Indian on the westside
Had lunch today at Saffron, 1781 Westwood, just north of Santa Monica, opened a month ago. I believe the owner is the owner of Akbar.
I had the lunch buffet, $6.95. They bring you several pieces of tandoori chicken from the kitchen (it was tasty and succulent), along with a kulcha (similar to poori, only a little fluffier and not quite as thin.) At the buffet they served a kashmiri chicken that was exquisite -- a creamy, rich sauce loaded with cardoman, cloves, but not sweet, cut with cummin and curry leaves and onions. The basmanti rice was beautiful, multicolored grains of saffron-colors (nicer than most). The bengan bharta (eggplant) was my least favorite thing but I still had seconds. They served a salad of spiced tomato and cucumber that was refreshing and light, raita (yoghurt) loaded with cucumber, dahl, mint & mango chutney. A great meal, a great price.
There is a menu of lunch specials that come with rice, bread and salad, starting at $6.
I checked out the dinner menu, there's a good selection of appetizers ($5.) kebobs ($9), curries ($9), tandoor and specials including shrimp and lobster ($12-18, $22 for lobster). No naan or poori, all stuffed kulchas. Everything is a la carte on the dinner menu, they charge for rice, raita, chutnety, etc., so it could get pricey.
The lunch is a bargain, and delicious. I'll be back soon.