's similar to what I've eaten in Southern India and Singapore. You may just don't like Udipi cuisine. The other places you mention are good -- but haven't been to Paru's.

                                                                                                                                                  5140 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: losfelizhound
                                                                                                                                                    bbloomfield RE: losfelizhound Mar 2, 2012 07:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I am stunned you think Udupi Palace is mediocre. Having lived in many cities in the U.S. and spent 4+ years in Indian ashrams, I ADORE Udupi. Don't miss the Onion & Chili Uthapam, the Spring Dosa (served with amazing sambal) and their South Indian Thali is stellar as well. On top of that, we always have fast, courteous and western-friendly service. WE LOVE UDUPI!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bbloomfield
                                                                                                                                                      Peripatetic RE: bbloomfield Mar 2, 2012 11:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Have to agree with losfelizhound here -- Udupi Palace was surprisingly awful. The thali tasted like everything came out of a can.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bbloomfield
                                                                                                                                                        Mr Taster RE: bbloomfield Apr 9, 2012 04:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Udipi *can* be great, but sometimes isn't. Their problem is inconsistency.

                                                                                                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                                                                                                          Peripatetic RE: Mr Taster Apr 9, 2012 08:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                          I'll take your word for it, but it's really hard to imagine. Nearly every condiment in the thali was insipid. Also the dosa and sambar at Surati Farsan Mart were much better.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: losfelizhound
                                                                                                                                                        Natalay RE: losfelizhound Dec 6, 2013 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Paru's is great for atmosphere, but the food is nothing special at all. It is a funky 70s hippy palace.

                                                                                                                                                    2. shawneeboy RE: carln Mar 19, 2010 12:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Suprisingly the best Indian Food I've found in LA area is is Tamarind in Chino Hills (SGV) - (Bascially Northern Indian/Pakistani)

                                                                                                                                                      Beautiful place great food. Just took some Pakistani clients there last week & they were suitably impressed w/the quality.

                                                                                                                                                      4047 Grand Avenue
                                                                                                                                                      Ste D
                                                                                                                                                      Chino, CA 91710
                                                                                                                                                      (909) 364-9141

                                                                                                                                                      1. c
                                                                                                                                                        ChanChan RE: carln Apr 11, 2010 11:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                        I could eat at Addi's in Redondo Beach everyday. I love it. I have also tried Vik's in Berkeley which I go to when in the Bay Area and I frequent Curry Row on 54th when in Manhattan.

                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChanChan
                                                                                                                                                          santamonica811 RE: ChanChan Apr 24, 2010 02:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Yet another vote for Chandni, on Wilshire in Santa Monica. Definitely not fancy at all, but very tasty, and a great buffet.

                                                                                                                                                          I finally got out to the Valley and went to Woodlands. What a disappointment. (Although, I am a veg. My meat-eating friend said he enjoyed the chicken dishes a lot.)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: santamonica811
                                                                                                                                                            a_and_w RE: santamonica811 Apr 24, 2010 09:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                            santamonica811, have you tried the unbelievable veggie Indian at Bawarchi? I've only been to Chandni once, but Bawarchi is amazing -- a must try for vegetarians.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                                                                                              santamonica811 RE: a_and_w Apr 24, 2010 01:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I am intrigued. (I am always up for trying a new Indian place, if it's within reasonable driving distance of me.)

                                                                                                                                                              In what part of town is it located? Can you tell us a bit about the place.

                                                                                                                                                              Thanks in advance for the info. :-)


                                                                                                                                                              1. re: santamonica811
                                                                                                                                                                Servorg RE: santamonica811 Apr 24, 2010 01:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Running the name through the Googlenator you find: http://www.indianbawarchi.com/

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: santamonica811
                                                                                                                                                              VenusCafe RE: santamonica811 Apr 6, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Is this the same Chandni that used to be on Main Street in Palms-Culver City area? We enjoyed it immensely when we
                                                                                                                                                              lived nearby.

                                                                                                                                                          2. h
                                                                                                                                                            hpsquared RE: carln Jun 4, 2010 10:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                            i enjoy the South Indian dishes at the India Sweets and Spices on Los Feliz in Atwater Village. More of a cafeteria, though, and less of a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                            1. w
                                                                                                                                                              Waverly SGV RE: carln May 30, 2011 08:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Enjoyed a wonderful feast at Akbar in Pasadena tonight. Everything was delish! Ordered the onion fritters to start (8 per order). Served with a trio of spicy condiments, they were savory and crunchy. Mains included tandoori chicken (really tasty, and sizzling onions were oh so good), bharta, dal (a little plain), basmati rice, garlic naan (the order consisted of only one large piece!), and coco lamb. We ordered the lamb based on recs from bloggers, and it did not disappoint. Wonderful flavors, though I wish it had been spicier. All in all, it was a very good dinner. Service was timely and responsive. Best of all, we cashed in a Groupon certificate and it saved us a bundle. Dinner for 3 (without alcohol) cost $75 (before the coupon). I definitely recommend dinner at Akbar!

                                                                                                                                                              1. s
                                                                                                                                                                sushigirlie RE: carln Jul 10, 2011 07:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                In my opinion, the best North Indian/Pakistani food is at Al Noor in Inglewood.

                                                                                                                                                                For pretty good pan-Indian food, try India Sweets and Spices, particularly the one in Los Feliz.

                                                                                                                                                                For Gujarati, Udupi, Andhra Pradesh, and other regional Indian cuisines, go to Artesia and try Surati Farsan Mart, Udupi Palace, Tirupathi Bhimas, etc.. There are also lots of good sweets/mithai shops in Artesia. My favorite is Ambala Sweets and Snacks.

                                                                                                                                                                Al Noor
                                                                                                                                                                15112 Inglewood Ave, Lawndale, CA 90260

                                                                                                                                                                Tirupathi Bhimas
                                                                                                                                                                18792 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                                                                                                                                                                Udupi Palace
                                                                                                                                                                18635 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                                                                                                                                                                Surati Farsan Mart
                                                                                                                                                                11814 186th St, Artesia, CA 90701

                                                                                                                                                                Ambala Sweets
                                                                                                                                                                18433 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sushigirlie
                                                                                                                                                                  Peripatetic RE: sushigirlie Jul 11, 2011 02:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  I love Surati Farsan Mart, but Udupi Palace is another matter. Their dosas and uttapums are good, but I found most of their condiments to be bland and lacking complexity. The coconut chutney was particularly insipid. Good dosa + bad condiments = disappointment.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Peripatetic
                                                                                                                                                                    junglekitte RE: Peripatetic Jul 11, 2011 11:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I hated Udupi the last time I went! Tirupathi Bhimas is sooooo much better! The dosa and fillings were really not good at all at Udupi.

                                                                                                                                                                    Tirupathi Bhimas
                                                                                                                                                                    18792 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                                                                                                                                                                2. u
                                                                                                                                                                  uglydumpling RE: carln Jul 12, 2011 06:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Bhanu's is our current fav near Pasadena.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. s
                                                                                                                                                                    stokesy RE: carln Mar 2, 2012 02:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I moved here in 2000 from Hampshire and so am used to eating great Indian food in many places - I have found a few decent ones in LA but my favourite is India's Tandoori on Rosecrans (Hawthorne?) - if you are used to English curries I think you will like it - they do a great lunchtime buffet as well.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. l
                                                                                                                                                                      lylaburns123 RE: carln Mar 5, 2012 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I hope you have enjoyed LA! My favorite Indian restaurant is http://www.saffronnewburypark.com I'm not exactly sure how far you are from Ventura county, but it shouldn't be a bad drive. I have had them cater for me and they are amazing! I hope you find something good soon!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. junglekitte RE: carln Mar 6, 2012 09:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Just discovered a great one in the valley... I've been twice now and really loved all that I tried:
                                                                                                                                                                        onion bhajjis, dal makhani, okra, shahi paneer, mixed veg, naan, tandoori roti....all awesome! :D


                                                                                                                                                                        1. r
                                                                                                                                                                          RicRay RE: carln Apr 9, 2012 04:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I am from London but have eaten Indian food in Brick Lane, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and I even spent 2 weeks in India on business....so I know what i'm taking about.....Indian food in Britain is the best worldwide hands down no argument......in greater LA, I have found only 2 good restaurants so far but loook forward to trying the ones listed above....I have converted the girlfriend to eating Indian food and I am working on the rest of Socal.....the 2 best ones so far are 1) the Natraj in Long Beach run by people who lived in the UK and 2) the Mantra in Corona....if anyone disagrees then we're gonna have to have a "ghost chilli" eat off at sunset to decide....enough said....Ric Ray....the legend lives on!!!

                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RicRay
                                                                                                                                                                            Servorg RE: RicRay Apr 9, 2012 04:33 PM



                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg
                                                                                                                                                                              junglekitte RE: Servorg Apr 14, 2012 06:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              As far as I know Natraj in Long Beach is not the same as the other Natraj restaurants from South OC.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: junglekitte
                                                                                                                                                                                Peripatetic RE: junglekitte Apr 14, 2012 08:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                The Long Beach location was sold in 2000:


                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Peripatetic
                                                                                                                                                                                  IndianVegan RE: Peripatetic Apr 15, 2012 12:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm Indian and a serious foodie and have tried almost all the Indian restaurants discussed here in search of good Indian food - there's only one restaurant that qualifies for me - Mayura in Culver City. Its the only restaurant that has original recipes and dishes from a particular region (Kerala) - there is no such thing as North Indian and South Indian - every state in India has its own distinctive cuisine and even within a state, different regions can have different food and so can different religious and minority communities - most restaurants in LA are generic restaurants with food that's the equivalent of low end American diner food. The only guy who got it right was Johnathan Gold - Mayura is the only Indian restaurant that makes it to his top 99 restaurants in Los Angeles.

                                                                                                                                                                                  The worst of the lot are the Beverly Hills "Great Decor Unbearable food" places - Chakra, Tanzore and Nirvana. And Radhika's in South Pasadena.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: IndianVegan
                                                                                                                                                                                    junglekitte RE: IndianVegan Apr 18, 2012 10:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I really wasn't thrilled with Mayura at all. I went there three times and all three I thought it was just OKAY. Especially that fish curry that is so talked about. It was a tiny piece of stinky, previously frozen fish in a large bowl of sauce.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Their dosa was okay, avial okay, and Northern Indian dishes were not good at all (which I wouldn't have ordered in a Keralan restaurant but my friend insisted)........... to each their own :)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: junglekitte
                                                                                                                                                                                      IndianVegan RE: junglekitte Apr 20, 2012 02:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm surprised. I've been there a dozen times - mostly for their Saturday or Sunday lunch buffet which I feel is the best Indian buffet I've had in the USA and I've been there twice for dinner and was very happy about the food, especially its authenticity when it comes to the food of Kerala, my home state as well. Ordering North Indian dishes there is a mistake - try their appam next time - speak to the lady there and order the Kerala dishes and they'll be close to as authentic as a mid level restaurant in Kerala - you should like it unless you have a natural aversion to Kerala food which is also possible as I can't deal with food from Gujrat, Rajasthan or Germany no matter how good or authentic it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: junglekitte
                                                                                                                                                                                        Bjartmarr RE: junglekitte Apr 20, 2012 03:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm in the same boat, especially re the fish curry. The utthapam tastes like a big piece of white. On the other hand, I know some people who are really into starch -- they go wild over dosas. I don't understand the attraction.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. r
                                                                                                                                                                              Rocky123 RE: carln Feb 26, 2013 09:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Check out India's Flavor in Glendale: http://www.indiasflavor.com/

                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rocky123
                                                                                                                                                                                liu RE: Rocky123 Feb 27, 2013 08:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Hi, Rocky123.

                                                                                                                                                                                Have you been to India's Flavor? If so, what did you like?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rocky123
                                                                                                                                                                                  sel RE: Rocky123 Feb 27, 2013 09:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Are you Rocky that owned Rocky's Tandoori in Northridge? Sure miss that place!

                                                                                                                                                                                2. m
                                                                                                                                                                                  mlle.emery RE: carln Mar 3, 2013 09:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  some friends that live in west adams recommend manas near usc - i came here looking for more intel but can't find anything on the LA boards! anyone tried it? http://manasla.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. n
                                                                                                                                                                                    Natalay RE: carln Mar 18, 2013 01:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    The best very casual place is Samosa House on Washington Blvd, Culver City. A nice place but still affordable is Electric Karma on 3rd St. near W. Hollywood.

                                                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Natalay
                                                                                                                                                                                      Mr Taster RE: Natalay Mar 18, 2013 01:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Good lord, first spittake of the day.

                                                                                                                                                                                      No way that EK belongs anywhere near a "best Indian food in LA" list, particularly for a Londoner who is looking for something not "tamed down for the American palette" [sic]

                                                                                                                                                                                      So, that's an absolute and emphatic NO to Electric Karma. Full disclosure: that is, unless they've upped their game since I was last there about 15 years ago. (went twice on the advice of the wife of a new agey friend who loved the place-- n.b. they have since divorced)

                                                                                                                                                                                      Seriously, even at that early stage of my Indian food knowledge, I was completely bowled over by how completely and utterly bland the food was-- totally devoid of any spicing.

                                                                                                                                                                                      It didn't help that they they played up the "inner healing" nonsense to attract a specific kind of crowd that is probably less interested in how the food tastes and more about the energy that will radiate from your chakras after eating it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                                                                                                                                        klyeoh RE: Mr Taster Mar 18, 2013 05:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        15 years is a *long* time, Mr Taster! Maybe they'd actually learnt to cook by now.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: klyeoh
                                                                                                                                                                                          Mr Taster RE: klyeoh Mar 18, 2013 05:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          One would hope so!

                                                                                                                                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Natalay
                                                                                                                                                                                        whycook RE: Natalay Dec 5, 2013 09:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Mayura at 10406 Venice Blvd in Culver City was great for buffet - that said I arrived promptly at noon so everything was very fresh and flavorful - not sure how it looks later in the day. Not a fancy place, in a strip mall. Was far tastier than my last visit to Samosa House.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: whycook
                                                                                                                                                                                          westsidegal RE: whycook Dec 7, 2013 02:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          respectfully disagree with your assessment of the buffet at Mayura.
                                                                                                                                                                                          to my palate it is bland, nothing-with-nothing, meh.

                                                                                                                                                                                          at some point, i plan to order a la carte there to see if the a la carte food is better.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                                                                                                            Kalivs RE: westsidegal Dec 8, 2013 12:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I always order a la carte. I feel the buffet must have been sitting there for a while. It has to cater to everyone's palate. It makes the food a little better, but it is still pretty bland.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Natalay
                                                                                                                                                                                          Thor123 RE: Natalay Dec 7, 2013 06:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          My daughter loves Samosa I promised to take her and her younger sister tomorrow for dinner. They are both vegetarians. I (as some may know) am far removed. What should I order. She knows the veggie choices. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. b
                                                                                                                                                                                          BrewNChow RE: carln Mar 18, 2013 10:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Zam Zam Market

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. a
                                                                                                                                                                                            AlkieGourmand RE: carln Dec 3, 2013 06:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't really love any Indian or Pakistani restaurant in LA--and that includes the restaurants in Artesia. But I do like some places in Artesia, such as Surati Farsan Mart, especially for "South Indian" food.

                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AlkieGourmand
                                                                                                                                                                                              Kalivs RE: AlkieGourmand Dec 3, 2013 09:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              If you are ever in the valley, try Valley India Cafe on Topanga. Great South Indian food and it's a little less greasy than other places

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AlkieGourmand
                                                                                                                                                                                                djquinnc RE: AlkieGourmand Dec 6, 2013 06:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I just had a very delicious butter masala dosa for lunch this week at Udupi Palace. I like Surati as well. I heard Woodlands is back open again. That used to be my favorite lunch buffet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: djquinnc
                                                                                                                                                                                                  AlkieGourmand RE: djquinnc Dec 6, 2013 07:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like udupi palace too.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. n
                                                                                                                                                                                                ns1 RE: carln Dec 5, 2013 10:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Things I learned today: there is some biryani in Mumbai as bad as the biryani in Los Angeles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Hyderabad biryani is still my gold standard. Any new leads for this style of biryani in LA? If it doesn't come with fried onions and kaffir limes don't even bother responding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                  MarkC RE: carln Dec 6, 2013 06:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not well-versed enough to say what is the best, but two that I would say are unusual, and not like every other tandoori restaurant you find in Los Angeles are :

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Red Chili Halal in Northridge - Pakistani food. Judging by the number of turbans I see here, looks authentic. Very good goat curry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mother India in Chatsworth. Mumbai street food.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not your usual selection.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also ate recently at Electric Lotus in Los Feliz and it was delicious, best Indian I can remember having. I don't know how authentic it is, but the meal is served on a tiffin tin, which is fun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MarkC
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kalivs RE: MarkC Dec 6, 2013 07:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Red Chili has had some ups and downs, but their naans are always great & like their kebabs and rolls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Kalivs
                                                                                                                                                                                                      MarkC RE: Kalivs Dec 6, 2013 03:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      They recently moved into a larger space in the same strip mall, and seem to have an expanded menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: MarkC
                                                                                                                                                                                                      jesstifer RE: MarkC Dec 6, 2013 09:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      In other news, Indian Restaurant in Artesia is still the best overall. Gate of India is still the best in Hollywood and yes they still deliver. In the deep Valley, Royal Delhi Palace is quite good. Electric Lotus is good but it just bugs me for some reason that I can't put my finger on. None of it is as good as the average neighborhood Indian (be it Punjabi, Pakistani, or whatever) in London.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jesstifer
                                                                                                                                                                                                        MarkC RE: jesstifer Dec 7, 2013 06:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The service was a little weird. The name is also off-putting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MarkC
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mr Taster RE: MarkC Dec 7, 2013 10:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          MarkC, I take it you're referring to Electric Lotus?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I remember eating at the one on 3rd street many years ago. I had a new-agey friend at the time who was in to the whole "eastern" thing (she was one of those Santa Monica Asia enthusiasts... with the Tibetan prayer flags and decorated her home with holy statues as knickknacks rather than as shrines to be worshipped, and who would probably have been terribly disappointed if someone dropped her into the middle of Taichung city.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          In any case, I distinctly remember EL having some of the most insanely bland Indian food I'd ever tasted in my life. Their menu made a huge deal about healing foods and spices, but try as I might to find the flavor, there was so little that it was comical.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mind you, this was a good 17 years ago... and EL is still around, so perhaps they're doing something right. I can't imagine that so much of Los Angeles is spice-blind that their old way of doing business could be sustainable for so long.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                                                                                                                                                            MarkC RE: Mr Taster Dec 8, 2013 07:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Mr. Taster;

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I can see why food that is billed as "healing" might be lacking in spice. I don't remember seeing any reference to healing on the menu when I was there, and when I asked for it medium spicy, it came plenty spicy for me. Mind, the menu is standard, so there won't be any surprises, but I found the dishes to be well executed and tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. a
                                                                                                                                                                                                      abseygale RE: carln Dec 7, 2013 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      My work colleagues introduced me to a fantastic Indian restaurant on Pico near La Cienega. It's called Taj Mahal and they have a tremendous number of delicious curries. I stop there once a week for take out and always enjoy it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. a
                                                                                                                                                                                                        anthead RE: carln Dec 9, 2013 11:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Couldn't resist adding yet another "I'm Indian, hear me out" to the already bursting at the seams chorus. Down thread, Indian Vegan is spot on - Indian food varies tremendously from state to state and religious and ethnic communities and a mere sliver of that diversity is captured in the LA area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Here's the lowdown on Indian subcontinental food diversity in LA -

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gujaratis - and the two explicitly Gujarati restaurants in LA - Surati Farsan and Jay Bharat are both very good - if you stick to the Gujarati side of the menu. I find it hilarious when people recommend the dosas at Surati - those are not their forte - and Surati's dosas are awful. The daily specials of Gujarati dishes are always good though - but Jay Bharat's renditions are better - besides Jay Bharat has a more elaborate Gujarati menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Andhra-ites - the food from Andhra Pradesh is unapologetically hot - if chili heat is not your thing, stop reading now. The best vegetarian Andhra food in LA is at Tirupati Bhimas - the best non-veg is in their sister restaurant Kabob Corner - and you can basically order from both menus at Kabob but not at Bhimas (very confusing!). Their dosas are very good - try pesarattu which is like a distant cousin of the Korean bindaettok with semolina grits as filling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Malayalis/Kerala - lots of Malayalis in LA and hardly any restaurants serving them! There's Mayura - I love the aunty who runs the place - I basically go in, get my appams and goat curry order to go and am on my way. In my opinion, pretty much the only thing on their menu that's worth it if you like goat (sorry Indian Vegan - I've had lots of great Kerala food - puttu kadala, avial, egg roast - Mayura is very average).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Punjabis - Punjabi restaurants are everywhere in LA and yet a good one is so bloody hard to find! Hands down the best Punjabi food in LA is at the communal kitchens in Sikh temples but that's not a restaurant meal option :). When I want a cheap Punjabi food fix I go to Rasbhog or Bombay Sweets and Snacks in Artesia (both run by Punjabi families - not great, very hit or miss, but homestyle affordable food). For heaven's sake, please don't order dosas here!! Dosas are not Punjabi food! Too bad these are vegetarian and my quest for a Punjabi restaurant that does great grilled meats and curries continues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Apart from these ethnicities, most others are sparsely represented here. For those on a biryani quest, Zam Zam is pretty acceptable - they make Bihari/Calcutta style biryani with the addition of potatoes which is a bit odd to my Delhi palate but not something I cannot live with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        For those who love golgappas, the only place that comes close to Delhi style golgappas is Bombay Sweets and Snacks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: anthead
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kalivs RE: anthead Dec 10, 2013 12:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          great summary!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you're ever in the SFV, try Red Chili for meat curries and kebabs. I like Valley India Cafe for South Indian food. They are related to Woodlands in Chatsworth somehow (at one point in time they shared a website). For above averagePanjabi food, we go to Village Tandoor. We've known the chef for years & usually get the same thing. I never get the buffet anywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Kalivs
                                                                                                                                                                                                            anthead RE: Kalivs Dec 17, 2013 10:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks so much for the recommendation - my local Punjabi grocery store owner tells me that there's a large Punjabi diaspora in the valley and some good restaurants too. Must check Red Chili out. Haven't heard of Valley India before - Woodlands in Artesia is average - I hope the one in Chatsworth is bettter. Will check out Village Tandoor too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: anthead
                                                                                                                                                                                                            TonyC RE: anthead Dec 12, 2013 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            << When I want a cheap Punjabi food fix I go to Rasbhog >>

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rasbhog has opened Turmeric Buffet down the street as well. Turmeric is not vegetarian. So, the reviews on Rasbhog are typically horrible, and the couple of times I've tried to go, I'd stand in front and watch people (Indian) come in, and immediately leave. They started a $8 lunch veg buffet, and I can NOT get myself to go in since it's almost always dead, even in the peak lunch time, when Ashoka, etc. would be packed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Q: what to eat here?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Re: Surati's dosa
                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's a huge seller, and it's just not the non-Indians ordering them. I always stick to the shaks, because they're filling and they're cheap n tasty. What eles to get if one doesn't want the chaat?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Re: Gujarati
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rasraj is Gujarati, how do you rank it versus Surati/Jay B?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TonyC
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mr Taster RE: TonyC Dec 12, 2013 12:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Rajdhani is Gujarati vegetarian thali also. Great stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                                                                                                                                                                anthead RE: Mr Taster Dec 17, 2013 10:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Never had the Rajdhani veg thali - for the longest time couldn't figure out how to get to that restaurant :). Anyway, will check it out! Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: TonyC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                anthead RE: TonyC Dec 17, 2013 10:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the info Tony - didn't know about Turmeric. Rasbhog's biggest problem is their absolutely horribly mismanaged prep line - they simply fall apart when they have to prepare more than 5 orders at a time. But it's run by a Punjabi family and they don't mess up their Punjabi dishes. As for Ashoka - it mostly coasts along on the fact that it's been around for so long - which is not to say that Rasbhog is knock your socks off food - just that both are mediocre and Ashoka a tad bit more than Rasbhog.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Rasbhog has standard classic Punjabi dishes - makki ki roti and saag combo (corn flatbread and creamed blend of greens), kadhi-white rice (chickpea dumplings curry and rice), rajma-chawal (red kidney beans-rice), kathal (jackfruit), chholey (garbanzo beans).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I recently discovered that Bombay Sweets across the street had a change in ownership and is run by a Punjabi family too - that cooks better than Rasbhog. They have all the above dishes and also make many paranthas (stuffed flatbreads) - the paneer parantha was quite good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                You are absolutely right to stick to the shaks at Surati - trust me that's their best offering (along with a few Gujarati snacks like lilwa kachori and ragda-petis). I honestly cannot recommend anything else - they try to do a pan Indian menu and their South and North Indian offerings aren't very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jay Bharat is far superior to Rasraj - I've tried only a few things at Rasraj but prefer Jay Bharat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: anthead
                                                                                                                                                                                                                suvro RE: anthead Dec 12, 2013 04:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                For Andhra cuisine, Pickles is far better than Kabob Corner. I was an unabashed fan of Kabob Corner, but my last two visits there was disappointing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pickles has a large menu, and some Andhra stuff such as Natukodi (Country Side Hen) Vepudu, Kottu Paratha (Veggie or Egg or Chicken) which I have not seen elsewhere. We have had several good meals, but have stopped patronizing them since our last meal - which was a large family gathering. We had ordered our dishes to be made mild - and we had emphasized that several times - and YET it came out burning hot! We complained and they were unable to accommodate us! The dishes are all very tasty, but the level of spicing is insane - and I eat pretty hot food - often 1-2 Thai chiles raw with my dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                They have also now folded Dosa Lite (which was in the same mall) into their operations - because Dosa Lite was a business failure. I would not pay $13 for a paneer dosa, however novel it might be for Los Angeles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have said many times that Rajdhani's thalis are not my cup of tea, but we do like Jay Bharat. I have not been recently to Surati Farsan, but all our friends say it is great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suvro
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  anthead RE: suvro Dec 17, 2013 10:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the rec Suvro - Saw Pickles when I was in that plaza for something else and was intrigued by an Indian restaurant among a predominantly Chinese/Taiwanese plaza. Had already got food from Kabob Corner so didn't check it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I always thought of Kottu Parotta as a very Kerala dish that had also made its way into Sri Lankan cuisine - didn't know it existed in Andhra too. I was at Kabob Corner last week and got the Andhra goat curry which was pretty good - have never tried their kababs - have never found an Indian/Pakistani place in LA that makes kababs to my liking (I'm from Delhi - allowed to be picky about this :) )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: anthead
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    suvro RE: anthead Dec 18, 2013 09:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I did not know the origin of Kottu Paratha - it seems to be of Sri Lankan origin, then migrated to Tamil Nadu, and is one of the more popular street foods of Chennai. So looks like Andhra and Kerala have adopted it as well!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: anthead
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  d_doubleyew RE: anthead Dec 14, 2013 11:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Worth checking out if you like goat curry and appam: Apey Kade which is a Sri Lankan restaurant and has hoppers (appam) on Friday and Saturday nights. I am also fond of their Sri Lankan "short-eats" -- breaded and deep fried "cutlets", "patties", "chinese rolls" and bread rolls with various fillings. Also their iced coffee and faluda drinks. And their "wattalappan" dessert which is like a cardamom-spiced, jaggery-flavored flan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Menu: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  19662 Ventura Blvd. Tarzana, California 91356

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. orythedog RE: carln Dec 13, 2013 04:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anarbagh, Encino or Woodland Hills, both consistently excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. OCEllen RE: carln Feb 15, 2014 07:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Anywhere south, in OC?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. orythedog RE: carln Feb 16, 2014 07:13 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: orythedog
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        liu RE: orythedog Feb 16, 2014 07:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anarbaugh? Still, after all these years?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As I remember, the food was quite good, but we have not been there in a few years because the service was painfully slow. Is that still the case?

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