When it comes to the multitude of ethnic cuisines that make up L.A.'s culinary landscape, certain neighborhoods have become synonymous with certain types of food. If you're in the mood to slurp soup dumplings, you know the SGV is where you'll go. East Los Angeles reigns as the unofficial taco capital, and for those who are craving some rich tonkotsu ramen, you'll want to head over to Sawtelle Japantown.
But while L.A.'s Indian food scene is typically associated with a hub of great Indian restaurants in Artesia's Little India area, the Westside has its share of spots that can hold their own. From new openings to longtime neighborhood gems, from Southern Indian cooking to Punjabi-style, these are the best Indian offerings (in no particular order) on the Westside.
This Kerala-style restaurant has garnered a lot of praise over the years, and with good reason. Mayura makes use of an abundance of produce and of fragrant spices brought in from India to serve some of the best vegetarian and nonvegetarian Halal Indian food in the city. They don't mess around; the veg and nonveg dishes are prepared in separate kitchens. Dosas are impeccably crispy and stuffed with everything from mashed spiced potatoes to soft paneer cheese, the Kerala fish curry is tart, the rolled coconut and rice cakes called puttu come with chana masala, and soft appam pancakes are served with chicken curry. 10406 Venice Blvd., Culver City. (310) 559-9644, mayura-indian-restaurant.com.
Serving a delicious hodgepodge of Burmese, Pakistani and Indian cuisine, this no-frills restaurant and grocery provides West L.A. with some lesser-seen Indian-influenced and Indian-adjacent dishes. Grab a seat on the outside patio and try the popular coconut chicken noodle soup that comes with Chinese-style fat wheat noodles, one of the succulent spiced beef and lamb kebabs, or a spiced ground chicken keema paratha flatbread. 4135½ Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City; (310) 313-376, jasminemarket.net. Annapurna Cuisine
Boasting a lengthly menu of vegetarian dishes prepared in a South Indian style, Annapurna remains one of the best all-vegetarian Indian spots outside of Artesia. Choose from a variety of uthappams (pizza-like Indian pancakes), stuffed dosas or vegetable curries with rice and pickles. Wash it down with an Indian-style drink such as Chennai buttermilk with chili or a thick salt lassi to balance out the heat. 10200 Venice Blvd., Culver City; (310) 204-5500, annapurnacuisine.com.
While there are a few Samosa House locations around the city, this bustling market/restaurant is the O.G. location, serving vegan and vegetarian cuisine since 1979. The spicy jackfruit curry is the go-to item on the menu, but the lotus root in a creamy spicy sauce, the okra-laden bhindi masala and the spicy sweet banana curry also are worth trying. Digest your food while checking out the market's array of Indian imports, from dried teas to fragrant spices. 11510 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City; (310) 398-6766, samosahouse.com.
This Beverly Hills spot is all about one thing: executing the classics with high-quality ingredients. It's not going to blow your mind with some little-known dish you've never had before from a small town outside of Goa, but you won't be disappointed with the famed lunch buffet — or with its stand-up versions of lamb Madras, chicken tikka masala and succulent tandoori chicken. The dining room has more style than most Indian joints in the city. 151 S. Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 246-3999, chakracuisine.com.
The second restaurant from chef Akasha Richmond, Sambar cherry-picks from the vast encyclopedia of South Asian cooking. The result is a unique and modern menu that reads like a SoCal-influenced take on Indian street food. The sharp, direct flavors incorporate spice in fun and inventive ways, with dishes Richmond categorizes as “new wave masala,” including Mississippi masala wings with malabar hot sauce, a masala lamb burger with preserved tomato chutney and cilantro relish, and a pork shoulder vindaloo with turmeric naan and pickled onions. Sambar puts an inventive Indian twist on its extensive list of cocktails, too. 9531 Culver Blvd., Culver City; (310) 558-8800, sambarcc.com.
Famed for their lunch thali trays and savory snacks, Bombay Café makes some of the best chaat dishes on the Westside. Choices range from the bhel puri, a hodge-podge snack made with puffed rice, onion, potatoes, cilantro and crushed puri tossed with three chutneys and black salt, to the must-try aloo-ki-tikki potato pancake tossed with tamarind chutney and chopped onion, to crispy stuffed pani puri. If you're looking for a break from standard Indian takeout, Bombay Café is the perfect place to get your chaat on. 12021 W. Pico Blvd., Sawtelle Japantown; (310) 473-3388, bombaycafela.com.
With dishes ranging from the mild to the pungent, India's Grill has something for everyone. Most dishes come with a wide range of protein options, from chicken or lamb to shrimp, tofu to paneer. The staff will recommend chicken tikka, aloo gobi and lamb saag, but feel free to switch up sauces, curries and meats with whatever you're feeling. 428 S. San Vicente Blvd., Beverly Grove; 310-659-3903, indiasgrill.com.
Specializing in North Indian cuisine, this Westside spot is favored by swarms of UCLA students for its affordable lunch buffet and a crowd-pleasing menu that boasts options for vegetarians, vegans and meat seekers (the latter should try the lamb rogan josh and chicken curry). With rotating promotions such as unlimited mango lassi and complimentary dessert rice puddings, India's Oven usually goes the extra mile to make customers happy. 11645 Wilshire Blvd., West Los Angeles; (310) 207-5522, laindiasoven.com.
This small, family-owned spot nestled in the corner of a strip mall off Pico is the perfect spot if you're in the mood for the Indian-Pakistani classics with a more Western influence. Its best offerings include steaming bowls of deep yellow chicken or vegetable korma, a bright, flavorful chana masala, thick-cut vegetable pakoras with spicy jalapeño-mint chutney, fluffy garlic naan glistening with warm ghee, and a chicken tikka masala that deserves some serious props. If you like your food extra spicy, Tandoor Indian does a good job of adding intense heat to the dishes without masking the flavors. 2622 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 581-9964, tandoorla.com.
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