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Sep 12, 2012 10:50 PM

Zam Zam now has normal hours

Drove by Zam Zam on my way home today and was shocked to find the door wide open and the open sign actually lit up (more surprising since I don't think it's lit even when they are open). Turns out starting this week they're now open all day (I think 11-9) seven days a week. They had a menu of about 10 options most of which I have never seen in my many other trips there. Tried to lamb korma, which like so much there was very, very good.

While I was getting used to the "what's the chance its open?" guessing game, its nice to have a more consistent chance at getting my biryani fix

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  1. RIGHT AFTER I MOVE. unbelievable. But great news. My favorite place in LA, best biryani I've ever had, mutton biryani being my favorite plate of food ever.

    Now that they have curry... damn... I guess that means the "westside indian??" threads are done?

        1. Tis True! Tis True! Went there to pick up dinner today and was happy to find them busy cooking.

          They have a white board with several dishes on them, but they only had Chicken Biryani, Chicken Tika and Chicken or Beef Kabobs availble when I went this evening. So if you have your heart set on a particular dish, call before hand.

          We got the chicken biyrani which was wonderful. It was full of chicken which was tender and flavorful. We also got the beef kabob, finely ground beef again, wonderfully spiced, not the slightest bit dry. I was shocked that the items came out so quickly (Like I didn't even have a chance to take out my knitting!) and that both dishes cost just $12 (The Biryani was enough for 2 with some left over!). I picked up some veggies at Samosa house up the street (although next time I might swing over Taras) and we had quite the feast! This place along with Kabob Grill, Tara's and Jasmine makes Culver city a truely great place to eat.


          3 Replies
          1. re: Dommy

            Was the chicken in the chicken biryani boneless or did it have bones? How spicy? And did they just make it or did they ask you for a spiciness level?

            1. re: nosh

              Good questions... There was a good part of a chicken in the portion I received. Everything. bits of thigh, leg, breast, even back all with bones. It gave the Biryani a great flavor and made it seem more like Paella than fried rice.

              Now, as i memtioned the items came out immediately, so they don't really customize orders (which is another reason prices are so low) however, while it did come out well spiced, it was not spicy. What it did come with was a giant hot pepper which when chopped up delivered quite a punch of heat. So it's the ultimate in customization... at home.


              1. re: nosh

                Biryani is made in one big pot, the chicken/mutton and rice cooked together. So they're making like 20+ orders all together, and therefore you can't customize. Usually you get a few good hunks of meat, a chunk of potato and hopefully a chili or two in there, but it's somewhat up in the air. Spiciness can be adjusted by using more/less of their green chutney, which is out of this world.

                Any place you can point at a menu and say "I want that biryani" and it's ready for you in 20 minutes is going to give you a bullshit biryani. The reason ZZ gets so much love is because they do biryani the way it's meant to be done. And good luck finding better unless you want to fly to Pakistan.

                As far as bones go... yeah there's bones. And whole spices. And about 80 other things that'll break your teeth or give you an unwelcome blast of spice if you're not careful. *try biting into a whole black cardamom pod... no fun. Take care when eating. Be glad those spices are in there though, they're what makes the whole thing so good.

            2. I just tried Zam Zam and was blown away. It was as full-bodied and possibly as spicy (depending on the dish) as Al Watan. Perhaps I'm partial to the cuisine-but they do seem to do it right. Can't wait to go through the menu. To bolster my own credibility,can I mention that I usually agree with Westside Gal? One warning though-- not quite what you'd call a normal "date place." Very casual and not very polished-- almost like a catering kitchen/take-out place. But I think that adds character. Homey, if you can relate.

              2 Replies
              1. re: longtimehere

                They do don't right! I've never been a fan of Al Watan & Al Noor because although they have wonderful flavors, I've found their dishes needlessly heavy. Zam Zam however remained not only true to the flavor, but also true to the ingredients everything from the tender chicken to the blistered hot pepper to the grain of perfectly cooked rice. Someone is paying attention in that kitchen!!



                1. re: longtimehere

                  Partial to the cuisine or not, ZZ is a place that will blow you away. I spent 6+ years eating around LA, trying food from every corner of the globe at every hole in the wall my extensive research brought me to.

                  Zam Zam's mutton biryani was my favorite plate of food in the city. I used to walk down the street for it... now I drive up from Irvine for it.

                  If you live in LA and never try this place, you're a fool. End of story.