Food & Drink

The 10 Best Indian Restaurants in LA, According to an Indian Chef

Published On 07/06/2015 Published On 07/06/2015
Samosa House
Jay Bharat
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1. Badmaash 108 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Downtown's only Indian gastropub that's serving up a super-sweat-inducing ghost chili vindaloo.

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2. Surati Farsan Mart 11814 E 186th St, Artesia, CA 90701

Just like the "chaat" houses in India, come here for a quick bite and a steaming up of masala chai or Indian-style filter coffee.

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3. Samosa House 11510 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

There are a few Samosa House locations, but the one in Culver City is superior than the others because not only do they have a vegetarian and vegan friendly fast food Indian counter, but also a grocery. Browse the aisles after enjoying a delicious-yet-guilt-free meat meal, and find specialty jars of pickles and teas imported straight from India.

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4. Annapurna Cusine 10200 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

Annapurna’s dosas are so good they will transport you to the rice paddies of southern India. A thin fermented rice and lentil crepe, cooked on a griddle until crispy on one side and spongy on the other, then stuffed with a spiced potato concoction and (if you’re smart) smothered in a tamarind-tinted vegetable gravy and cool fresh coconut chutney.

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5. Mayura Indian Restaurant 10406 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

Indian buffets are de rigueur, but this Culver City staple stands out for atypical reasons: while the expected meat dishes are just fine (chicken tikka and the like), the menu truly shines in North Indian vegetarian fare prepared in a seperate kitchen. Taste the spiced cauliflower, eggplant masala and dosas. Serve yourself all-you-can-eat, and sink into one of the booths, or circular four-tops in the simple, strip mall dining room.

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6. Bombay Cafe 12021 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

This west side spot has been serving a modernized Indian fare for years. Their thalis -- big round platters with small bowls of tandoori chicken, salad, lentils, raita with rice and naan -- are pretty respectable, but the go-to is the pani puri.

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7. Rajdhani 18525 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

Rajdhani has risen to a Los Angeles favorite without the comfortable appeal of lamb vindaloo or meat-filled samosas: the vegetarian spot along Pioneer Boulevard in Artesia’s Little India specializes in Gujarati fare from Western India. Appetizers, sides and curries are switched out regularly and plates are filled quickly by attentive servers (rather than buffet-style). Rose ice cream makes a sweet finish to meals here.

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8. Chakra 151 S Doheny Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Chakra is not your typical goopy, creamy curries that you regret later. Instead, you’ll find all the standards (chicken tikka masala, palak paneer, pulao) but the gravies are carefully balanced and each one has a distinct flavor (the lamb curry is a must).

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9. Al-Noor 15112 Inglewood Ave, Lawndale, CA 90260

At this Pakistani spot, try the garlic naan -- the rounds of wheat dough have the perfect amount of smoky char on the bottom to compliment whatever decadent curry you happen to pair them with. Or, take the opportunity to sample some traditional Pakistani Muslim fare like the chicken haleem and seekh kebab.

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10. Jay Bharat 18701 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

Although a little out of the way, Jay Bharat is worth the trek for their bhatura, which is basically a massive puri -- and I’m not kidding when I say massive. It’s about the size of YOUR FACE. It comes with a bowl of gently spiced chickpeas in tomato gravy that makes a satisfying vegetarian lunch.