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Woodlands open again on Pioneer Boulevard, Artesia

f
FoodObsessive Aug 22, 2013 06:08 PM

I saw the Grand Opening banner next to the old sign - this South Indian place close to the 91 Freeway closed for several years after a kitchen fire. I stopped in for the buffet which includes dosas and was quite impressed. The restaurant has been remodeled and looks very nice, and there is a small bar in one corner. Prices are moderate - the vegetarian buffet had about fifteen items and with a salty lassi the price was only twelve bucks. If you enjoy vegetarian Indian food, this is a destination - the chef is from Kerala and creates very flavorful food that is not highly spiced.

11833 Pioneer Boulevard, in northeast corner of shopping center.
Website at woodlandsartesia.net

  1. f
    FED Nov 12, 2013 12:01 PM

    have been to woodlands twice in the last week. first for saturday lunch -- buffet table set up, but LOTS of choices and really good quality. second for a sunday dinner (following weekend). took a friend who is very knowledgeable about so indian vegetarian cooking and he was happy, with only slight reservations. good, but not great. of course, a huge dinner for four with beer, wine and cocktails and a wide and varied sampling and a big tip was $130. i understand that they will be changing direction slightly in the next month or two and adding some meat dishes.

    3 Replies
    1. re: FED
      f
      FoodObsessive Nov 13, 2013 11:09 PM

      Meat dishes at Woodlands??????? You sure? I'm an enthusiastic omnivore but appreciate the authenticity of their Hindu South Indian concept. Eating meat there would be weird.

      1. re: FoodObsessive
        f
        FED Nov 14, 2013 12:48 PM

        yeah, i'm positive. from the manager's mouth. he said the owner's reasoning was that there are so many places where vegetarians can eat now that being a purely vegetarian resteaurant doesn't offer the same draw. personally, i'll stick with the uttapams and batturas. who needs another chicken tikka?

        1. re: FED
          s
          suvro Nov 14, 2013 04:47 PM

          There are several places now in Little India that offer very good vegetarian meals - Bhimas, Surti Farsan, and Jay Bharat would be my choices, and Rajdhani for some.

          What is the new Woodland's USP? It is a little off the main area where most Indians go for grocery and jewelry shopping. So for most of us shoppers (the main clientele base) to make the schlep, it has to offer something more!

    2. TonyC Aug 23, 2013 11:34 AM

      Is there like.. an Ashoka faction, and a Woodlands faction on the board? If both are serving "generic" Indian food, why wouldn't one hit up Ashoka/The India, instead?

      7 Replies
      1. re: TonyC
        f
        FoodObsessive Aug 23, 2013 06:23 PM

        Well, Ashoka is North Indian style and meat-heavy, while Woodlands is vegetarian South Indian, so the two have almost nothing in common...

        1. re: FoodObsessive
          TonyC Aug 23, 2013 09:21 PM

          Commonality: Indian buffet on Pioneer Blvd. 1/2 mi away from either other.

          And if one wanted South Indian vegetarian, why not just Rajdhani?

          Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Woodlands reopened, especially because that corner of Pioneer/Artesia is rather disgusting (Magic Wok, Del Taco), but please expound, for the uninitiated (and I've been before they closed), what Woodland holds beyond the new decor.

          1. re: TonyC
            f
            FoodObsessive Aug 23, 2013 10:10 PM

            I have been to Rajdhani twice and had a good experience one time, extremely slow service the other. The uttapams at Woodlands were excellent, and I'm looking forward to having them again. I also like their dosas, and everything else I tried on this visit. I will be back to try more than just the buffet to see if they're still on their game in the evening, but for now I'm happy that a good place convenient to the freeway is back.

            1. re: TonyC
              s
              suvro Aug 23, 2013 11:22 PM

              I have been to Rajdhani only once (reason below), but I think their concept is the western state of Gujarat's thali - rather than south Indian.

              Contrary to others experience, we found Rajdhani's cooking unappealing. Perhaps it was because we had such an excellent thali dinner in Ahmedabad, Gujarat's capital, some years earlier, or perhaps it was the excessive use of sugar in all their dishes, or perhaps it was the same muddy textures in all their vegetables, but we have not been back since.

              I am open to being persuaded otherwise.

              1. re: suvro
                k
                Kalivs Aug 24, 2013 12:29 AM

                I think I remember Rajdhani being Gujurati, too. While There may be the same dishes in both restaurants, I'm not sure they would taste the same. Woodlands is the name of a famous South Indian restaurant in Delhi which is probably named after a famous restaurant in South India. The spices in South India are different and I think fermented rice and lentils are much more prevalent. I don't usually have the buffet because the food is spiced to what the majority of the customers prefer & I like to think that my food hasn't sat there for a couple of hours. If you haven't had any South Indian food, then I think a dosa or uttapum combo would be a unique experience. Artesia has the highest concentration of Indian clothing, jewelry & grocery stores in the Los Angeles area which is why Pioneer Blvd. can have more than one kind of veg restaurant.

                1. re: Kalivs
                  TonyC Aug 25, 2013 10:15 PM

                  appreciate the correction suvro/Kalivs,

                  will pay Woodlands a grand re-opening re-visit shortly. I kinda really enjoy Rajdhani, poopy textured veggies and all.

                  1. re: TonyC
                    k
                    Kalivs Aug 29, 2013 01:51 AM

                    If you are ever in the valley, there is another Woodlands on topanga Cyn (not related) and further down there is valley India cafe which has veg & non veg food. I like. The dosas their the best. They are not as greasy.

        2. f
          FED Aug 23, 2013 11:14 AM

          oh frabjous day! i loved that place. will revisit shortly.

          1. s
            suvro Aug 22, 2013 07:43 PM

            Hmmm....
            We were sorry when Woodlands closed. We used to go there on occasion - like our college alumni and alumni association meetings, and had them cater for our daughter's debut solo dance performance.

            When you mentioned the chef is from Kerala, I was hoping he would put on some Kerala specialties, but it seems the new menu is similar to the old menu, and all the standard fare that is available at other Little India restaurants.

            Woodlands was not going to serve non-vegetarian, but Kerala's non-vegetarian cuisine (primarily practiced by the Kerala Christians) is one of the regional specialties that are doing very well in India today.

            Here is an article from 2011 that has a couple of recipes also: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1110724/jsp/graphiti/story_14279147.jsp

            And here is an article from 2012 which is more a food ethnographic tour of Kerala: http://www.outlookindia.com/article.a...

            1 Reply
            1. re: suvro
              f
              FoodObsessive Aug 22, 2013 08:31 PM

              The Outlook India article has beautiful writing, but entirely about fish, which is not served at this vegetarian restaurant. I have only visited Woodlands once since they reopened and have only had the buffet so far - my posting was based only on what they served then.

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