It’s almost summer, and a bunch of tasty spices is in season! For all you fans of flavorful food, spices, and vegetarian Indian cuisine, here are a few places to try out.
With 4.3 stars on Google Reviews, Chandhi’s is a formal, yet homey restaurant located in Santa Monica. Chandni’s serves a multitude of rich and flavorful dishes, from the soft and tender bread to the tasty curries. My personal favorite was the naans; the garlic butter naan with paneer butter masala (medium spice) was an amazing combination. It's definitely a place to try out.
Bhimas Indian Cuisine
Bhimas Indian Cuisine is a casual restaurant located on Pioneer Boulevard in Artesia--also known as California’s “Little India”--so it’s not surprising that some great cuisine would be served here. There’s a fine mix of North and South Indian options like the North Indian Thali and channa bhatura, and gobi Manchurian curry; on the South Indian side there are dosas, idlis/vadas, and bisibele bath. Some favorites include the flaky, crunchy parathas and the rich spicy Andhra King Thalis. It is actually two neighboring restaurants for either vegetarian or non-vegetarian cuisine, but the vegetarian one is the more popular one with 4.1 stars.
India Sweets and Spices
This one is an all-time classic for South Indians. The franchise has locations in Venice, Northridge, Sherman Way, and Los Feliz, and holds an average rating of 4.2 stars on Google. India Sweets and Spices serve both rich and light foods, with my personal favorite being the tasty Channa Bhatura ( bread with spicy chickpea curry) and spicy Aloo Gobi (potato and cauliflower curry) with Poori (fluffy bread). It is a great place to have a casual, quick, and healthy lunch that bursts with flavor.
As implied by its name, Baba Sweets is best recognized for its delectable sweets. Its Rasgullas (fluffy sweets soaked in coconut/rose oil), Burfis (layered, flavored hard sweets), and Kajas (rolled up sweet) are some of the best in the city. They also have very nice, quick North Indian food, delicious curries, and complimentary chai tea. This restaurant on Saticoy has great reviews and has 4.5 stars on Google Reviews, so it’s something to put on your “To-Visit” list!
Located at the heart of the Little India market plaza in Artesia, Rasraj Express is a small restaurant that specializes in North Indian and Indo-Chinese cuisine. Its menu, unlike most Indian restaurants, is more forgiving to those with a low spice tolerance; Rasraj Express offers varying spice levels, from mild to extra spicy. Its bread dishes are delectable, but personally, the drinks, snacks, and sweets were the highlight of my experience at the restaurant. I also liked the cheerful ambiance of the restaurant, the smaller portions, and the fact that there was both cozy indoor and outdoor seating. With 3.9 stars on Google, the restaurant is definitely worth the trip.
Woodlands Indian Vegetarian restaurant
A cozy and casual choice for South-Indian lunches and brunches, this restaurant is rated 4.5 stars on Google and is great for a family dine-in and buffet. The buffet has appetizing and tasty curries, rice, biriyani, and bread, while the main menu’s highlight is the dosas (paper-thin bread), rich sambar, and yummy masala chai.