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May 28, 2014 01:58 PM

obscure indian foods

I was browsing this list and am realizing I haven't had the vast majority of these:

Anywhere in Artesia or wherever to find these?

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  1. Khandvi and Makki Di Roti/Saag aren't obscure. You can get Khandvi at some indian markets that carry Gujrati snacks. I like the version at Surati Farsan Market in Artesia. Makki Di Roti and Saag can be found in some restaurants that specialize in Punjabi food. Ambala Sweets/Dhaba in Artesia has it on the weekends sometimes. I've also seen it sometimes at Indian Sweets and Spices. Pretty much every Punjabi household makes this, but saag tends to be more of a winter type food.

    As for the others, I'm Indian, and I've never heard nor tried most of these either. I would think they are more homestyle dishes, not restaurant dishes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: boogiebaby

      Yeah, I've had both of them. Punjabi and Gujarati food is reasonably well represented in LA, so that probably factors into it. Do you know any region-specific restaurants that might be off the radar?

      1. re: j_gordon

        I do not. I don't think there are many restaurants in general that specialize in the obscure regions of India. Even travelling around India, I don't recall seeing restaurants specializing in most of these regional cuisines. I've seen the oddball Mangalorean Chicken Curry or Goan Pork Vindaloo here and there, but that's about it. Someone else may know more though.

    2. Why in the name of FSM does Los Angeles (not Artesia) not have a more vibrant Indian restaurant scene? Hell, we don't even have a Sri Lankan restaurant, though I remember the Sri Lankan Curry House on Highland and Fountain (ca. 1988 or so) *more* than fondly.

      Unless Indians aren't overly fond of Los Angeles for some reason, there's a major opportunity here for some really good Indian entrepreneurs.

      And while we're wishing, much as I adore Chris at Papa Cristo's, I'd love to see a few more gyros-on-spit authentic (Chicagoesque) Greek places, too...!

      9 Replies
        1. re: j_gordon

          Eaten at Apey Kade many times and can recommend the lunch and dinner buffets as well as the made to order "short eats." Also like their frozen lunch "rice and curry" and lamprais packets wrapped in banana leaves. Their facebook page will tell you when they have special menus for holidays like Memorial Day:

          Sri Lankan friends in Northridge recently recommended "Baja Subs Market and Deli" in Northridge for Sri Lankan food as well:

          1. re: d_doubleyew

            Thanks for the recs, you two. My problem is that I rarely make it into the Valley...I'm in Eagle Rock and working a lot (nightshift to boot), so it'd be great if there was something a little closer.

            But some holiday weekend or other, I'll make the trip...sounds nummy!

        2. re: annagranfors

          There is nothing authentically Greek about that style of gyro, i.e., the preformed frozen cone of processed meat. Gyros in Greece use unprocessed meat, sort of like Mexican al pastor style

          1. re: Ernie

            Yep, I know...which is why I added the parenthetical "Chicagoesque". I'm not sure I ever had gyros in the midwest that *weren't* the vertical cone variety...and I miss them dearly.

            1. re: annagranfors

              George's Greek offer that processed gyro style, as do most self-billed "Greek" places in Los Angeles

              1. re: Ernie

                Thanks for the info, George...I guess I'm probably being overly picky. I used to live in Ann Arbor, MI, and the (sadly defunct) Parthenon there is the role model for what I'm looking for. Not that I have anything against falafel, shawirma, or hummus, but the Parthenon was Americanized (Chicagoesque) Greek and nothing but. Pastitsio, spanakopita, and other Greek specialties, but more than anything, the best gyros sandwich I ever had.

                Perhaps it's just a memory from long ago that I'll never find any substitute for. But god, I'd love to find a place like them out here.

                And this is getting really off-topic–maybe I'll open a thread elsewhere so as not to step on the OP's toes.

                1. re: annagranfors

                  If you are ever in the San Gabriel Valley, give the gyros at Pharo's Burgers in Alhambra a try. They are Greek-owned and make a good version of the Americanized gyro

                  1. re: Ernie

                    Yikes...first of all, my apologies for calling you "George", was a *long* day.

                    And thanks for the info...Pharo's is relatively close to me. I've eaten at the sushi place (the name's escaping me) kitty-corner to them a few times, and often wondered about them. And they seem to have quite a few recs for their gyros. I'll give 'em a try!

        3. I've always wanted to try the Rajasthani Malaai Ghewar ever since I saw its preparation in one of those food-travel programmes.

          1. I've tried 4 of those 28 lol and all 4 of those were at a very extravagant wedding with 1 side from New Dehli and the other side from Goa. As boogie eluded to, I think these are delicacies in their perspective regions that aren't normally consumed and therefore are unlikely to show up on a menu in the U.S. The only places I found to have a large variety of regional indian food was San Francisco and it's neighbor's such as Oakland, Sunnyvale and San Mateo.

            I'll stick to Nihari which I never get tired of.

            6 Replies
            1. re: polldeldiablo

              Ah okay, fair enough. I need to become friends with some Indian bachelors.

              Where is your favorite nihari?

              1. re: j_gordon

                Correction: You need to become friends with an indian family with an elderly grandmother who knows the old school regional recipes.

                1. re: j_gordon

                  Unfortunately nothing in Los Angeles that I know of right now, my favorite places for Nihari were Shalimar in San Fran, Haandi in Curry Hill NYC and a place in Artesia called Mehfil BEFORE it changed owners.

                  I've been going to Red chile Halal under the suggestion of someone on this board with family but imo their Nihari and Haleem which I also love are meh.

                  I have a older pakistani friend who has lived in granada hills for awhile that may know where to go if he hasn't moved back to Dallas yet.

                  1. re: polldeldiablo

                    While I am not a nihari connoisseur, and cannot compare other places, Shahnawaz restaurant makes a version that I like. And every time I have eaten there, I saw a large number of South Asian patrons.

                    Shahnawaz Restaurant
                    12225 Centralia St Lakewood, CA 90715
                    (562) 402-7443

                  2. re: j_gordon

                    The nihari at Tawakal on Devonshire St. has always been excellent. I order it extra spicy.


                    1. re: sel

                      Just had it the other day (nihari) from Chutney's on Pico and Barrington and it was plenty spicy without asking for any extra heat.

                2. Why is Indian food so bad in LA when there is such a huge Indian population? =/

                  33 Replies
                  1. re: BacoMan

                    The Indian population is very spread out - no localized concentration, and driving long distances to eat Indian food is for most of us not a great attraction.

                    I have been to the Pasadena local area Indian restaurants, but would never think about driving to Irvine to eat at an Indian restaurant, while we are doing something similar to that for Vietnamese and Thai this coming week.

                    I have a Canadian friend who is very fond of Indian food, and because of him, I have ended up driving long distances on week nights to eat Indian food - but I keep trying to entice him to try other cuisines!

                    1. re: suvro

                      You would drive long distances to eat truly great indian food...wouldn't you?

                      It's just because the thai and vietnamese is so great that it's worth the drive, isn't it?

                    2. re: BacoMan

                      A) indian food served in restaurants isn't the same kind of food cooked in most indian homes. It's very rich and heavy in cream, nuts, oil, etc. That's not typical of home style dishes. Most people don't eat butter chicken, malai Kofta, palak paneer, naan, etc at home on a regular basis.

                      B) when Indians go out to eat, we usually don't go out for indian food. :) indian restaurant food is usually served at parties, weddings, etc so we eat it often enough not to want to go to a restaurant to eat it.

                      1. re: boogiebaby

                        But why hasn't some industrious chef/entrepreneur figured out that Indian dishes from the home would be very popular with the LA foodies?

                        Why do Indian people even bother opening any restaurants at all if what you're saying is true? They're trying purely to appeal to the tastes of non-Indian people? Why not just play it safe and open up burger shacks then?

                        I mean, in a sense, isn't this true of lot of, Koreans? Supposedly they never go out to eat, and when they do, it's often someplace like Sizzler? Yet Koreatown contains an incredible amount of authentic, awesome Korean food....

                        1. re: BacoMan

                          There are some cultural aspects about Indian cuisine. For a long time, in India, most communities (with few exceptions) were not accustomed to eating out much. What eating out meant was ethnic Chinese (which was very much Indianised - items like Manchurian chicken, Hakka chowmein), and very little else. In my native city of Calcutta, the local Bengali cuisine was practically not available in any restaurants till the late 80s.

                          Most of the current Indian food scene is still not in destination restaurants - though in the big metros of Delhi, Bombay, and Bangalore some nice ones are cropping up. The big hotels have buffets that are really good (and pricey) serving upwards of 40 items. They have some of the best chefs. There are a few chains like O Calcutta, but that is still the exception.

                          The catering system is very strong because of weddings and other events. The caterers come to the wedding location and often will serve multi-cuisine multi-course extravaganzas. In a small town like Allahabad last December for our nephew's wedding, the caterer had about 30 courses, all very tasty.

                          So the Indian food culture, now rapidly evolving, was quite different than other Asian food cultures.

                          Now in North America, unlike in UK, most Indians are professionals - engineers, doctors, scientists. As a result, there is not a great supply of people in the food industry. And given the wide availability of Indian groceries, most of my friend's circle do not feel the burning need to go out and find good Indian food. It would be nice, but we would rather go for dimsum, hotpot, Vietnamese or other cuisines.

                          The demand for good Indian food probably is higher amongst non-Indians here, but it is not in the same category of popularity as Thai or Korean.

                          UK had a large immigrant population from the sub-continent that worked in all walks of life - see how many people working at Heathrow are from the sub-continent. And all concentrated in few metro areas - London, Birmingham, Manchester. Thus the Indian food in UK is excellent. Same is true for Dubai. But besides a few rarities like these, the Indian food outside India is not as good as it could be.

                          1. re: suvro

                            Dear suvro,

                            Thank you so much for you thoughtful and insightful response.

                            it must have take you a long time to write and this is a fascinating "peek into the window" for me, because I know next to nothing about Indian culture.

                            Thanks again and I have saved it and will be re-reading it in the future.


                          2. re: BacoMan

                            Okay. First of all there's alot of cultural and culinary history to unpick here.

                            "Indian food" is incredibly diverse. Almost ridiculously so.

                            "Indian restaurant food" on the other hand is a hybrid tradition that comes out of the UK in the 1960-1980s. It is a mix of Bangladeshi cooking with British ingredients. The various staples that most Americans, and many Indians, associate with Indian food come out of this tradition.

                            As to your "burger shack" point. I hasten to point out that the first two generations of this "Indian restaurant cooking" WERE served out of chip shops and burger shacks. It is only when curry palaces became more popular in the 1980s that "Indian restaurants" dropped fish and chips, pasta, and burgers from their menus.

                            And this creates a problem. When an "Indian" restaurant opens what should it serve? "Indian restaurant food" or regional indian cuisine, which is often greeted with mistrust even by Indians?

                            First, there is the question of authenticity, which is convoluted. Many traditional ingredients are either not available outside of India, or expressly forbidden (like mustard oil), due to food hygiene concerns. This means that whatever is served will deviate in some regard from the standard set in India.

                            Second, there is the scale of the true diversity of Indian cooking. In India a debate between the virtues of Lucknowi Biryani and Vaniyambadi biryani can lead to actual blows. And that fails to take into account Hyderabadi biryani, Thalassery biryani, Sindhi biryani, Bombay biryani, Calcutta biryani, Bhatkali biryani, Memoni biryani, Dindigul biryani, Beary biryani, Palakkad Rawther biryani, Bengalooru biryani, Karachi biryani, Sindhi biryani, or Kalyani biryani.

                            Third, this diversity and the loyalty that many Indians feel toward their family traditions leads many Indians to prefer home cooking to even the best restaurant meals. This means that no matter how good a restaurant is, it can often fail to bring in Indian clientele, who simply prefer to eat at home.

                            There is also a very complex and somewhat perverse suspicion in the Indian community of things that could be construed as "too Indian." It is not unusual to have intense assimilatory pressure in Indian families... this can drive restaurants to fail on the basis of lack of traffic.

                            All of which leads to the dearth of "really authentic Indian food" outside of India.

                            Which brings up the question of Artesia. Artesia is one of the most concentrated "Little Indias" in the United States. There are 90 Indian owned restaurants and businesses with a 1.6 mile stretch of Pioneer Boulevard. In those businesses it is possible to find authentic ingredients and items that are simply not available elsewhere. As such Indian consumers (less than 50,000 in the entire greater Los Angeles area) drive to Artesia in order to stock up. They support the local restaurants because they often come a long way, and are therefore hungry. The restaurants in Artesia are better and more diverse than anywhere else in Southern California. Period. This is true even though most of those Indians live elsewhere.

                            Are the restaurants in Artesia better than those in the Bay Area, New York, or New Jersey? Well... The restaurants in Artesia just as authentic, and just as diverse, but in those other areas there is a wider economic base within the local Indian populations, so their "Little Indias" have much greater opportunities for fine dining. Artesia is similar, but much more casual. In every other regard, it's really is very good.

                            1. re: Moomin

                              The Indian population of greater Los Angeles metro area is around 120,000 -

                              New York is 526K - but more concentrated. Also Silicon Valley with 120K is also more concentrated. I have been to restaurants in San Jose (Thai) where there were ONLY patrons of Indian origin during the full 2 hours we were there.

                              We go to Artesia, but not often enough because of destination restaurants. Many good ones we liked have not had the staying power we wish.

                              Just as a contrast, several years ago when in Oxford, UK for a conference, we went to eat at a chain called Shimla Pinks, and that had much better food than what I had eaten in any Indian restaurant here.

                              1. re: suvro

                                Just as a contrast, several years ago when in Oxford, UK for a conference, we went to eat at a chain called Shimla Pinks, and that had much better food than what I had eaten in any Indian restaurant here.
                                Inorbit mall food courts have better food than any Indian restaurant here ^_^

                                1. re: ns1

                                  Not disagreeing... but the average Inorbit Mall food court has 10 to 20 regionally specific Indian restaurants specializing in particular recipes and flavors from those areas. We don't even really have something comparable for AMERICAN food.

                                2. re: suvro

                                  Suvro, I totally accept your 120k number... but the 2010 census said 32,996. I know that's almost certainly wrong... but that's the number I went with.

                                  I've never been to the Oxford Shimla Pink. I've been to the one near Bromley, which was pretty standard Anglo-Indian. Chances are good that each location is different. They're all independently owned and operated.

                                  1. re: Moomin

                                    My point was that even with approximately the same number of Indian ethnicity people in LA compared to San Jose, we are spread out far more - and it is hard to have a concentration of Indian restaurants that will be patronized by Indians. When and if that happens, then we can see the competition that drives the Chinese food market as hard.

                                    Till then the north Indian Punjabi cuisine, with occasional other regional foods will satisfy the market.

                                    There is no good Bangladeshi/Bengali restaurants here, while there are in London, and even in NY (because of the large Bangladeshi cab drivers). Similarly for Kerala cuisine.

                              2. re: BacoMan

                                "But why hasn't some industrious chef/entrepreneur figured out that Indian dishes from the home would be very popular with the LA foodies?"

                                Most people who go out to eat indian food expect to see the "usuals": Chicken Tikka Masala, Palak Paneer, Malai Kofta, Tava Vegetables, etc (those items on are almost every catered menu at almost every function). Indians don't want to go to a restaurant and eat the foods typically cooked at home - in a punjabi house, that could be aloo gobi and roti; in a South Indian house, that could be rice and rasam. Why would I go out to eat the same things I cook at home?

                                If I go to Artesia, I go to do shopping - that's my priority, and I'll eat something while I'm there. But I don't drive out there with the intention to eat, and maybe do some shopping, if that makes sense. And if I do eat there, I eat the stuff I don't eat at home - I like Rajdhani for Gujrati thali style lunch. Being punjabi, we don't cook the same dishes in our house. Or I'll go to Surati for samosa chaat, bhelpuri and dhokla. Again, all things not normally cooked at home. I can't see an indian restaurant serving simple foods like rice and rasam, or roti and chicken being successful. It's like a restaurant becoming a success by serving tuna noodle casserole and baked chicken.

                                FWIW, almost every big indian function is catered by Manohar's Delhi Palace in Diamond Bar. Not sure if the food in the restaurant itself is as good as the catered stuff, but he is the best known caterer for indian events.

                                1. re: boogiebaby

                                  This is SO fascinating to read! I've been to a few local Indian weddings, and my friends say it all comes from teh same place (although I vaguely recall the name being Diamond Palace below).

                                  Your insights are interesting.... I guess the food I normally associate as being "Indian" are sort of analogous to a Chinese wedding banquet meal. In order words, it's stuff you don't prepare at home and that only bares a slight resemblance to the stuff people eat at home on a daily basis (this same "bias" also occurs w/ Korean food, I'm told)....

                            2. re: BacoMan

                              Honestly, Artesia still has some of the best in the U.S. Just not as good as the Bay Area and New York.

                              1. re: j_gordon

                                Everyone else seems to indicate that it's pretty much total shit...

                                Like, not even comparable in any way to the food that is actually served in India. And articles like the one linked in the OP seem to back that claim up...

                                1. re: BacoMan

                                  Well it's all relative, and I'm still talking about the U.S. I've eaten with Gujarati people at Surati Farsan Mart and they're happy with it. I've eaten at a Gujarati home and some of the things weren't as good as at Surati Farsan Mart or even Jay Bharat. I've eaten some great Indian in the Bay Area. I've eaten South Indian food in Myanmar and Sri Lanka (not yet the mainland, unfortunately) and while the food in LA lacks some of the kick, it's not like it's on another planet. When friends from other (U.S.) cities visit me in LA I often take them to Artesia to walk around and they're reasonably excited about Surati Farsan Mart and Rajdhani in particular, if only for the experience. Mayura in Culver City is also fairly exciting. But I'm listing mostly vegetarian Indian, mostly Gujarati, and there's a lot to more Indian that's probably not represented well.

                                  But to say it's total shit...well, CHers are often spoiled. I'd love to hear a counterargument though.

                                  With that said, I'm from Miami, where there is hardly an Indian restaurant in sight. It's hard to find chaat in Miami, let alone good chaat, and the North Indian and Pakistani food is mediocre.

                                  If you want to read about the restaurant/home cooking dynamic for Bengalis, The Migrant's Table by Krishnendu Ray is a good (academic) book.

                                  1. re: BacoMan

                                    The indian food in LA is not total shit. It's decent, but it's not going to be as good as the food in India. If you want Indian food like it's found in India, then you'll have to go to India. Even the indian food in Canada, England, San Jose/Fremont, Singapore, etc is good, but not as good as in India (and yes, I've eaten indian food in all of those places, including India).

                                    I think that can be said about most cuisines though -- it's not going to be as good as the original. Techniques, equipment, and ingredients are all going to be similar, but never exact, unless you're importing every single item from the originating country.

                                2. re: BacoMan

                                  I've befriended numerous Indians over the years pertaining to work and out of all of them that live in Los Angeles, like 40% live in Northridge(specifically Granada hills, chatsworth, woodland hills) 50% live in Diamond Bar and 10% in Artesia's area. The reason I'm mentioning this is because generally where the locals live is where the best food is because they don't rely on tourists ordering 'butter chicken' and samosas and they have to cater to locals. That being said, the best Indian food I've had in Los Angeles happens to fall in Northridge and Diamond Bar but unfortunately Diamond Bar is so far away that most people don't mention it.

                                  On a side note, I haven't been to as many chinese/taiwanese restaurants in the SGV as most people on this thread but from the ones I have tried, I feel Diamond bar's chinese/taiwanese is at least on par with SGV. Korean is also pretty good in Diamond Bar.

                                    1. re: ns1

                                      Have you tried Red-Chili Halal ? I had some take out from there not too long ago and thought it was pretty damn tasty.

                                      1. re: Servorg

                                        Just tried it today based on this thread. Really delicious. Waitress was a little spacey and didn't know the menu (apparently is new to the restaurant). Chicken biryani, chicken beralhi (or something like that), mattar paneer, and combo BBQ platter were all delicious. Platter was a bit on the small size, but the rest of the dishes were quite sizable (esp for the price). Lots of bones in the chicken and stems in the herbs. ;)

                                        Not terribly close to home or work, but will probably make it out again b/c it's a central location for me and a colleague.

                                        1. re: ilysla

                                          Thanks for the report and glad it worked out for you. This online food tips thing may really be a good idea after all! (g)

                                      2. re: ns1

                                        As servorg said, Red Chili Halal is pretty good, I've been eating there recently mainly because it's decent for my standards plus it was near a doctor's office visit. Their biryani is exceptional and most of their other dishes are reasonable. Food takes while as it's made fresh and as the name eludes to, they are reasonably spicy.

                                        I've also had Woodlands Indian vegetarian restaurant which is south indian cuisine which due to it's location is probably not an option for almost anyone in Los Angeles. I've only eaten at maybe 4-5 south indian restaurants in my life so my opinion of it isn't very telling but that being said it's probably #2 behind a place called Annapurna in San Mateo(no idea if it's related to the Annapurna/'s in Los Angeles.

                                        As far as a warning goes, don't ever EVER go inside a place called Village Tandoor, I liken the quality to panda express.

                                        Woodlands Indian Vegetarian 9840 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Chatsworth, CA

                                        1. re: polldeldiablo

                                          I'm curious about your Village Tandoor warning. It's near to our house and we order takeout from there occasionally when we have people over. I can't speak for the buffet, but the food we order to-go is always piping hot and everyone enjoys it. What did you have there that you didn't like?

                                          I've been meaning to try Red Chili but haven't gotten over there yet. It's more Pakistani food from what I've heard but DH is a big goat/mutton fan so he really wants to try some of their goat preparations.

                                          1. re: boogiebaby

                                            I usually try a buffet before ordering the food at a restaurant when it comes to Indian as I can sample a large variety of their dishes and find out which is their strong suit such as vegetable/meat/curry/tandoori or what not. ALL of the dishes they had at the buffet were horrible(limited spice, wrong spices for type of dish, tasting more salt than spices, curry too overpowering for the dish, and so on) but there's a possibility that most of the people who eat the buffet there aren't Indian and therefore they may of have adjusted the flavors to people who aren't experienced in Indian flavors in order to generate more lunch time traffic as Northridge restaurants during lunch are notoriously empty. I guess I'll ask my sikh friend about the restaurant since he lives very close by and more than likely has tried it before.

                                            As far as Red Chile goes, keep in mind that certain dishes aren't always available such as nihari for obvious reasons and biryani as I think they make 2 biryani's every day and that means there are 2 they don't make(chicken, lamb, goat and forgot other)

                                            1. re: polldeldiablo

                                              I have eaten at Village Tandoor for the last 20 years because it is the closest Indian restaurant to my family. It's gone up and down in terms of its food and service, but it's pretty average for Indian food in the valley. I never eat the buffet.

                                              Red Chili is great. For the most part, I've only had lunch because it's close to the office. Their naan is good and their rolls and kebabs are excellent. I've tried their CTM which is just ok.

                                              Woodlands is a South Indian vegetarian restaurant. I like the food but find Woodland's rendition of it to be overly oily. I prefer their sister restaurant Valley India Cafe. It has both veg and non veg South Indian food. I like the dosas and uthappum there. The chicken 65 is also very good.

                                              For snacks, chaat & other things like sweets, we go to India Sweets & Spices. There are at least two locations in the valley, Northridge and Canoga Park. Their prepared foods are vegetarian and they also have a decent lunch deal. I prefer canoga Park in terms of taste and Northridge in terms of cleanliness. Both have grocery sections, too.

                                      3. re: polldeldiablo

                                        Freaky... not sure where Diamond Bar is, but surprised it's not on the radar if the food is that good.

                                        As far as I can tell, good Indian food is literally unavailable in LA. So I would think foodies/hounds/etc... would be clamoring for any hint of actual Indian cooking, no matter how far they have to drive to try it.

                                        1. re: polldeldiablo

                                          where are your diamond bar spots? any cuisine. i've been looking to explore the area.

                                          1. re: j_gordon

                                            India Coffee and Snacks is okay for chaat. New Aashiana is okay for Pakstani.

                                            On the whole Diamond Bar is cursed with the whole "cheap lunch buffet" thing. I'm not really a fan of most of the places out there.

                                            1. re: j_gordon

                                              Unfortunately I haven't been there in a long time as I have no reason to drive that far unless I head to Vegas. Also the times I have been there, I take my mother with me(Chinese) and she usually chooses the great Chinese options or even Korean before Indian. Last 2 times I ate Indian there were at Diamond Palace Cuisine of India, Once as buffet and 2nd time as dinner. The food there was on par with 'good' Indian restaurants in Curry hill in NYC. My usual determination of a good Indian restaurant is the number of Indians eating there and bollywood videos playing(Sounds stereotypical I know). Very dark inside.

                                              Diamond Palace cuisine of India
                                              1241 Grand Ave, Diamond Bar, CA 91765

                                              1. re: polldeldiablo

                                                India Sweets and Spices (I go to the one in Duarte) fits your two criteria, but I doubt you would think of it as 'good' Indian restaurant.

                                                1. re: suvro

                                                  I've lowered my standards of what's good indian/chinese/korean food since living in San Diego for 10 years(sorry San Diego chowhounds)