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Best Chaat in Little India?

Yes, yes, I realize there have been many discussions (I've pored over the threads), but is there any consensus as to who has the best chaat?...

...or does it vary from item to item? If so, please toss out the specific nominees, though I'm most interested in who has the best in general.

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  1. Can't say I have done a comprehensive survey, but our go to place would be Jay Bharat, and Surati Farsan Mart for things Surati!

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    Jay Bharat
    18701 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

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

    14 Replies
    1. re: suvro

      Jay Bharat, and Surati Farsan Mart are the best, I'd go in that order because Jay Bharat is less overwhelming... and just provides a more refined seeming product.

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      Jay Bharat
      18701 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

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

      1. re: Moomin

        suvro, Moomin...thanks, those are exactly the two places I've heard the most about. Would Surati Farsan Mart be the closest to authentic street food?

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

        1. re: JThur01

          Keep in mind that different regions of India make chaat differently. Chaat is just a generic term for those types of snacks. But there's bhel puri, pani puri, dahi puri, etc. Different types of chaats. Surati is a Gujarati place. Ambala Snacks is a Punjabi place. I'm not a big fan of Jay Bharat, but I believe that is also Gujarati. Being Punjabi, I prefer the chaat at Ambala, but I think Surati makes really good dhokla and other gujrati specialities.

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          Jay Bharat
          18701 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

          1. re: boogiebaby

            The Bhel Puri at Surati is fantastic. I like all their Chaat. BTW, the Kaman (my favorite!) at the place on the corner (Pioneer and 186th) is much better than Surati's and their Chaat is also very good.

            1. re: boogiebaby

              That's a very good point. While interested in general, is there any place that has the chaat one might find on the streets of Mumbai?

              Thanks for all the suggestions, Ambala is another I've heard recommended.

              1. re: JThur01

                My friend who is from Gujarat shops at Surati (she lives in Cerritos and does all her shopping in Little India), but has since tried (and likes very much) the place I mentioned above (cannot remember name, maybe something like India Sweets or something) based on my rec. They have different flavors of Chaat (named African, etc) that I find very good. I will ask her about the street food question and see what she says.

                On another note, if you want a great Thali, try Rajdhani which is kitty corner from the place I mentioned and upstairs. All you can eat delicious vegetarian food! It is my idea of heaven - all you can drink Lassi and all you can eat Kaman with green chutney! What more can you ask for??!! ;-)

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                Rajdhani
                18525 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                1. re: JThur01

                  Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se (From the Streets of Mumbai) has more of these types of snacks - Pav Bhaji, Dabeli, etc. Though it is more of a sit-down place than walk up to the counter and order place.

                  Having said that, our first and only visit was SO hugely negative, I personally will never go there again - see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/686649.
                  YMMV.

                  I am the biggest fan of Ambala, but I would not go there specifically for their chaats - they do lamb, goat, and the Punjabi rotis the best, while their chaats are OK, but not the reason to go there.

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

                  1. re: suvro

                    There's a restaurant called Ambala Dhaba and a restaurant called Ambala Sweets and Snacks. I think you're referring to the former and boogiebaby is referring to the latter.

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                    Ambala Sweets
                    18433 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                    1. re: sushigirlie

                      Sorry about the mixup. Indeed the chaat place is Ambala Sweets. In my opinion, Jay Bharat is better than Ambala Sweets.

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                      Jay Bharat
                      18701 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                      Ambala Sweets
                      18433 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                2. re: boogiebaby

                  I 'd probably go with Surati but all the choices are good ones IMO. I agree the dhokla (chickpea flour cakes) at Surati are good, but I like the khandvi (chickpea flour rolls) even better. I think Ambala Sweets and Snacks is great but the dining area is spartan to say the least. Surati seems a bit more clean and modern.

                  1. re: boogiebaby

                    I haven't been to the Artesia location of Surati Farsan Mart, but I just posted on the Khasta Kachori chaat at the San Diego branch. Loved it. I read somewhere that this dish is Rajasthani in origin. Here's the post with a couple photo links.
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5407...

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

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      We had the dahi papri at Jay Bharat two weekends back, and it was absolutely fantastic. Small pani puri puffs, filled with yogurt, sweet tamarind sauce, and topped with boiled potatoes, sev, cilantro, and ground roasted cumin-red pepper combo!

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                      Jay Bharat
                      18701 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                  2. re: JThur01

                    Yes. Jay Bharat is more refined than what you'd see on the street in Mumbai. It is Gujarati, but they've created a preparation and service model that is pretty upscale. Of course I think that the product is fantastic (and their thalis can also be fantastic, but nobody talks about them).

                    Surati Farsan Mart is excellent, just a step less user friendly, and the menu is longer and more complex. It too is better (cleaner, fresher, brighter) than most of what you'd see in Mumbai.

                    Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se tries to provide "genuine" street food. But it isn't very good; either as "the real thing" or as a general statement of quality.

                    Ambala Sweets and Snacks is fine, much more "street," but less bright tasting, or fresh tasting, and they can go a bit overboard with the yogurt... so any dahi items tend to be a plate of yogurt soup with chaat floating in it.

                    If I'd never had chaat before I'd get Dahi Puri at Jay Bharat, eat it, and then walk over and order Bhel Puri at Surati Farsan Mart... and I'd dine in confidence that I was experiencing the best of both.

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                    Jay Bharat
                    18701 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

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

                    Ambala Sweets
                    18433 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

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

                    1. re: Moomin

                      Thanks all for the recs and details. I appreciate it. I've actually had some types of chaat before (bhelpuri, sev puri), but am looking to explore more deeply.