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Jun 11, 2013 01:03 PM

Great Indian Food

Dear LA Hounds,

I have a close friend who since moving away from East Coast has not come across a good Indian Restaurant in LA.

He lives in the Larchmont Village / Koreatown area but is willing to travel a bit for a good Indian meal.

Can you please pass on some recommendations my way and I will pass them on to him.

Thanks in advance

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  1. If he really doesn't mind traveling a bit, tell him to look into Artesia, down near Orange County!

    1. zam zam market

      it's a Pakistani place. Their saturday special lamb biryani is my favorite thing to eat in LA

      11 Replies
      1. re: BrewNChow

        cant stress enough how mind blowing this place is. Doubt there's better to be had east coast or anywhere. Their chicken tikka/tandoori too.... wow

        1. re: BrewNChow

          This is definitely NOT hyderabad biryani though, so to anyone looking for that style of biryani don't go to zam zam.

          1. re: ns1

            Good point. IMO the Pakistani version kicks the Hyderabadi version's ass but that's just me

            And I would say if you're looking for a good biryani and strongly prefer the hyderabadi version, I would still strongly encourage a trip to zam zam. Do try and go on saturday though, the lamb version is way better than the chicken. the chicken gets a bit dry and just isn't that great, even though the rest is still awesome.

            1. re: BrewNChow

              "Good point. IMO the Pakistani version kicks the Hyderabadi version's ass but that's just me"

              TBH I went to Hyderabad last year and I'm still looking to find a Hyderabadi biryani that tastes as good as the one I got at the Inorbit Mall....THE FREAKING MALL.

              and the biryani I got at the Inorbit Mall in Hyderabad certainly kicked Zam Zam's ass. but that's just IMO :)

              1. re: ns1

                ns1 - have you tried the biryani (not sure what version they do) at Bhanu? It seems that someone from each table orders it every time I am there. However, I have not had it.

                1. re: WildSwede

                  Yes, and dear holy mother of god it was awful.

                  Stick to butter chicken/pani puri/dosas/whatever else they got.

                  I was sooooooooo excited to try out Bhanu based on reviews and was sorely let down by the biryani. It's not hyderabadi biryani and didn't look or taste like pakistani biryani.

                  1. re: ns1

                    Okay, thanks. Like I said, I have not had it but have seen Indian people in there order it so I thought I would ask. I got my answer! ;-)

                    1. re: WildSwede

                      I'm going to Mumbai next week, so I'll definitely have something to gauge LA indian food against :)

                      1. re: ns1

                        as I'm sitting here in my hotel room in Mumbai, I gotta say: biryani in LA sucks ass. I won't even consider zam zam acceptable anymore, but maybe I just prefer hyderabad style biryani vs pakistani style biryani.

                        it's gotta be the fried onions and kaffir limes that do it for me. Of course, it's also probably the hours upon hours of care that is required.

                        1. re: ns1

                          indian food better in india shocker. alert the media.

                2. re: ns1

                  I like that green chili yogurt they use and the spices better,

        2. My favorite is Rajdhani in Artesia. They serve Thali - AYCE. Vegetarian, delicious. Different from the North Indian food you find all over the place - this is from the Guajarat region.

          There are other places in Artesia which are good, but I always go to Rajdhani. I also like getting snacks (Bhel Puri especially) from Surati.

          I also like Bhanu Market in Pasadena. They do a very good butter chicken Thali and I like their Dosas. Nothing fancy - part of the store is a market and one side is a restaurant, but the food is good.

          2 Replies
          1. re: WildSwede

            Big heart second to Rajdhani. Even my very meat eating husband doesn't miss it here as the food is so good. The OP said his friend was willing to drive so I say go for it.

          2. I don't know what places he has tried and found wanting, and I know this will draw much static from more particular palates, but there's at least ACCEPTABLE Indian food to be found much closer than Artesia.. The successor to one of the oldest Indian restaurants in Los Angeles, India's Oven, is on Beverly, so it's just barely more than walking distance from Larchmont. While not at all revelatory or innovative, it's been VERY consistent for 20+ years.

            There's Paru, on Sunset in Hollywood, for old-style vegetarian "hippie" Indian; don't be put off by the outside of the building!

            At the low-cost end, there's India's Sweets and Spices, on Los Feliz, which has good dosa, but, like Bhanu, no ambiance.

            There's three-four places in the Culver City/Venice/Motor Ave. area which are also pretty good to good.

            And then there's the Pakistani tandoori place in Hawthorne, the name of which escapes me, but which J. Gold opined has some of the best tandoori to be had in So Cal...

            10 Replies
            1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

              "There's Paru, on Sunset in Hollywood, for old-style vegetarian "hippie" Indian; don't be put off by the outside of the building!"

              Anyone got any additional details on Paru? Yelp is hit or miss. I'm looking for a great masala dosa

              "At the low-cost end, there's India's Sweets and Spices, on Los Feliz, which has good dosa, but, like Bhanu, no ambiance."

              The dosa is okay, the pani puri is barely acceptable but good enough cuz I'm desparate.

              "There's three-four places in the Culver City/Venice/Motor Ave. area which are also pretty good to good."

              I thought the masala dosa (special) at Samosa House was terrible. Pani Puri/Samosas much better.

              1. re: ns1

                I would go to bawarchi (which has its own flaws) 100 times before I'd go to Samosa House. And I'd go to Samosa House 100 times before I'd go to India Sweets and Spices.

                1. re: BrewNChow

                  ISS is literally the only place within 20 miles that has pani puri. I sad :(

                  1. re: ns1

                    I honestly think Samosa House is getting better under this new chef.

                    1. re: Moomin

                      Which samosa house and how long has it been?

                      1. re: ns1

                        samosa house pani puri reminds me of the pani puri I had this week in mumbai.

              2. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                India's Oven is actually pretty lame. Consistently lame, but still pretty lame.

                Paru is exactly as you describe, more "hippie" than "Indian."

                India's Sweets and Spices is way better for sweets than savories.

                In Culver City you've got Mayura, which is fine for Keralan food, Bawarchi, which is fine, Samosa House, which has a new chef and expanded menu and is good, Zam Zam, which is good for Pakistani, Annapurna, which is just okay... and a number of other places that are pretty bad.

                The place in Hawthorne is Al Watan, and it is very good for Pakistani, but Zam Zam is just as good and closer.

                Then there's Artesia, which brim-eth over with brilliant options. Jay Bharat, Sutrati Farsan Mart, Rajdhani, New Bhimas, Udupi Palace, Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se, Rasraj, Saffron Spot, Ambala Sweets and Spices, Bombay Sweets and Spices, Sukhadia's, The India Restaurant, Standard Sweets & Snacks, Haveli India Cuisine, Ambala Dhaba, and at least 10-20 others...

                I'd go to Artesia if the drive is not unreasonable for him.

                1. re: Moomin

                  As I said, I expected static. As gringo-ized as India's Oven may be, the level of commitment one has to make to "travelling for dinner" is going to differ if the choice is driving (or bicycling; that's how close they are to Larchmont!) a mile or so, or driving all the way to Artesia and back, on a weekday, at dinner time.

                  1. re: Moomin

                    When I use to live in Hermosa Beach I did a side by side with Al Watan and Al Noor, both on Inglewood in Hawthorne, and found Al Noor just hair better than Al Watan.

                    Both are great options though

                    1. re: Veggietales

                      "...just hair better..."

                      Probably one of those expressions best not used with restaurant/food comparisons... (g)

                2. I won't pretend to "know" anything about Indian food, but I've enjoyed Makkah, which is in Koreatown/Little Bangladesh:

                  The food's great, but I can't recommend ordering delivery, which has consistently turned into an hours-long comedy of errors.