So many Indian restaurants, so little time. We’ve whittled down the masses to an elite list of the best places to get your Indian food fix. Including everything from traditional stand-alone restaurants to a family-run strip mall joint, and a few things in between, here’s where to dine when you’re craving curries and more.
Chakra Restaurant and Lounge
151 South Doheny Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Creative Indian cuisine with an emphasis on mixing traditional tastes with modern takes, in swanky setting, make Chakra a destination for the night, not just for a meal., A chef’s sampler of daily tikka and kebab specials, a dal of the day and seasonal specials are some of the unexpected finds. There’s a whole section of the menu just devoted to modern interpretations of traditional dishes, such as pomegranate shrimp with spinach, curry and sweet potato, as well as classics as you remember them. Vegan, not just vegetarian, options are offered as well. The bar offers “Chakratinis” and dessert drinks, perfect for sipping before and after your meal in the lounge or patio areas, as well as traditional Indian drinks. If you really want to take it to the next level, ask about their VIP room.
15200 West Sunset Boulevard
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
This neighborhood gem is tucked away in a nondescript building in the heart of Pacific Palisades. An incredibly extensive menu of more than 45 curries and 15 types of naan practically guarantees you’ll be able to try something new as well as old favorites. Hand painted murals of Indian scenes and authentic décor transport you away while you await your feast. They’re happy to accommodate your spice requests from mild to mind-blowing and use as little oil as you’d like for a healthier option.
Chandni Vegetarian Restaurant
1909 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90403
If you’re looking for authentic vegetarian North Indian food from the Punjab region, Chandni is the place to experience it. The Kunar Family makes homemade cheese on premises, will customize the spice level of your dishes, and even create vegan versions of your favorites. Known for their excellent service, desire to please their patrons and of course their food, eating at Chandni may not be the most glamorous meal you’ve had but it’s sure to be memorable for all the right reasons.
Touted as a “fresh approach,” to traditional Indian cuisine, this Indian fast food is served in a sleek and modern setting and as quickly as you’d hope for a bite at lunch or before heading out for the evening. The streamlined menu features milder seasonings, food lighter and healthier than the Indian dishes you’re used to, and many vegetarian options. All items are offered as a combination plate or solo in a bowl. An extensive condiment bar full of self-serve chutneys, sauces and freshly chopped veggies allow you to customize your meal perfectly.
800 Torrance Boulevard, Suite 101
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Only natural herbs and spices highlight this traditional menu that has also been recently revamped to include more vegetarian and vegan options. Entrees can be served either as a full dinner including naan and rice or everything can be ordered a la carte for family-style sharing. Several platters offer a variety of items to sample from appetizers to main meals. Very generous portions mean you’ll get to enjoy your Addi’s Tandoor experience for at least another meal at home
Susanna Morgan, a native Los Angeleno, blogs about being a parenting non-expert, single mom of two boys, picket fence-less and June Cleaver’s nemesis over at www.notjune.com. She’s on Twitter too. The pearls are off…