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Samosa House, Culver City

Anyone know if new things are afoot at Samosa House? We went there for the first time in nearly a year and noticed some differences... the raita, samosas, bread (blanking on the name), and a few other things seemed different than we remember- not to mention that they seemed to have changed from styrofoam (if I recall correctly) to some kind of other material for their serving plates. There also seem to be some additions to the menu- such as brown basmati rice.

Anyone out there know anything about the changes- are they just keeping us on our toes, or are there new owners, perhaps? Just curious...

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Samosa House
11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

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  1. There's a new place opening up nearby by someone formerly from Samosa house, now of course no idea if he was the chef, the busboy, etc but maybe that answers your question.

    More info here: http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/re...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Discokill

      Thanks for the link; this article makes it sound like the chef (or one of the chefs) from Samosa House has left recently. Westsidegal's response below explains some other changes. Thanks, everyone.

      1. re: Discokill

        Been there a couple of times now, and it's quite different than Samosa House... the Samosa and Lassis aren't as good, but it's curries and Combo entrees are lighter. They also include a salad in their combos and they offer much more whole veggie options. So we are have been very happy with it!

        http://www.flickr.com/photos/dommichu...

        --Dommy!

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        Samosa House
        11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

      2. the folks that run samosa house are very responsive to customer requests.
        some of the regulars are environmentally conscious and requested that they use plates that were more environmentally-friendlythan styrofoam. other regulars, such as myself, prefer brown rice and requested having it as an option, and we were accommodated as well.
        i rarely eat the roti any more, so can't comment on that.

        1. I don't get the thrill for Samosa House? I have eaten there twice , first time not so great, but gave it another chance, and second time wound up throwing the food away. The curries were weird, the samosas were very greasy, and the mint chutney was brownish and stale. Plus it was really expensive, compared to say, the Woodlands. I do appreciate the store though.
          When I get a craving for Indian, I just think of some excuses to go to the Valley, and hit the Woodlands buffet. Very Very fresh food, awesome dosa. Still doing the all you can eat Dosa night....

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          Woodlands
          9840 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Chatsworth, CA 91311

          Samosa House
          11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: ciaolette

            I'm not a big fan of Samosa House either and I've tried it numerous times. I do like their samosas, but I do not like that jackfruit dish and I'm not crazy about the spinach dishes.

            I would rather wait until I get near home to go to Bombay Grocery or India Treat for vegetarian Indian cuisine.

            India Treat
            1841 W. Pacific Coast Highway
            Lomita, CA 90717
            (310) 326-5640

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            Bombay Grocery
            2040 Pacific Coast Hwy, Lomita, CA

          2. Samosa house is bland, bland, bland. IMO, a direct result of them catering to the neighborhood they're in. The input of west-siders may be great for environmental awareness, but it has driven Samosa House to tone down flavors. Watered-down food for white-bread (read: brown-rice) people.

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            Samosa House
            11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

            4 Replies
            1. re: BearCity

              Yikes, BearCity. Perhaps Samosa House does cater to neighborhood tastes; perhaps they have toned down some of their seasoning. Perhaps their samosa is not nearly as well-flavored today as it has been in the past. But I cannot possibly imagine describing most of their dishes as "bland." To me bland means without flavor or under-seasoned. On the contrary I find the flavor of many of their offerings to be fairly complex .

              And for the record: "brown rice people" tend to favor WHEAT bread ... and there's your gross generalization of the day. ;)

              Thanks to everyone for their wide-ranging two cents on Samosa House and its step-sibling.

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              Samosa House
              11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

              1. re: cakewhole

                "White bread" is not a reference to what kind of bread is preferred. Every dish I've ever tried there has been under-seasoned. Not without flavor, just without the appropriate level of flavor for Indian dishes.

                1. re: BearCity

                  I followed your meaning behind "white bread." My reference to wheat bread was a an attempt at humor...

              2. re: BearCity

                couldn't disagree with you more, bearcity.

              3. i went to samosa house for the first time a few months ago and found the food to be uninspired and quite bland. we had an assortment of foods from the steam table and basically every item was bleh. totally unmemorable.

                for cheap steam table indian around west la, i'll stick to india sweets & spices or hurry curry.

                20 Replies
                1. re: wilafur

                  local spot + vegetarian options for the wife that will still satisfy a carnivore like me + laid back baby friendly environment + healthy, light food that doesnt leave me feeling stuffed and regretful afterwards + low price = why I go to Samosa House often. Would I travel to eat there if I didnt live nearby? Probably not but the above reasons are enough for me to have gone there tons of times.

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                  Samosa House
                  11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

                  1. re: Discokill

                    second everything you say here, discokill AND add:
                    they are open 7 days a week
                    they are open continuously between breakfast and lunch.

                    imho, it's the best of the local casual indian food. i'm simply not about to drive out to little india from LAX at 3pm on a weekday . . .

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      Exactly, comparing anywhere on the westside to an ethnic enclave is horribly unfair... I do enjoy little india and try to go there when I can, but in the meantime, I am very happy with the Mango Lassis and Okra dishes at Samosa house and the curries at the India Jones Truck...

                      --Dommy!

                      1. re: Dommy

                        So here we are praising mediocrity because of its proximity to where you live.

                        Samosa House clearly has its place, and its west-side devotees, but if someone is looking to Chowhound for great Indian food in L.A., it is criminal to be sending them to Samosa House.

                        1. re: BearCity

                          NO where in this post is anyone saying that Samosa House is the greatest Indian Food in L.A., it's not even the best in it's near proximity, that goes to Agra in Venice... What we are saying is that we are GLAD to have the option of indian cooks who give a damn in our neighborhood versus some others who install a steam table, serve some 5 cents worth of daal and charge $10 for it. Forgive us for being happy we have the choice...

                          --Dommy!

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                          Samosa House
                          11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

                          1. re: Dommy

                            I have to disagree about Agra. I find it to be mediocre and rarely go even though it is right in my neighborhood. I find their meats to be tough and dry and their dishes lacking complexity.

                            To top it off, when I ordered from there this past weekend I asked if they had Dal Makhani to which I was told yes. Even after they said yes, I asked them to confirm that it indeed was Dal Makhani (since it is not on their menu) and was again given a yes. When I got home I had Dal Turka which is completely different. It's made with yellow lentils and is very light while Makhani is made with black lentils and is super rich.

                            I think the best Indian around the westside is at Mayura (stick to the Southern food though). For appetizers I like, idly sambar, rasam vada, hot chili baaji and for an entree the appam with kerala fish curry.

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                            Mayura
                            10406 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                            1. re: Dommy

                              respectfully disagree about agra.
                              flavors at agra not complex nor 'bright.'
                              took my friday night dining group to agra and not one member wanted to return. . .
                              imho, the, more limited offerings at samosa house are far superior.

                            2. re: BearCity

                              where did anyone say that any indian place on the west side is 'great?'
                              i fail to see your point, bear city.
                              we are not praising mediocrity because of proximity.
                              most of us live in a world that is constrained by our working hours, our family obligations, the horrible traffic situation, and our budgets.
                              if this were not the case, we probably would find each other in urasawa, providence, sushi zo, melisse, etc. at every meal.
                              the real world, for many of us, means finding the best food at a given price level in a given neighborhood that is available at a specific time.
                              apparently you are not so constrained..
                              may i hitch a ride on your private helicopter?

                            3. re: Dommy

                              I'm enjoying the India Jones truck, too, though I wish he used slightly better meat and occasionally featured saag as a veggie curry.

                              1. re: a_and_w

                                Have you tried their fish curry yet? Out of this world!!

                                http://www.flickr.com/photos/dommichu...

                                --Dommy!

                                1. re: Dommy

                                  I'm not a big seafood curry guy, but I absolutely loved my vegetable korma yesterday. Bright, flavorful, and not too heavy. It was a real revelation.

                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                    Cool! I have yet to try that one! Did you know that every Thursday night they are stationed at Blue Bird Cafe? It's GREAT!! You get tables and the Blue Bird people sell wine and beer! Frankies and Beer are a great combo!

                                    --Dommy!

                                    1. re: Dommy

                                      Is Chef Sumant reading Chowhound? Because the meat in the butter chicken was much improved (large chunks of thigh meat) and he had vegetable saag as the veggie curry yesterday. Delicious! Chef, if you are reading this, one last suggestion -- please offer a spicy cilantro chutney for the kati rolls.

                        2. re: wilafur

                          you couldn't possibly mean the hurry curry on venice blvd?
                          not only is their food insipid, but they absolutely can't/won't include any of the more costly spices.

                          by comparison to samosa house, imho, india sweets and spices stuff is very watery.

                          1. re: westsidegal

                            Which dishes do you usually get at Samosa House? I know they change their offerings constantly, but the only dishes I relatively liked was the aloo gobi and the dahl.

                            Maybe I'm just choosing the wrong dishes. :)

                            1. re: annapurna7

                              they offer several versions of dal. my favorite is the one they make with red beans (it has a pronounced ginger flavor).
                              they have a stir fried curry (as opposed to a stewed type) that they make with fresh peppers that i love
                              i also really like their okra
                              also enjoy their jackfruit.

                              1. re: annapurna7

                                annapurna7,
                                the food at samosa house is not the same as it was.
                                now the food at bawarchi is like the food that i had recommended to you that used to be at samosa house.
                                apparently the samosa house chef left and opened this new restaurant.

                                1. re: westsidegal

                                  Thanks! I'll have to head up there soon.

                              2. re: westsidegal

                                that's my point. hurry curry is average at best with india's sweets and spices being slightly better. kinda shows you how i am ranking samosa house.

                                perhaps i got the wrong items at samosa house (although we got a nice cross section of the offerings), but the items we got were seriously lacking in the flavor department. at least the aforementioned competition have flavorful food.

                                go to udupi palace for vegetarian indian done right.

                                1. re: westsidegal

                                  Does Samosa House (or anyplace in West LA) do a decent samosa chaat?

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                                  Samosa House
                                  11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

                              3. Good points in this post. Samosa House is hit or miss with their seasoning. I don't get the jackfruit...no complexity/spice. No naan. On the plus side, it is fresh, vegetarian, well priced and occasionally very satisfying...which is why I go there at least once a week for lunch (someone tell Skratch to step up their vegetarian options and lower their prices..actually they are already making plenty of money without my help). The three Sweets and Spices I've been to use cheap ingredients and I will never be back.

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                                Skratch Restaurant
                                3867 Hughes Ave, Culver City, CA

                                Samosa House
                                11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: 1newyorkguy

                                  imho, you get plenty for your money at samosa house at their current price levels.
                                  i have absolutely NO complaint about the price/quality ratio nor the price/quantity ratio being offered there.

                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                    I was talking about nearby Skratch being too expensive...not Samosa House. SH's issue is the oft lack of seasoning. I'm looking forward to trying Bawarchi.

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                                    Skratch Restaurant
                                    3867 Hughes Ave, Culver City, CA

                                    Samosa House
                                    11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                        I made it to Bawarchi...we have a new champion. Fantastically seasoned for adult palates. Fresh, well priced, large selection.

                                        1. re: 1newyorkguy

                                          i will try it soon based on your recommendation!

                                          1. re: 1newyorkguy

                                            i made it to Bawarchi today.
                                            the food tastes as good and the flavors taste as bright as they used to at samosa house before "the change."
                                            from now on, i will be going to bawarchi.

                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                              Had lunch at Bawarchi yesterday. Its a nice environment and more importantly the food was delicious. it is a bonus that it doesn't break the bank. The number of options and the lime or orange water are big pluses.

                                              The $8 lunch or dinner plate is a good value. The chick pea and aloo dishes were both very tasty. The sauce on the soy masala was good but I guess I am not a huge soy person.

                                              1. re: Senor Popusa

                                                if you're a fan of okra, their okra (bhindi) is not to be missed

                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                  thanks, all, for the good news. we were big fans of Samosa House, missed getting there on our last annual trip south, and now we'll know where to find the right stuff. we really enjoy the wide variety of moderately priced places in the venice/culver city area.

                                  2. Samosa House is now serving naan..(perhaps from the new competition?) Either way, the naan is really quite excellent and has tilted S.H. back in the lead in my book! If you haven't...definitely check it out...it is sauce dipping-licious.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: 1newyorkguy

                                      we had fresh naan on our visits to Samosa House, going there late morning/mid-day, so that sounds like a resumption rather than introduction; we missed getting there last winter, and these changes being discussed occurred in the interval since we've been there. The one thing I disliked was the styrofoam, and that has changed apparently.

                                      1. re: moto

                                        funny enough, I went to Bawarchi today and it was AWFUL...astringent would be a way to put it...not an adjective that you should have with food. samosa house, I'm sorry I strayed.

                                        1. re: 1newyorkguy

                                          Wow...that sounds awful. What were you eating, and what do you mean by "astringent"? I was really impressed by Bawarchi, which I thought was competitive with veggie Indian places in, say, Curry Hill in NYC.

                                          1. re: a_and_w

                                            Bawarchi CAN be astringent as I alluded to in the comparison thread (I said sharp and thin, but the distinction is a fine one), as it tends to over use mustard oil and mango powder for American tastes. That said Samosa House can over use coconut cream (as a dairy substitute), but richness is more easily forgiven.

                                            The two restaurants are both fine. Good for the westside, and generally good for South/East indian cuisine... but they're really not a patch on the options, to those willing to drive, available in Artesia.

                                            1. re: a_and_w

                                              It probably was an overuse of mustard oil, it was in an item I sampled and in the roasted jalapeno dish I ordered..separately, the daal was strangely bitter and the paneer (with some type of red sauce) was really bland. The salad, bread and rice, as always, were throw aways.