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Indian Lunch close to Westwood Village

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Meeting for lunch with someone who likes Mexican or Indian and picking him up at UCLA. He doesn't eat red meat.

For Mexican, I'd go to Tacos Por Favor, the newer location on Olympic at Bundy. I think their hot sauce is the best on the westside, I like their al pastor or carnitas well enough, and I'd guide him to the tostadas or similar dishes.

For Indian, I pretty much draw a blank. There is a place on Gayley next to Thai House, Bombay something? Any good? Do they do a lunch buffet or have lunch specials? There are a couple of places along Westwood Blvd. between Wilshire and Santa Monica Blvd. and also just south of Santa Monica Blvd. that do lunch buffets for $9.95 or so. Are any really good or appreciably better than the others? Why? I like spicy, but not sure about my guest.

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    1. re: Servorg

      The Indias Oven wilshire in in that office building on the N/W corner of wilshire and federal. Their website does not even mention the one on Westwood Blvd. That one (who would ever imagine saying a place on Westwood south of Wilshire would have EASIER accessibility) does appear to offer a lunch buffet and some specials.

      Anyone tried the lunch buffet here? Or other recommended dishes?

      1. re: nosh

        We've been to both (although not for lunch at either and I've never had the buffet at either place consequently) and I thought the Wilshire location was better, but not by a factor large enough to make a difference if the parking situation is easier (if that's what you meant by "accessibility"?) at one over the other. The one issue that made me guide you toward the Wilshire location was that the owner's children at the Westwood Blvd. location, or possibly grandchildren, were there a couple of different nights when we dined there, and they had the television up too loud for my liking.

        1. re: Servorg

          I think they are both independently owned. I'm Indian and I only order from India's oven on Wilshire. I even have them cater parties. It's my go to for Indian hands down. Skip the buffet and ask them to make it Indian style, if you can handle the heat!

    2. Is Ambala Dhaba still around? It was the Westwood branch of an Artesia place.

      Mr Taster

      2 Replies
      1. re: Mr Taster

        No. They closed the Westwood branch sometime ago. The owner said the business was slow there. He is having trouble keeping his Artesia location going.

        1. re: suvro

          Oh that's too bad. I always had a soft spot for that place as it was the first place I ever ate goat. This was in my pre-Chowhound days when I had only been in LA for a few years, and everything was new and shiny, and everything felt like some new discovery. Ah, to be in my mid-twenties again.

          Mr Taster

      2. The place in Westwood Village was Bombay Bite but is now Bollywood Bites. I have not gone there since the name change (not sure if new operation or not), but they didn't have a lunch buffet before - only lunch specials.

        If you are already thinking of going to Tacos Por Favor for Mexican, you might consider Bombay Cafe on Pico or Nawab on Wilshire. I don't recall if these places do a lunch buffet though since we have usually done dinner at these restaurants. Indian food has always been a head-scratcher for us on the Westside though.

        1 Reply
        1. re: thranduil

          I took a look at the Bollywood Bites website -- http://thebollywoodbites.com/ -- and also looked it up on Yelp (gasp) where it seemed all of the replies were for the food truck. They have some lunch options for less than $10 and it is certainly geographically convenient. But the star oriented website and presentation are off-putting and I really don't want to be suckered.

          C'mon UCLA folks, someone must have eaten there recently. Can you recommend, and say which dishes to order, or did you take one for the team?

          1. re: jaykayen

            Second this rec. Absolutely the best Indian food on the West side - daily buffet has different dishes each day and is in the 10.95 region or thereabouts. Nice service - parking in a city lot across the street opposite.

          2. I work near UCLA campus and drive to India's Oven on Westwood. They have a decent, all-you-can eat buffet.

            It's next door to Starbucks, just south of Santa Monica. Parking lot in the back.

            6 Replies
            1. re: PaulF

              I read that India's Oven on Westwood not only has a lunch buffet but has lunch special combos (with sides I can't interpret, though I know what naan is) for under $10. Is tandoori checken part of the buffet? What other good mains and sides have you seen on it? Any recommended dishes?

              1. re: nosh

                The lunch buffet varies from day to day but there are a few regular staples.

                There is tandoori chicken every day, along with chicken tikka masala. There is almost always saag though they do vary the green vegetable. There are typically at least three vegetable dishes, including dal and usually a mixed vegetable dish and I see aloo gobi a lot as well. There is a dessert and rice of course, along with a green salad. It comes with naan. There are usually these potato cakes (little disks of potato -- they aren't little samosas).

                It's all you can eat, of course.

                The only time I don't get the buffet is when I have a hankering for a non-buffet item like shrimp, lamb or fish.

                1. re: PaulF

                  Thank you. Your description is very helpful. If I don't get there for this meet-up, I can see working it in for my gluttonous lunch rotation.

                  1. re: nosh

                    If you keep your expectations reasonable, it's a darn good lunch at a fair price served in a pleasant place.

                  2. re: PaulF

                    Is the tandoori chicken as dry as it typically is?

                    Mr Taster

                    1. re: Mr Taster

                      It's not the most awesome dish I've ever eaten, but it's definitely not dry.

                      It's good, but not great.

                      This is an under ten dollar all you can eat buffet. It's good, really good for the money. But it's not sublime.