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Oct 15, 2008 04:40 PM

A visiting friend wants to eat Indian...recs?

A friend is visiting town from the Midwest where she suffers from a shortage of good-quality Indian food, which she greatly enjoys. She asked to eat Indian while she's out here.

Generally, when I want Indian I'm happy enough with Salome in North Hollywood or the Balti House next to the Coach and Horses......if I eat Middle-Eastern, I tend to go to one of the excellent Persian or Lebanese places in Westwood or Glendale.

Can Chowhounders help me find the best Indian around to wow my visiting friend? I live in Pasadena, my friend will be staying at The Standard on Sunset. We are both willing to travel for excellent food.

I've heard about Artesia, but never been myself. Surati Farsan Mart has been recommended to me, but it looks more like a chat/snack place more than a sit-down curry house.

Whaddya have for me, guys?

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  1. She might like Surya on Third St. -- centrally located and nice ambiance, which isn't always true of Indian places. It has a lighter touch than some places, but my Indian friend approves of it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Chowpatty

      i am a fan of surya as well. the proprietor, sheel, is a stand up person and he does not use any oil or butter in his vegetarian dishes ....yet the dishes are full of flavor.

      1. re: Chowpatty

        I also will highly recommend Surya!

        1. re: Chowpatty

          I tried Surya tonight, didn't much care for it. I had the Bharta combo, pretty bland, small portions, downright stingy with the rice, dry nan. The room in insanely loud, big rectangle, hard floor, ceiling and walls. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

          1. re: rednyellow

            Interesting... we eat at Surya frequently, and it's usually quiet and fairly empty. So sorry you had such a terrible experience! Everything we've eaten there has always been great. The naan is fresh and chewy, the "dinner" always comes with interesting dal and vegetable sides... Whether ordering the dinner or entree sizes, we always leave stuffed.

        2. No way!
          Ditch Hollywood and LA. The only good thing about places like those are the trendy people and cool decorations.

          If you want REAL indian food, there's a place in Diamond Bar called Diamond Palace Cuisine of India. Its on Grand Ave. Its real and authentic. In the afternoon/morning, they have a small buffet and they have entres during dinner time. THEY HAVE THE BEST NAAN BREAD IN THE WORLD!

          U have to try it.

          1. I'm partial to East India Grill on La Brea and Oakwood. While I'm sure most people will tell you that it's probably not "the best", for me, it is. Their Korma is the greatest I've ever had, the samosas are delicious, the sag paneer/aloo is as good as you would expect, they have award winning garlic naan, but besides the food, the staff is one of the nicest I've ever encountered, which as we all know, contributes to the overall dining experience almost as much as the food. They recently started allowing beer on the patio, too. Well, re-allowing, I guess, since they did, then stopped, and now do again.

            1. don't you kind of have to go to Artesia???

              1 Reply
              1. re: tamplanter

                Pretty much. Most of the North Indian I've tried in LA has been mediocre. For some reason, South Indian is a little better, though the places I know aren't really convenient to Pasadena.

              2. I would take her to Udupi Palace in Artesia, which serves South Indian cuisine (dosas, sambar, idli, etc.). Possibly she's not accustomed to this cuisine and there's a risk of turnoff, but the restaurant is clean and the food is good and not spicy. It's a bit like taking a newbie to an Ethiopian restaurant--some people love it, some people hate it. You could follow it with one of the numerous sweets shops--I recommend Ambala sweets and spices, perhaps 2-3 blocks away. As for curry houses...I dunno...I am not very fond of a single Northern Indian restaurant here (and Indian has usually been one of my go-to foods). I prefer good Northern Indian to Southern Indian, but I just haven't found a Northern Indian restaurant I really like.