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I'm craving South Indian food!

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  • Liz Mar 8, 2001 05:20 PM
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I'm from New York, where South Indian restaurants aren't too hard to find, but I've had little luck in LA.

In searching this site, I found a reference to Madhu's Dasaprakash, on Santa Monica Blvd just west of the 405, I think. Well, I passed by there, and there was NOBODY inside, it was rated a B (does it really matter?) and I got nervous and left. Does anyone know if it's good?

Does anyone know of any good South Indian restaurants (they are 100% vegetarian, and serve dosas, those big pancake filled with lentils, etc.)? Any that are in the Santa Monica, WestLA, Culver City are would be ideal...

Let me know! Thanks a lot.

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  1. Madhu's is pretty far west of the 405--it's a block west of Bundy. I ate there with a gang on Monday, 5 March and the food was quite good. I had a delicious "cream of wheat with peas" and a very odd cashew lentil fritter. The mango lassi was divine. Do not be scared off by the cavernous space and the paucity of customers.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Sam

      is most of the food there extremely spicy? i can't really handle if it's spicy to the authentic extreme.
      also, is this place less pricy than bombay cafe for the quality.

      1. re: kevin

        Madhu's will regulate the level of spice if you ask. It is fairly inexpensive, and is by far the best southern Indian in the Southland.

        1. re: Pepper

          That is not even close to being true. The best South Indian restaurants in the Southland are in Artesia on Pioneer. It can't get any more authentic than that. Indian food prepared for almost 100% Indian people (and the occasional tourist like me). Be advised, nothing is open before 11 AM.

          1. re: Larry

            I agree about the quality of Indian food in Artesia. It's been awhile since I've been, but I remember how good everything was. We were there shopping for my (now)daughter-in-law's wedding sari. Not only was the Indian food outstanding, but we found a Mexican restaurant (yes, right in the middle of India Land) where the chef/owner cooked everything to order.

            1. re: Kit H.

              I am quite aware of Little India. Madhu's Dasaprakash, FYI, is also the best Indian vegetarian restaurant in the Artesia area. (The flagship restaurant is a few blocks off the Pioneer Boulevard strip, just over the border into Cerritos.) But as is distinctly not the case when it comes to eastside Chinese restaurants, Madhu's Westside version is just as good.

    2. r
      Ronald Young

      Paru in Hollywood has quite tasty vegetarian Indian food that can be had on a pleasant patio outside or a comfortable dining room inside. 6150 W. Sunset Blvd.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ronald Young

        i absolutely love paru's -- though it's actually at 5140 sunset blvd. they don't have a wide variety of dosas, but everything is terrific. if you're into having dessert, do try the almond halwa or nut cake...mmmm.

        Link: http://www.parusrestaurant.com

        1. re: felicia d.

          extremely interesting menu - apart from the punjabi and bengali stuff (which might be interesting riffs on the written melody), its the first time i've seen 'maligu tawny' on a menu in a while. of course, the brits bastardised that to 'mulligatawny', drank it as a soup and morphed it into a creation with chicken stock and rice over time. the pallid version of which you are subjected to in every bengali pretender restaurant.

          thats just a little trivia for fun. you might also ask kannan natarajan, the general manager, the reason for using both 'tanjore' and 'thanjavur' in the same menu - exactly like using 'bombay' and 'mumbai'. after all, as he's chosen to go native, he might as well be flamboyantly so.

      2. The best dosa that I have had on the West Side is at Bombay Sweet and Restaurant on Venice just East of Motor (across from Versailles). There are many variety of Dosa and quite a few veggie options that I have not seen before. There sweets are the best I have ever tried by far. I am not sure if it is South Indian because I didn't see Vada or Idli on the menu but that doesn't mean that they don't make it. Dosa was not on the menu the first time I ordered it either.

        1. Don't be scared, as other have said. Paru's is nice but the choices (100% vegetarian) are much more extensive at Dasaprakash. As Pepper said, there is also a branch in Artesia, and there was once a branch on La Cienega before they opened in Artesia.
          The food is fine and the variety in heat is great naturally as not all the dishes are supposed to be piquant. NOTE: this south indian cuisine is not for the lactose-intolerant.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jerome
            j
            James O'Connor

            Regarding Dasaprakash in Cerritos. It is now closed as the owner has opened another Resturant recently in Northern California and is now involved in getting that location going.

            Link: http://www.tm-imports.com

          2. As a person who grew up on south indian food(I am
            an ethnic south indian thats why) the only good
            and fully authentic south indian restaurant is Parus
            on Sunset Blvd between kingsley and normandy. However
            if you are going for the dosas Bombay Cafe on Pico
            and Bundy (Bombay cafe is owned by Ex Chutneys owner
            Neely) is damn good. Madhus has moved up to SF leaving
            behind a ghost organization in LA. There is little
            other choice for now at least

            1. I would add Annapurna on Venice, they also have a Pioneer location. Not all South Indian restaurants are 100% vegetarian, and in face if you look at % of population that is vegetarian in Indian states--South Indians are on the low end. Western India--Gujarat and Rajasthan have the greatest concentration of vegetarian citizens along with other Northern states, and the East and South have the greater concentration of meat eaters. Reference: http://www.hinduonnet.com/seta/2004/1...

              -----
              Annapurna Cuisine
              10200 Venice Blvd Ste 101, Culver City, CA 90232

              Annapurna Cuisine
              17631 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA

              2 Replies
              1. re: apple7blue

                IMHO, I don't understand why people go to Annapurna. The food is bland, the dosas are not nearly crispy enough, and the food not well spiced. And, to top it off, they serve a dosa stuffed with processed mozzerella cheese product. I love Udipi Palace in Artesia, but it is sadly, quite a trek. As far as Bombay Cafe, I can't stomach paying that much for a dosa, which is essentially rice flour filled with potatoes. Will have to try Paru's.

                -----
                Paru's
                5140 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                1. re: rangmela

                  Agree on Annapurna and Udipi Palace. LA is a driving town. Artesia is the place to drive for non-Punjabi Indian food. Udipi Palace is the best of the "Southern Indian," non-Gujarati restaurants.

              2. India Sweet & Spices is a small chain that has (like in India) One side a grocery store the other a deli that features many Southern Indian dishes. Consistantly good

                1. How about Mayura in Culver City? Lots of dosas to chose from, and a number of other south Indian things on the menu, which is here: http://mayura-indian-restaurant.com/c...

                  There's an all-veggie place on Venice, Bawarchi, which I haven't tried but which looks really good.

                  No fan of Annapurna - agree that it's really bland (and not remotely south Indian, right? it's even called Annapurna!). I dunno - I'm far from an expert, but for your geographical area, give Mayura a try. Paru is a long haul east and Artesia might not be that much farther time-wise.

                  +1 for a banana leaf spot opening in L.A. Everyone eats with their hands here anyway (pizza, tacos, Ethiopian).

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: cant talk...eating

                    I will certainly give Mayura a try. Note that they serve South Indian snacks (dosas, idlis, vadas and probably coffee) but not the typical South Indian meal (types of rice quite different from basmati, sambhar, coconut-based vegetarian curries, etc.).

                    Mayura also serves North Indian dishes and that can be inauspicious. It's hard to be transported to South India while folks at the next table are chowing down on naan and tandoori. I'm not really an Indian food snob, In fact I spent more time in North India than the South and far more time in Nepal than either.

                    The situation with Indian restaurants seems to hark back to the bad old days of generic Chinese restaurants with no pretense of regionality. A pity!

                    -----
                    Mayura
                    10406 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                    1. re: LADave

                      LADave- check out the "vegetarian" section of their menu though. I'm pretty sure they do have that coconut-based veg. curry and wider selection than just snacks. I agree though - no Indian restaurant here can resist the stand-bys. Interesting comparison to the old-fashioned Chinese places.

                      1. re: LADave

                        Artesia has restaurants with more regionality. I think you will find better dosas, uttapam, chana bhatura, etc. in Artesia than you can at most of the places listed in this thread.

                        In LA proper, I would choose India Sweets and Spices on Venice for a dosa.

                        I like Mayura but I have never tried their dosas.

                        1. re: sushigirlie

                          And since we're reopening an ancient topic, I will second India Sweets and Spices, but the one on Topanga Canyon—the one on Venice I find inconsistent.

                          In Orange County, there's Dosa Place (both on 17th and on Red Hill) and I have had good meals at Tirupathi Bhimas, though I've heard downhill reports that I haven't got out there to corroborate.

                          -----
                          Tirupathi Bhimas
                          18792 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                          Dosa Place
                          13812 Red Hill Ave, Tustin, CA 92780