Al Noor -- Pakistani in Lawndale and Halal Market on Sepulveda in CC
I've been wanting to try Al Noor, the Pakistani place on Inglewood in Lawndale.
I really like Indian food and the reviews I've read suggest that the two are similar, though the Pakistani is supposedly spicier, which sounds good to me.
As I was looking for reviews other than those on this site, I came across this web site.
I'm going to admit my ignorance ... I didn't know what Halal meant until I looked it up. For those of you who also are unfamiliar with the term, it (and I'm loosely paraphrasing here) is the food that Muslims can eat according to Islam. (If I can trust Wikipedia, it really references anything permissible under Islam, but is euphemistically used to describe food. Look it up if you want to know more).
Anyways, I really don't want to stray too far from the topic here ...
The list I've linked is a list of Halal restaurants in Los Angeles. We get lots of requests here for Middle East type restaurants and there are many on this list. There are also Malaysian restaurants and other interesting recommendations.
I also may have learned something about my neighborhood. There is a little market around the corner from where I live called Halal market. And I've never stopped in even though I've lived around here for five years. (It's not like walking distance around the corner, fwiw.) No reason why I haven't stopped in -- just haven't.
Lately I've noticed lunch specials advertised in their window. Now, I'm not home at lunch. so I haven't had the chance to eat there. The specials sound like what you'd find in an Indian restaurant.
Now, I'm really curious. Has anyone eaten in or shopped in Halal Market on Sepulveda near Washington?
Anyone want to chime in again on Al Noor? I'm going to hit both places soon and will write my own reviews, but until then, what do you all think of those places?
We have been eating at Al-Noor for almost 8 years now, since Jonathan Gold first published a review about it. Michael and I have been discussing the differences between Indian and Pakistani food--Indian food is lighter and has more flavor layers. Pakistani food is bright and intense--and usually significantly richer. If you want an idea of the difference between Pakistani and Indian food, a good item to compare is sag paneer versus palak paneer. They are both same dish--spinach curry--but the Pakistani palak paneer is rich with butter, cream and tomatoes, highly-spiced, incredible on nan. Sag usually is more spianch-y, more watery, lghter body, lightly spiced. (I guess you can tell which we prefer by that description.) The chicken tikka masala--tandoori chicken pieces floating in a rich cream-tomato curry sauce--is one of Al-Noor's signature dishes. If i knew I were going to die tomorrow, I would be in Al-Noor chowing down on chicken tikka masala, palak paneer and nan tonight.
A few years ago, Al-Noor expanded their menu to include non-Halal dishes, such as shrimp tikka masala. So, if you are looking for a place that it totally Halal, you might want to go to Al-Watan. Amazing kabob there.
I'm not a Pakistani food expert, but I usually seek these restaurants out due to their different meat options compared to Indian restaurants. In the U.S. most Indian restaurants cater to Western tastes by emphasing northern, non vegetarian cuisines with chicken, seafood, lamb and infrequently pork (Goanese).
In a Pakistani restaurant you will find beef, chicken and usually more goat and lamb dishes.
I'm fortunate to live near Al Noor and nearby Al Watan, another good Indo-Pak restaurant. The latter has lunch and dinner (combo) specials on the menu.
Check links below for menus.
13619 Inglewood Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250
15112 Inglewood Ave, Lawndale, CA 90260
Thanks for the mention of Halal market, my daughter, who follows halal guidelines, just moved to that neighborhood and is looking for new spots. Will ask her if she has tried it...(my guess would be that she already has, so if she has any favorite items, will report back). However, if you want to try it and it is truly Halal, you might want to go at night or wait a few weeks. You may find it closed during the day right now, since we are in the middle of Ramadan and I suspect they aren't serving those lunch specials...