The in-depth flavors and rich history of Indian cuisine takes foodies on a heightened dining journey. From mild to deeply spicy, the exotic entrees call out for all of the traditional sides including the tangy sauces (riata), spiced breads (naan) and seasoned rices (basmati) to give diners the full Indian experience. LA has many options for Indian food, and finding restaurants that value authenticity, quality and fresh ingredients and a taste of Bollywood in ambience is a total win. Check out these five restaurants for all of that and more.
Nawab of India
1621 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Nawab of India is an authentic Indian dining experience on the west side of town. The upscale restaurant has a broad menu featuring some of the most popular and exotic dishes from India. From the popular region of Goa, vindaloo chicken or tofu is a delicious choice made with flavorful curries. Enjoy it with a side of riata (a cucumber yogurt sauce), peas pullav (savory basmati rice and peas) or a piece of naan (garlic or plain). Nawab’s oven-roasted tandoori chicken is full of flavor because it is marinated for multiple hours and then cooked just right in the restaurant’s oven. Every dish is presented in its own chafing dish to keep the entree from getting cold. And, if there is room for dessert, payasam, the sweet rice pudding, is a must.
India Sweet House
5992 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
In business for more than 40 years, India Sweet House is known for its home-cooked style of entrees, snacks and sweet treats influenced by the classic recipes from India. Before satisfying your sweet tooth here, pick from the restaurant’s quick-bite menu featuring traditional kachori (deep fried lentils), samosa (a savory pastry filled with potatoes), pakora (a tasty fritter), bhelpuri (crispy rice with peanuts and onions mixed in) and dahi vada (lentil balls served with yogurt and sauce). The vegetarian main dishes include saag paneer (spinach and cheese), matar paneer (peas and cheese), paratha gobhi (classic cauliflower pancake) and masala dosa (a thin pancake made from rice and lentils). Moving onto dessert, there are so many delicious choices like gulab jamun(milk balls soaked in rosewater), gajar halwa (made with carrot, milk and sugar) and ras malai (cheese balls in cream).
Akbar Cuisine of India
44 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103
Akbar, a casual café with four locations throughout LA, presents delicious Indian food at reasonable prices. Chef/owner Avinash Kapoor creates a wide offering of specialty foods and delicacies on Akbar’s menu. From tandoori chicken and salmon, hearty chicken tikka masala, mint chicken kebab and lamb saag made with savory curries to chef Avinash’s Chilean sea bass, soft shell crab and bison tandoori, delicious chutneys and naans round out the menu. Akbar’s desserts are an excellent way to finish up the meal, especially with the refreshing tastes of mango (cheesecake), kulfi (think ice cream) and mmm berry (crepes filled with chocolate gelato and berries).
8406 Pershing Drive
Playa Del Rey, CA 90293
Named after the ancient clay oven used to make traditional Indian cuisine, Tandoor-A-India is a hot spot for authentic and traditional Indian flavors, spices and curries. The restaurant’s impressive menu of chicken, seafood, lamb and vegetable curry dishes are served with basmati rice, fresh herbed, garlic or onion naan (made in the tandoor oven) and raita or a specialty salad. Chicken or lamb tikka masala (served in the traditional yogurt sauce) are perfectly cooked in the clay oven, along with mahi mahi tandoori and tiger prawns. Open for lunch and dinner, Tandoor-A-India is a favorite among Indian cuisine in Los Angeles.
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