Akasha in Culver City is known as a bastion of organic, market-driven, California cuisine. Hearty but healthful fare. So I was surprised and excited to discover Akasha makes such great chicken wings, the pinnacle of greasy, all-American snack food.

People will rave about Akasha's gluten-free onion rings with their rice-flour coating. No, I prefer their chicken tikka wings, crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, betraying barely a hint of grease and coated in a layer of chat masala that's as coarse and tender as a kitten's tongue.

These wings taste fresh. They're nothing like the defrosted nubs coated in generic orange sauce you get at most sports bars. At Akasha, you get the whole wing, including what I call the “chicken toe,” my favorite part of the wing. When it's roasted or fried, it becomes a delicious crispy point of skin and bone, offering one of the most satisfying crunches in the world. A dab into the nectarine chutney makes Akasha's wings even more delicious.

If I initially found the dish incongruous, all doubts were erased with one bite. On second thought, the chicken tikka wings fit perfectly into Akasha's wheelhouse: comfort food with a novel twist.

Akasha: 9543 Culver Blvd., Culver City; (310) 845-1700.

LA Weekly