India's Grill vs. Electric Lotus
- Jessica Ritz
What is up with Electric Lotus on Vermont? Sociologically it's understandable--the hip Indian restaurant-vibe fits perfectly in contemporary Los Feliz. However, I've been there both before and after the ownership change, and was not impressed either visit. The booths and tables still feel kind of awkwardly stuck in the space. I hoped that there would be a discernable difference in the cuisine now that owner of the wonderful India's Grill on San Vicente/La Cienega runs E.L. But this is not the case. It is by no means terrible, but the far less hip India's Grill is just SO, SO much better that I see no reason to go to E.L. Our waiter didn't even ask us what spice level we wanted our food to be! The complex, ginger-spiked, aromatic vegetable dishes at I.G. are somehow infused with blandness at E.L. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they offer saag tofu, but what came with the spinach was just cut up soft cold tofu plopped on top. A heap of iceberg lettuce salad blanketed the tandoori chicken. Jesse, the owner, hangs at E.L. and I'm tempted to ask him why it's so inferior to I.G. I've spoken with several friends that share this pro-India's Grill/anti-Electric Lotus sentiment. In this matter, we'd rather be square than hip.
Granted I haven't been to their newest location on 3rd Street (I'd rather go to Surya on Crescent Heights, which opened first and I am very fond of) where perhaps the food there is closer to I.G. But I wonder if the demand for Indian food around the Beverly Center area is enough to sustain the current supply...