Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Mar 3, 2009 12:05 PM

Best Indian Food in Santa Monica/West Side?

Been hearing lots about Gate of India and Nawab...confirm deny?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've never been to Gate of India, and it's been a while since Nawab, but I thought it was solid, but nothing special.

    My favorite is Ambala Dhaba, and I did like Agra Indian Kitchen the one time I went (I've been meaning to go back for the Volcano curry). But overall, not too much (in terms of good Indian) on the westside.

    1. My vote goes to Akbar - - I like the Marina del Rey one, but the Santa Monica one is also good.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Cinnamon

        i love akbar - and only the one in the marina

        i also really like ambala dhaba - quite good

        i know some people who love love bombay cafe - but i find it just ok and overpriced

        1. re: bu dat

          I agree re Akbar in MDR. Husband likes the Santa Monica Akbar better. I don't but both are good - Marina del Rey far better in my opinion. The Akbar in Manhattan/Hermosa Beach was decent also.

          I'd call Akbar far, far, far better than Shershah and Gate of India.

          1. re: Cinnamon

            I gotta strongly disagree. I live right up the street from Akbar Santa Monica, but I always order from Nawab or All India Cafe.

      2. Gate of India is very popular with the British ex-pat crowd but the food can be inconsistent. Mostly pretty good, though. Nawab is more consistent and has even improved of late. Agra in the MDR area is my favorite Indian in the area.

        Agra Indian Kitchen
        2553 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

        1. It's been some time, but I'm going to mention that I regularly went to Chandni Vegetarian Restaurant. It's been 5 years though so best to try and get an updated opinion. Wilshire and 19th in the People's Republic.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            It's the same as it was 5 years ago, IMO.

          2. If I'm craving Indian, it's worth the short drive over to Mayura on Venice and Motor. Be sure to read up on what to get before you go; the Southern stuff is fantastic, but some of the Northern dishes are just glop.

            10406 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

            7 Replies
            1. re: Bjartmarr

              I second Mayura, go with the idly sambar, dosas or the fish curry. If you aren't in the mood for south Indian food then I'd head over to Samosa House which is not too far away on Washington. I have eaten food from Nawab many times and never have been impressed.

              1. re: joshekg

                if you end up going to samosa house, imho, there are two ''MUST HAVE'' dishes there:

                1) the curried jackfruit
                2) the mango/banana/pistacio soup. when they have this it is behind the counter and there never is a sign, so you must ASK if it's available.

                if you can't decide what to order, they will give you little tastes of the available dishes to help you make up your mind.

                1. re: westsidegal

                  Yes, the jackfruit is great (though some don't enjoy it) and so is the soup. I really love the bhindi masala (okra) and their biryani made extra spicy.

                  1. re: joshekg

                    i agree about their bhini masala, it is the best in town imho. i wish it were available all the time.

                2. re: joshekg

                  Is Mayura's fish curry @ dinner better than their lunch buffet? Because it was pretty inedible at lunch---fish was FAR from fresh.

                  1. re: 1newyorkguy

                    It must be because the Kerala fish curry with appam is really really good. Whenever I go for lunch I order off of the regular menu. I have found that buffets regardless of cuisine mostly serve sub-par food.

                    1. re: 1newyorkguy

                      I thought their lunch buffet was marginal, Annapurna up the street is much better