Considering that the number of restaurants serving Sri Lankan curries can be counted on one hand, it would be fair to assume that L.A.'s Best Sri Lankan is a pretty empty title. You would be wrong. Because Apey Kade, a small Muslim Sri Lankan joint located in a tiny strip mall in Tarzana, is a legitimately excellent place to eat, a restaurant good enough that it hardly matters whether it has any competition. Never mind that the food may be unfamiliar and the setting is a simple as it gets in this city, the string hoppers — little mats of rice noodles — and accompanying curries will still be delicious, and the kottu roti, a pan-fried flatbread smashed into bits and tossed with meat and onions, will likely be a revelation. There's also the immensely spicy deviled chicken, which is as dangerous as it sounds. —James Gordon

19662 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, 91356. (818) 609-7683.

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