Dear Mr. Gold:

Could you recommend some great Indian restaurants in Los Angeles that visiting Londoners might like? Anarkali and the Bombay Café are just fine, but they seem a little bland compared to what we’re used to at home. If you have any ideas, preferably near the Westside, they would be much appreciated.

—Nicky, London


Dear Nicky:

There seems to be Indian food and English Indian food, and they may not always coincide. Mayura for example, near the Sony studios, serves delicious Kerala-style dishes, both vegetarian and not, but I suspect that the cooking, spicy though it tends to be, may be a bit delicate for palates trained on Brick Lane. Ambala Dhaba in Westwood, a branch of an Artesia favorite, prepares what they term Mumbai truckstop cooking, which is to say spicy, clear flavors and lots of meat — the goat is especially good. Al-Watan in Hawthorne, just a few minutes south of the airport, serves very, very good Pakistani tandoor-cooked meats along with great nehari, brains masala and haleem, although you have to keep in mind that the owners and clientele are strict Muslims, which means a sink in the dining room but no alcohol, etc.

Tanzore, on La Cienega, is known for a brand of lightened fusion Indian cuisine that may be familiar from London, very Bollywood. Nirvana in Beverly Hills features beds in the bar, but also the focused cuisine of a chef recently lured from a well-known hotel kitchen in New Delhi. But you you might as well go to Agra Café in Silver Lake, a strip-mall restaurant that actually specializes in English-style Indian food, the punishingly spicy fish baltis, vindaloos and chicken samosas that sear the gullets of your countrymen.

AGRA CAFÉ: 4325 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake. (323) 665-7818.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

LA Weekly