Woodsides in Artesia
Ate at this place again this weekend. It's really fabulous South Indian vegetarian food. After Das Aprakash closed, I went into mourning, but this place is every bit as good and in some ways better. Started with an appetizer plate, which was just OK. The dipping sauces--particularly the coconut with black mustard seed and a blazing green cilantro one--were the stars, but the fritters weren't as interesting as the ones at DA. Then we moved on to an assortment of other things. Eggplant curry was really good, but the stars were the "bread" dishes: Channa Battura and Paper Dosai. The first is a fried bread that is big enough tofill a large plate, probably a foot tall. It is served with a stew. You tear off pieces of the bread (crisp and sour, probably a fermented dough, like injera) and dip it into the stew. The Paper Dosai is amazing--a rolled crisp crepe that must be 18 inches across, with a cup or so of a potato stew in the center. It has to be seen to be believed. And it tastes good, too. Sweets aren't as good as at DA. The halvahs are moister and looser and the ice creams usually have that frost edge on top.
But who cares? Four of us ate an amazing dinner that, with plenty of beer and a generous tip, came out to less than $20 a person. I really feel sorry for anyone running a fine dining restaurant who has to compete with that.
Woodsides is in the first mall on the east side of Pioneer Blvd as you travel south from the 91 freeway. There's a big grocery store on the corner (and it's next door to an Indian-Pakistani book and sofware shop!)