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May 27, 2011 09:10 PM

Help! TANTRA or ELECTRIC KARMA for good Indian food + nice atmosphere?

Hi Chowhounders,

I'm catching up with an out-of-town friend, and we both love Indian food.

I was wondering which place might be better overall: TANTRA in Silverlake or Electric Karma in WeHo?

Thanks for your help!

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    1. re: Liquid Sky

      I tried Tantra years ago not too long after they opened (I think) and my impressions were that what Koi is to a Japanese cuisine experience, Tantra was vaguely similar in that vein. Food is approachable to the Indian food novice (that's me) but it won't impress anyone familiar or intimate with the cuisine. The atmosphere is geared toward young folks - it' somewhat dark in there as I recall.

      1. re: bulavinaka

        Thanks, bulavinaka! I'm not looking for anything really sophisticated, Indian food-wise. Just respectable... tasty!

    2. I always kind of liked Tantra, but I live near it and it looks like it's boarded up. Over the past couple of years they've also been changing their food around quite a bit - at one point it was sort of Indian-Italian or something like that. I'd give them a call and make sure that they are actually still open, and also check what their menu is before going over there.

      4 Replies
      1. re: estone888

        Indian-Italian??!!! That sounds kind of scary! Thanks for the head's up! Yeah, I heard they've been doing some renovations recently.

        No word on ELECTRIC KARMA?

        1. re: Liquid Sky

          Amongst the Indian community, if you asked most foodies or non-foodie LA area residents, NO one would recommend Tantra or Electric Karma for Indian food. It would be the equivalent of Pei-Wei for Chinese cuisine.

          There are many Indian restaurants that are worth the visit, depending on sub-cuisine and driving distances, but these two would not be in anyone's list.

          1. re: suvro

            As suvro states, none of the above.

            1. re: carter

              Thanks! I'm not actually looking for "gourmet Indian food" or even "super-authentic Indian food". I'm looking for "good-enough Indian food" in a pleasant environment.

              Not wanting to drive all the way into Artesia, for instance.

              It sounds like either place will fit the bill. Also heard that "Tantra" now features live music every night, so that will be interesting.

      2. Electric Karma would probably fit the bill--it has a lovely patio, Indian music and flavorful food. Yeah, it offends the Chow standard of orthodoxy, and it wouldn't win a toss-up for authentic food with any restaurant in Artesia, but on the other hand if you are on W 3rd Street, it is a long drive to Artesia and an even longer one back. My S.O. and I have eaten there a few times when looking for relaxed atmosphere, decent food, a break from Mex/Ital/Cal/Thai, within walking distance from where we live (so a pretty low threshold of choice). And, as I recall, a place you can linger.

        Electric Karma
        8222 1/2 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048

        2 Replies
        1. re: coffeebrownies

          Thanks, coffeebrownies! Do they play live music at "Electric Karma"? I also read that they have low tables where you sit on pillows. I'm definitely not about "Indian-food orthodoxy". If I can get a decent chicken tikka masala and saag bhaji in a cool setting, I'm set for the night. Thanks!!!

          1. re: Liquid Sky

            Don't know about music--but I think it sounds like the kind of place you are looking for--best of its kind in the immediate neighborhood.

        2. Tantra is still around and they too have live music - I know for sure on Mon.eve's from 6-9P as my friend plays the tablas, the drums that accompany the sitar. I've never eaten there but, will on Monday so, I can report back.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Kitchen Queen

            Thanks, Queen! That sounds really cool.

            1. re: Liquid Sky

              Went to Tantra last night. They are remodeling. Looks nice inside however, dark. I also found the gy-normus T.V/projector screen rather toxic but, that can be ignored. A little noisy too. (Group behind us with a bit too much to drink)

              The food: acceptable. My friend and I shared roasted eggplant in a coconut sauce (Gluten and dairy free)- the best dish -very delish, roasted cauliflower and potato, yellow daal. saffron rice. She also had garlic naan and raita. She didn't care much for the raita as it was too sweet, of all things... But overall, acceptable. AND, my friend is married to an Indian native and knows well about such foods. My musical friends, John and William play classical Indian music on the sitar and tablas respectably (Mo nights). They are an awesome team. John's sitar playing is amazing. I would recommend this for "acceptable" Indian cuisine. The staff as well, kind, attentive and VERY understanding of my food sensitivities. One can eat there gluten and dairy free as well as vegan or vegetarian. :) (Not Artesia but ok to go)

              3705 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

              1. re: Kitchen Queen

                Thanks, KQ! They don't keep the large TV/projector on all night, do they? Having tv screens in restaurants is a pet peeve of mine... can't stand it.

                Otherwise, the music part sounds good.

                1. re: Kitchen Queen

                  I agree that the food is acceptable and the atmosphere is nice.