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looking for the best Indian food

tissue Mar 19, 2003 01:15 PM

I know you guys can help me. I need to take some people out for Indian food this weekend. Pls advise which place is good without travelling to Artesia.
Gaylord? Nawab? Akbhar? Let me know...

Thanks in advance.

  1. j
    Joe Nov 8, 2007 10:45 AM

    This might be out of your way but in Pasadena, Mezbaan Indian Cuisine is fantastic. I've been going there for better part of 10-12 years and have always loved their food. Ambiance and decor leaves a lot to be desired but it will do. On Weekends, they have live entertainment and it's very interesting. I've also tried other Indian establishments in the Pasadena area (All India, Akbar's, Radhika's, Sitar, New Delhi Palace) and haven't found anything close to Mezbaan. In my opinion, the most over rated place is All India Cafe. It's decor is more appealing but the food is bland and not very good. I don't know why the place is always packed. I've never figured that one out.

    Like any Indian food, if you don't have an iron clad stomach, go easy on the curry and the spices. Otherwise, you'll pay later!

    Mezbaan Indian Cuisine
    80 N Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103

    1. p
      pandora Apr 29, 2003 03:43 PM

      I have looked long and hard for the best Indian food on the Westside and my vote is for Gate of India in Santa Monica. I'm actually a little shocked that no one on this thread seems to have mentioned it yet. Gate of India has great food, nice decor and ambiance, and pleasant (if a bit slow) waitstaff. I especially recommend the hummus appetizer, the chicken achar and the green chili bhuna.

      1. a
        Alan Delon Mar 23, 2003 01:32 PM

        Try Gaylord on wilshire and La Cienega
        good service
        fresh food
        nice atmosphere

        1. l
          lynnz Mar 22, 2003 01:39 AM

          I'm a fan of Bombay Grill. I think of the food as "California Indian", not very traditional but tasty nonetheless.

          India's Grill on LaCienega, in a mini-mall just south of 3rd St. (almost directly across from Le Meridian), is really good and very reasonable. No frills, casual and easy to get a table.

          I like Bombay Palace on Wilshire, too. The service has always been very good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lynnz
            Tova Feb 3, 2005 01:23 PM

            I am addicted to the Indian takeout called India Sweets and Spices, on Fairfax just North of Pico, on the West side of the street. For 3.99 you can get a full meal; their naan is great, their food is consistently tasty, and their rasmalai rocks.

            Link: http://www.gourmetvegetarian.blogspot...

          2. d
            Dave Mar 21, 2003 02:04 AM

            My 2 favorite places is Al-Watan in Hawthorne, and Chutneys in WLA (on the corner of Barrington and Pico). Al-Watan has a larger menu (they seem to have a much larger Indian/Pakistani customer base than Chutneys) and has the best tandoori chicken, while Chutneys has the best seekh kababs in LA IMO. I did go to Ambala Dhaba in Artesia and was not impressed. I ordered a chicken tikka masala, and the chicken tasted like it was boiled and then added to the masala after it was cooked. Thi chicken didn't (and I'm sure it wasn't) taste like it was cooked in the tandoor before it was added to the sauce, as most good places do it. I haven't tried their other items, but I've seen people here recommend some other dishes from Ambala so I might give them another try. Also, has anyone noticed if their Westwood location is better/worse than their Artesia branch, I've only visited their Artesia restaurant.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Dave
              Alison B. Mar 21, 2003 11:22 AM

              I like the chicken tikka masala at India's Oven. At Ambhala Dhaba in Westwood (never been to the Artesia location), I recommend the Ludhiana chicken (really tasty), and the Dhaba chicken.

              1. re: Alison B.
                PayOrPlay Mar 21, 2003 12:13 PM

                I agree with Alison B. about the Ludhiana chicken (one the great dishes in LA right now) and the Dhaba chicken. Also excellent at Ambhala: daal, saag paneer, Ambala vegetables, keema samosa, and the culfi (all 4 flavors, but I am partial to almond and malai).

                Dave, the chicken tikka masala is one of the more ordinary things on the Ambhala menu, so I hope you will try again.

            2. j
              Jerome Mar 20, 2003 05:12 PM

              If you're with an easily identifiable celebrity, then Bombay Cafe in west LA is the place to go. I've seen her give movie stars incredible service.

              I am not a movie star so I will drive down to Artesia.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jerome
                WLA Mar 20, 2003 09:50 PM

                We've probably been to Bombay Cafe a dozen or so times. We have always had very pleasant and efficient service, and the closest we come to being stars is when we go to the movies.
                Bombay is one of those places that has good food, and if you are looking for a bit more of an upscale venue. For a date, or if you just want that sort of ambiance, it's fine. Yes, it's more expensive but I never feel like I have didn't get what I paid for.
                And I love their Himalayan Blue beer, in the tall bottles. Indian food and beer is one of the great combos.

              2. c
                Cattus Mar 20, 2003 10:24 AM

                All-India Cafe on Santa Monica and Bundy across from Blockbusters has good vegetarian dishes (It's upstairs)and inexpensive Thali plates so you can try a variety of dishes.

                Ambala Dhaba is very good and cheap.Try their samosas and the dahl is excellent. I found the "Ambala" dishes (I tried the vegetables) to be on the dry-side. A friend ordered the fish curry and found it to be overwhelmingly fishy; she did not care for it.

                India's Oven on Beverly - Kind of mundane but not bad. Another friend swears by the chicken Masala and eats it at least once a week.

                Bombay Cafe - good but trendy and expensive. They have good drinks and try the dosa with coconut chutney. Although this costs about twice as much as it would in Artesia.

                Surya - My experience wasn't so great. Maybe it was an off night since everyone seems to rave about the place but I was served a kidney bean dahl and the beans were seriously undercooked.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Cattus
                  Zoe Mar 20, 2003 11:04 AM

                  Express Chicken at Olympic and Westwood has truly marvellous chicken curry, excellent raita and lamb korma. This is a take away/delivery place but through more than one owner the core staff has been kept on and the chick curry stays wonderful. Don't order the plates - too little of the main course and too much of the rice and salad. Just order a la carte and maybe rice on the side. Thatsa good delivery din din. Oh the mulligatawny soup is tops too.

                  Express Chicken: 310-474-5828

                  1. re: Cattus
                    spellchkr Mar 27, 2003 05:34 PM

                    All-India Cafe SUCKS! My wife & I are Indian, and we tried it because we didn't feel like driving to Artesia, but this place is not good because:
                    1. Bland food
                    1a. Not authentic
                    2. Slow-ish service
                    3. Pricey
                    4. And inspite of above 3, long waits on weekend evenings.

                  2. t
                    Tari Mar 19, 2003 07:27 PM

                    I like Star Of India on Melrose.

                    1. r
                      ryanconder Mar 19, 2003 07:16 PM

                      surya on third street gets my vote.

                      1. r
                        ryanconder Mar 19, 2003 07:16 PM

                        surya on third street gets my vote.

                        1. s
                          Sandra W. Mar 19, 2003 03:57 PM

                          Artesia comes to Westwood without the paper plates; Ambala Dhaba on Westwood Blvd., just north of Santa Monica Blvd. If you're looking for something more trendy there's Bombay Cafe on Pico near the 405, but a warning, it can get loud and crowded. If you want ambiance, Bombay Palace is beautiful and serene on Wilshire near Robertson. Surya, on 3rd near Crescent Heights has good food, nice atmosphere. Honestly, I'm happy in any of those places.

                          1. l
                            lil mikey Mar 19, 2003 01:53 PM

                            I like India's Oven on Beverly west of La Brea. I've never had a bad meal there. The food is fresh, and the service is good.

                            They were out of Kingfisher the last time I was there, but they had some other Indian beer (Tah Mahal?) which was not as good, but was wet and cold.

                            It's casual...not sloppy, but not dressy, either.

                            1. p
                              patty Mar 19, 2003 01:18 PM

                              I vote for Ambala Dhaba on Westwood Blvd. if it doesn't need to be too fancy. The interior is nice but casual, and there's no alcohol but you can bring it.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: patty
                                LesThePress Mar 20, 2003 04:55 PM

                                Forget Gaylord. You pay high prices for a very pricy decor, and that's all you'll get!

                                1. re: LesThePress
                                  LesThePress Apr 28, 2003 04:14 PM

                                  The comments on Sagebrush Cantina are at March 20 below

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