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Dosa/South Indian - LA area

I am originally from New York and have lived in LA for 2 ½ years. When I first asked where I could find good Indian food, I was simply told "good luck, there isn't any!" --this by Indian friends and non-Indian friends alike! At first I thought it was a joke but after 2 ½ years, I still have not been able to find a delicious crispy, spicy dosa--my all time favorite food on the planet--and i've had no success at finding anything here in LA that is like what I get in Little India in Jersey City, New York, or Queens. I'm a chef, so naturally I thought fine--I'll just make my own, at home--which is another story in itself. While I love the variety in Indian cuisine itself, my personal favorite for whatever reason seems to be Southern Indian, namely dosa/idli.

I was told to check out Artesia, which I plan on doing today. I've noticed that some of the online recommendations are old and outdated by a few years, so I wanted to revive this conversation about Southern Indian food, and dosa in particular. Are there any good dosa places, and are they still good?

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    1. Not familiar w/ NYC's eating scene, but my impression from other posts is LA doesn't have anything comparable.

      Having said that, where have you tried that you found disappointing? I'd hate to recommend the same places.

      I like Mayura (been many times) and Annapurna (only one time), both in Culver City. Also had one for dinner at Streets of India (Encino). Woodlands in Woodland Hills is also supposed to be good (went once several yrs ago).

      Also went to Tirupathi Bhimas in Artesia several yrs ago. I had the thali (which was good), so I can't comment on the dosas....

      5 Replies
      1. re: paranoidgarliclover

        Annapurna and Mayura get the job done for South Indian Veg, Samosa House for N. India Veg.

        Various places around LA ( Yelp works to find these) do generic N Indian fairly well.

        But there's nothing amazing.

        1. re: paranoidgarliclover

          Thank you! I've had dosa at Samosa House in Culver City, and that was disappointing as well as a couple other Indian markets that served dosa.

          I have not tried the places you mentioned, but I will definitely give them a try.

          I went to Artesia and was blown away at Udupi Palace but it's a bit far for me to go every time I have a dosa craving!

          1. re: mfalso

            the dosa at samosa house was the worst dosa I've had in SoCal.

            1. re: ns1

              I will definitely agree with you! It's honestly the impetus for me writing on Chowhound...I knew that there must be better out there!

              1. re: mfalso

                was it still on the "specials" board? *shudder*

        2. i don't have names of restaurants anymore, since it's been many years since i did an indian restaurant crawl in artesia, but, as a general rule, most of the artesia restaurants that get repeatedly recommended, imho, tend to be head and shoulders better than any west side places like anapurna or mayura.

          even though i pass anapurna and mayura on my regular routes through the city, i can't get excited enough about either of them to stop my car.

          1 Reply
          1. re: westsidegal

            Thank you. I think you're right about Artesia!

          2. I went to Udupi Palace in Artesia again this weekend and it's still as good as ever. Get there early to avoid the crowds. We got there around 11:30 for lunch and it was practically empty. When 12:30 rolled around and we were ready to leave, there was a wait out the door.

            I had the thali, but the rest of my party had the some form of dosa or another and they were all pleased with their choices. Everyone else around us seemed to be ordering dosas.

            1 Reply
            1. re: PandanExpress

              I went here this weekend, too. It was exactly what I was looking for! There was a large crowd on a Sunday night!

              I'll have to try the thali next time--i can't remember the last time I had it.

            2. NO! Nearly all of Artesia's best restaurants are closed on Mondays!

              Surati Farsan Mart and Jay Bharat are both excellent (and close together). I'd definitely try both. Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se isn't my favorite but they have a great menu... The reopened Woodlands is not terrible...

              And all are closed on Mondays!

              Having said that, Ambala Sweets & Snacks is okay in its sloppy way, and Sukhadia's Mithai isn't bad (it's owned by the same family that owns the Sukhadia's in NY and NJ).

              Those might be open today...

              2 Replies
              1. re: Moomin

                " closed on Mondays"
                --
                I've always wondered why this is? Just because? Religious? Economics? Indians fast on Mondays?

                1. re: Moomin

                  Thank you for letting me know about Mondays! Strangely, I was going to go there on Monday and while I usually look at the website before I go anywhere I had the address and thought I might as well give it a try!

                  I do wonder why they are closed Mondays. But then again many service-oriented business used to be close once a week, on Mondays or Sundays so it doesn't seem that out of place.

                2. All India Cafe in Pasadena has dosa

                  1 Reply
                  1. There are many places in LA that serve dosa! India Sweets and Spices in Northridge and Canoga Park both serve vegetarian food, including dosa, idli, etc in a casual setting. the food is good and authentic. There is also Woodlands, which has branches in Chatsworth and Canoga Park. They do a decent weekend buffer with AYCA dosas or you can order a la carte. There's Paru's in LA, which I haven't been to in years, but was good from what I remember.

                    IS&S is my family's dosa go-to. Good authentic food, good prices. Just don't look for ambiance.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: boogiebaby

                      Thanks, will definitely have to try. I've been hearing Paru's a lot--it's one that I wasn't aware of. An all you can eat buffet with dosa sounds too fun to pass up.

                    2. Thank you all for the comments, I will definitely try out the suggestions! I'm always looking for great new places.

                      I decided to try Udupi Palace in Atresia--and I have to report it was really, really good! I had the Mysore Masala Dosa and the Onion Rava Masala Dosa. The dosa was crisp, slightly sour, and delicious. I will definitely be returning here to try more. The only slight complaint I have is that I wish the masala filling seasoned a little better--but all in all this dosa was, hands down, the best i've had in LA.

                       
                      1. For Thali, the best I have had is at Rajdhani in Artesia. All you can eat, vegetarian. I have not had Dosas from many places (only one, below), so I really cannot comment on that.
                        I took my friend who is from the southern part of India and is a fantastic cook to Bhanu in Pasadena (market with restaurant attached) for their thali and she really liked it. I have had the Dosa there many times and like it, but since I have nothing to compare it to...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: WildSwede

                          I've been to both Udupi and Bhanu. In a pinch, and because of proximity, Bhanu works. But if distance and time were no object, Udupi's dosas are a lot better.