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LA Indian Food, Please Enlighten!

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lizzyjk Apr 5, 2007 02:51 PM

I have been in LA just under two years, and I still have no idea where to find the best Indian food in the city. Is there a Little India in LA and if so, where is it? What are the best places to eat there? Thanks!
And I'd like to edit this... What places are good that are not so far as Artesia? Thanks!

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  1. tony michaels RE: lizzyjk Apr 5, 2007 03:03 PM

    Link to recent, (well at least the last 3 posts are recent) on point thread on this very subject:

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/68810

    2 Replies
    1. re: tony michaels
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      lizzyjk RE: tony michaels Apr 5, 2007 03:05 PM

      Thanks so much! I was just thinking I should have asked for a link, since I'm sure it's been discussed....

      1. re: tony michaels
        Pei RE: tony michaels Apr 5, 2007 04:31 PM

        Thanks for that old link! Besides all the other stuff, just finding out that there's fresh sugar cane juice at Rasraj was totally worth reading through that thread.

      2. Das Ubergeek RE: lizzyjk Apr 5, 2007 03:27 PM

        Little India's in Artesia.

        1. d
          dtud RE: lizzyjk Apr 5, 2007 05:47 PM

          not so far as Artesia. . . there are a ton of Indian places all over LA . . . my favorites:

          Akbar!!! so good. there are multiple locations. http://www.akbarcuisineofindia.com

          Ambala Dhaba - 1718 westwood blvd. this place is hit or miss. it actually is a second restaurant (1st in artesia). i've had outstanding meals here and then just so/so meals - but overall i'd say it's quite good.

          Mumtaz - 7013 Melrose Ave. I love this place - but maybe b/c i've been going for so long. it's good and the staff is lovely.

          East India Cafe - on LaBrea - this place has a great vibe and really nice space. Food is pretty good.

          Bombay Cafe - pico near bundy - this place is pretty good, but the prices are much higher than most indian places i've been to.

          3 Replies
          1. re: dtud
            a_and_w RE: dtud Apr 6, 2007 12:56 PM

            I haven't had much luck at Akbar -- I've tried the chicken tikka masala and saag paneer. Any specific dishes you recommend? Haven't tried Ambala Dhaba yet but am intrigued. Again, any recs?

            1. re: a_and_w
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              dtud RE: a_and_w Apr 6, 2007 05:51 PM

              i like super spicy food - so that's what i order at akbar.

              the vindaloo is great. the prawns madras is out of this world. it's so flavorful - much different than many dishes i've ever had. those are my two favorites. i've had a couple of disappointments (can't remember what they were) - but for the most part i like thier food. i especially like the "chutneys" they serve - the garbanzo and coconut tasting one in particular. very good.

              1. re: dtud
                a_and_w RE: dtud Jun 22, 2007 01:24 PM

                Finally tried the Vindaloo, which I did indeed enjoy. Thanks for the tip!

          2. j
            Jesdamala RE: lizzyjk Apr 5, 2007 07:01 PM

            Recent links discussing various Indian in LA.

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/382704

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/375952

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/368590

            1. a
              alexfood RE: lizzyjk Apr 5, 2007 07:12 PM

              I just tried a little tiny hole in the wall place called Bombay Grill in the mini-mall at 7306 Santa Monica. Great lunch, huge portions. Surprisingly delicious korma.

              1. c
                carter RE: lizzyjk Apr 5, 2007 10:12 PM

                You want places not so far as Artesia, yet offer no area code which might be preferable. There are plenty in the SF Valley, the west side, etc.
                Woodlands, India Sweets & Spices, and a new one opening up next Thursday in Studio City called Lal Mirch at 11138 Ventura Blvd.
                www.lmdining.com for more info.
                Just a few more ideas.
                Gaylord, Bombay and Chakra on S. Doheny in BH, among many on the upper end.

                1 Reply
                1. re: carter
                  c
                  compucook RE: carter Apr 5, 2007 10:32 PM

                  On Sunday night we dined at Chakara on Doheny in Beverly Hills. The food was wonderful! It was head and shoulders above the usual Indian places that I've been to.

                2. moto RE: lizzyjk Apr 6, 2007 12:13 AM

                  hello, if your'e partial to South Indian vegetarian fare, Annapurna on Venice Blvd. Culver City is excellent. For very good inexpensive vegetarian (multi-regional but no dhosa) take out, also in Culver City, Samosa House. cheers

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: moto
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                    dublinchef RE: moto Jun 22, 2007 11:51 AM

                    I totally second that for ' Annapurna', just recently went there and loved it.

                    1. re: moto
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                      aventinus RE: moto Jun 23, 2007 07:50 PM

                      During my three months in LA, I never found any great North Indian (not saying it's not there). But Annapurna has very good vegetarian South Indian.

                      1. re: moto
                        westsidegal RE: moto Jun 24, 2007 06:50 PM

                        i totally second the recommendation for samosa house/bhraat bazaar.

                        if you can tolerate being served vegetarian food on a styrofoam plate, you will be rewarded with some really DELICIOUS cooking.

                        11510 West Washington Boulevard Culver City.
                        a

                      2. p
                        pallas810 RE: lizzyjk Apr 6, 2007 03:16 PM

                        I always find Indian food in LA disappointing. All the good food is up in NoCal or New York. Everyone talks about Ambala Dhaba but the meat quality is crap and the food is overspiced and generic.

                        However, here is one decent find:

                        Bombay Cafe
                        12021 W. Pico Blvd.
                        Los Angeles, CA 90064
                        310-473-3388

                        All the spices were different in various dishes and the flavors were wonderful! Let me know how you liked it if you try it.

                        PS. They have Chimay to dowse down the food with which is a much better pick than the Indian beers.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: pallas810
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                          sel RE: pallas810 Apr 6, 2007 03:31 PM

                          I agree that Indian food in L.A. is dissapointing and is much better in N. Cal. (haven't had Indian food in N.Y.) but strongly disagree about Ambla Dhaba. Their bakra and chicken dishes have been good when I request them to be made very spicy and many of their dishes are not found on any other menus in the area so I would say that they are far from generic! They don't flavor their sauces with ketchup and yellow mustard which seems common in generic local Indian restaurants.

                          I haven't been to Bombay Cafe for a couple of years, a few times at their original location and twice at the current spot. While I find their food to be ok, not bad, it's underspiced to appeal to Westerners and overpriced!

                          I did post a long list of Indian/Pakistani restaurants, within the limits of this board, some time back that I would link to but with the currently limited search feature I can't find it!

                          1. re: pallas810
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                            rds246 RE: pallas810 Apr 6, 2007 04:58 PM

                            While not exactly on topic, I do feel compelled to warn you of my experience with Bombay Cafe. I had ordered a large order for lunch at my office, and when it arrived there were things missing and it had not been as much food as I thought I had ordered. When I called to speak with the manager he was extremely rude to me (including hanging up on me several times) insisted that I was wrong about things missing, and treated me like I was an imbicile. Eventually he offered me a $12 voucher for a meal there, and when I pointed out that I had ordered close to $400 of food and after this experience was not likely to be going there anytime soon, he replied, "well then all I can do for you is nothing." I asked him how he ran his business with such an attitude and he said it had been working for him so far. When he hung up on me yet again I decided it wasn't worth it to call back.

                            Anyway, I'm not sure where you're located, but Woodlands in Chatsworth (lassen and topanga canyon) is an old favorite of mine. They are pure veg though, and depending on where you are it may be just as far as going to artesia...

                            1. re: rds246
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                              Pesky_Humans RE: rds246 Jun 23, 2007 10:06 PM

                              I am very sorry to read of your experience. I was turned on to Bombay Cafe a couple of years ago by a client of mine, and have been going there a couple of times a month for lunch since then. I have never experienced anything other than exemplary service and I love the food. Their thali platters are one of my favorite lunches on the westside.

                              Of course, as a semi-regular there now, my experience may differ. Sounds to me like you caught them on a really bad day, but regardless, there is nothing cool about what you went through on this day.

                          2. f
                            Faulkner99 RE: lizzyjk Apr 6, 2007 05:42 PM

                            I'm always surprised that India's Grill on San Vicente (just south of the Beverly Center) doesn't get more attention. Maybe because it's in a strip mall, who knows. I've never had a bad meal there, and their lunch special is very reasonably priced. Everyone who we've turned onto this place raves about it.

                            1. d
                              dublinchef RE: lizzyjk Apr 6, 2007 09:51 PM

                              India's Oven, Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; Samosa House, Washington Blvd., Culver City; Nawab, Santa Monica; New India Grill, Westwood Blvd.

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                                AmarV RE: lizzyjk Jun 22, 2007 12:47 PM

                                My family are originally from Punjab which now is split between Pakistan and India (following partition at independence). Punjabi cuisine is still more or less the same on both sides of the border and so for me the closest thing I have found to home cooking is technically a Pakistani restaurant - Al Watan on Inglewood Ave in Hawthorne (I can't remember the street number.)

                                I've been there several times now and the food is always great and also reasonably priced. I even took my parents there when they were in town recently and they loved it. If you do decide to go then be sure to try the fish fry which is Amritsari-style fish like my grandma makes. I actually like everything I've tried there (with the exception of some of the vegetarian dishes) esp. the lamb saag and some of the more unusual specialties - the nehari (slow cooked lamb) and (if you're really adventurous) the curried brain. The desserts are good too.

                                Another LA favourite is Annapurna on Venice which is a good place for South Indian dhosa's (crepe like dish served with curried potatoes and various sauces). My friends like the veggie dishes here too but they don't appeal to my tastes (North Indian bias!). The kulfi (Indian ice-cream) here is delicious - though i don't think it's home-made - but be sure to ask for it without chocolate sauce which they drizzle over it for some reason.

                                The only other place I'd feel comfortable recommending is Surya on 3rd St (just west of Fairfax) which I'll admit is over-priced but which also serves the best lassi (yoghurt dirnk) I've tried in LA - skip the sweet / mango version and try the salty lassi - delicious! If you feel uncomfortable just having a drink then I'd recommend the tandoori fish made with chilean sea bass, it's pricey but worth it!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: AmarV
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                                  aventinus RE: AmarV Jun 23, 2007 07:54 PM

                                  I'm not Indian/Pakistani, but I agree with you about Annapurna and South Indian food generally. The dhosas, uttapams, etc are great. The veggie dishes (like what they call korma) are bland and weird to me and I much prefer the North Indian versions.

                                2. a_and_w RE: lizzyjk Jun 22, 2007 01:30 PM

                                  I have to say, I've been impressed with the chicken tikka masala at All India Cafe. Nothing to go out of your way for, and I'm not such a fan of their other dishes. But if you live nearby and feel a hankering for that specific dish, they are quite good.

                                  1. r
                                    RobertC RE: lizzyjk Jun 22, 2007 04:19 PM

                                    There is a place in the Hotel Stillwell downtown called Gill's Indian Cuisine which surprisingly is excellent. For Chicken Tikka Masala, make sure you tell them you want all white meet (at least that is my preference). The sauce is delicious. Also, try the onion naan bread....to die for.

                                    1. t
                                      Tari RE: lizzyjk Jun 24, 2007 03:40 PM

                                      I recently tried Jaipur, which is on pico, and I really liked it. The food was amazingly good. I would recommend you give it a try.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Tari
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                                        anothernotch RE: Tari Jun 24, 2007 06:14 PM

                                        Agreed. Jaipur has a really nice weekday and weekend buffet. Some of my favorite Indian on the westside. I also really like Gangadin in Studio City.

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