“Indian Subway” is how chef Sabherwal's son Gunmeed describes his father's new Indian fast-food restaurant, set to open this Sunday in Culver City, on the corner of Venice and Motor, directly next door to the beloved southern Indian restaurant, Mayura. Sabherwal (formerly of Samosa House in Culver City) is putting the finishing touches on his restaurant, and although a large “now open” banner was strung up in front, the menu was still at the printer's this afternoon and the website hadn't yet been launched. (To make up for it, Gunmeed gave us a hand-written draft of the menu.) The soda machine was the first thing up and running and Gunmeed insisted that curious passersby stop in for a Coke in a biodegradable cup.
The motto of Bawarchi (translation: “the chef”) is “Go Veggie! Go Green!” and the menu reflects a vegetarian, fast-food philosophy, with an emphasis on Indian chaats (snacks) including samosas, parathas and puris. For $8, you'll be able to get a lunch or dinner plate with three vegetables of your choice, plain or saffron basmati rice, and naan (garlic and plain) or roti. The menu also includes vegetarian kabobs, biryani, veggie tandoori, sweet, salty and mango lassis, rasgullah, barfi and rasmalai. The cuisine is what Gunmeed refers to as Mughlai Indian food, from the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent. Will Bawarchi compete with the perfected homestyle cuisine at Mayura? Not a chance. But it will provide a quick, cheap, healthy lunch stop and take-out joint for hungry people on the run and vegetarians who wouldn't be caught dead with a plate of Versailles garlic chicken.