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The new(ish) Gujerati Thali at Samosa House is...

Moomin Jun 13, 2010 07:35 PM

...Actually pretty good.

Well... at least it's much, much, much better than I expected it to be...

I'll preface this by reiterating; I like Samosa House, but it's a pretty pale shadow of Mumbai home cooking, or any good solid Pioneer Blvd. establishment. That said, it's generally as good as we can get on this side of town. Their menu is sort-of Indian-by-way-of-Leicester-if-your-clientelle-was-primarily-vegan. And for all that, it's pretty tasty.

But, they don't tend to come through with anything too terribly authentic or unfamiliar to a Western palate. The chaat can be pretty good, but they don't source anything too unusual anymore (black chhole, sprouted moong dal, karela... and so on, all used to feature more regularly). So, if I wanted a decent Gujerati Thali I would go to Artesia... every time.

But, about a month ago I noticed that there was a new, small, set of steam trays bejing the cashier, and I asked about it. At that time, there was no signage advertising anything new, so I assumed the steam trays weren't hooked up yet...

They were.

I asked what they were for, and the slightly addled cashier said they were going to try out a new Gujerati thali for 8.99. In the interest of variety I ordered one. It took about ten minutes to find somebody who knew how to assemble it for me, then another ten for them to track down and fry the bhatura and warm up the Gajar Halwa.

In the end, what I was served looked, and smelled entirely different than anything I've come to expect from Samosa House. It was distinctly Gujerati. Oily, sweet, salty, and hot. It featured a terrific soup, excelent sprouted daal, two complex, sweet, spicy varieties of shaak, and the aforementioned bhatura and halwa.

Much, much better then expected.

Is it the sort of thing that kills the craving for a trip to Mumbai? No. But it might save you a trip to Artesia.

I've opted for the Gujerati thali three times this month. Each time it was different, and each time it was good... and certainly much more authentic than anything else available on this side of town.

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Samosa House
11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

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    bulavinaka Jun 13, 2010 08:32 PM

    Wow - right over my head on this one... You set a high bar! I'm happy as a jaybird in a berry patch just to be able to get a decent samosa and a mango lassi. :)

    1. SilverlakeGirl Jun 13, 2010 08:53 PM

      You are talking about the one on Washington only, not Culver City?

      1 Reply
      1. re: SilverlakeGirl
        Moomin Jun 14, 2010 05:52 AM

        Only the original location. I think the family's matriach (who's name I've embarassingly never learned) is the one who does all of the cooking for this thali and lately she's been back at the original market.

      2. Peripatetic Jun 16, 2010 01:50 AM

        Great write-up, thanks. As an aside, what are your favorite places in Artesia? I lived in Oxford (UK) for many years and miss the outstanding Indian cuisine. (Oxfordshire was actually bereft of good Indian food, but I was in London often.) I've been meaning to make the journey to Artesia but don't have any clear front runners. I have strong recommendations for Surati Farsan Mart and Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se, but I seem to remember you weren't the biggest advocate of Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se (can't find the thread).

        In addition, I'm also looking for a Southern Indian place that does great dosas and uttapams.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Peripatetic
          Moomin Jul 3, 2010 02:13 PM

          I'm a big fan of Jay Bharat, but Surati Farsan Mart is just as good. Both are vegetarian, primarily chaat. Both have regional thalis, and meal specials, that rotate regularly. Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se is kind of a homestyle hybrid of the above, but not as good. For dosa and uttapam you'd probably do best at either Woodlands, or Udupi Palace... but I'm not a big fan of either. Tirupathi Bhimas also has terrific dosas if you can wrench yourself away from the Andrha Spicy Thali.

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          Tirupathi Bhimas
          18792 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

          Jay Bharat
          18701 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

          Udupi Palace
          18635 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

          Surati Farsan Mart
          11814 186th St, Artesia, CA 90701

          1. re: Moomin
            Peripatetic Jul 4, 2010 07:31 PM

            Thanks for the recs!

            1. re: Moomin
              junglekitte Jul 28, 2010 11:09 AM

              I agree with Moomin! I love Surati Farsan Mart for everything......and Tirupathi Bhimas has great doas! I also LOOOOOOVE Saffron Spot for mawa kulfi. I drive there just to get that, although I usually go to Surati Farsan first and get pani puri, channa masala, and masala cashews too. :P

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              Tirupathi Bhimas
              18792 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

              Surati Farsan Mart
              11814 186th St, Artesia, CA 90701

              Saffron Spot
              18744 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

            2. re: Peripatetic
              s
              suvro Jul 6, 2010 11:58 AM

              I (we) had a terrible experience at Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se - see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6866...

              In terms of Gujarati thalis, you may want to try Rajdhani, also in Artesia. They had the first authentic Gujarati thali concept, where you sit down, and servers go around with pots of individual items, a little like the dim sum concept. Except it is all you can eat for one fixed price. I was not personally impressed by the food, which is purely vegetarian, but others here have liked it.

              For Gujarati and also South Indian fast food, Jay Bharat is excellent, as is Tirupati Bhimas, in my personal opinion. I think they are a class above Woodlands. Have not been to Udupi lately, so can't comment on their food.

              -----
              Tirupathi Bhimas
              18792 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

              Jay Bharat
              18701 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

              Rajdhani
              18525 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

              Woodlands Indian Cuisine
              11833 Artesia Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

              Udupi Palace
              18635 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

              Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se
              17705 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

            3. Moomin Jul 3, 2010 02:06 PM

              ...Gone.

              Not enough interest in more authentic recipes to jutsify the expense and shelf space. Oh well. Artesia it is then.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Moomin
                a
                apple7blue Jul 27, 2010 11:51 PM

                I wish I saw this earlier, because I would have tried it.

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