The Astronomer is not the jealous type, except when it comes to weekday lunches. While he and his colleagues dine at various sports bars across El Segundo, my co-workers and I are spoiled by the San Gabriel Valley’s bounty. Lunchtime envy is real in our household.
In addition to fantastic Chinese and Vietnamese options in and around the office, there are solid Mexican restaurants and, as it turns out, Indian spots too.
Flavor of India, a relative newcomer to Rosemead, offers a $10 lunchtime buffet that my co-workers and I have been digging lately. Pro tip: Indian food comas can be seriously intense, so it’s best not to schedule any post-lunch meetings when this spot’s on the docket.
Continue reading ‘New Flavor of India – Rosemead’
Badmaash, which means “badass” in Hindi, totally lives up to its name. Opened last year by Chef Pawan Mahendro and his son Nakul, Badmaash brings the vibrant flavors of Indian street food (with a few fun twists) to Downtown Los Angeles.
The Mahendros arrived in Southern California by way of Toronto. Chef Pawan, who is formally trained in classic French and Italian cuisine, opened Jaipur Grill in Toronto and spent years traveling through India before arriving in Los Angeles.
While the playful gastropub-meets-Indian-cuisine mashups have been hogging the headlines since the restaurant debuted—Chicken Tikka Poutine and Chili Cheese Naan, anyone?—I was interested in sampling the more traditional offerings during my visit with Valentina, Anne, and Nastassia. We made an exception for the lamb burger, of course!
Continue reading ‘Badmaash – Los Angeles (Downtown)’
Before settling in Los Angeles and opening Mayura Restaurant in Culver City, Aniyan Puthanpu-Rayil owned a similarly spirited restaurant in his home state of Kerala in the southwest region of India. While Mayura’s menu offers India’s greatest hits like samosas and chicken tikka masala, diners in the know zero in on the specialties from South India, specifically Kerala.
To guide The Astronomer and me during our first meal at Mayura, we consulted Jonathan Gold’s 2008 review, Mayura’s Flavors of Kerala. We ate extraordinarily well this evening.
For first timers and regulars alike, the dosas are a must. These crisp paper-thin crepes, which are made from a rice and lentil batter, are served stuffed with savory ingredients like potatoes, spinach, or cheese, as well as plain.
We settled on the “Ghee Roast Dosa,” which arrived perched upright and coiled like a teepee, and painted with melted butter.
A spicy and tangy sambar (a stew made of vegetables and lentils), as well as coconut chutney, was served on the side for dipping. We attacked the dosa from either side, uncoiling it as we went. It took a solid effort from two solid eaters to finish this seemingly never-ending dosa.
Continue reading ‘Mayura Restaurant – Los Angeles (Culver City)’
Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se, which literally means “from the streets of Mumbai,” is the only restaurant in Los Angeles specializing in Mumbai-style street food. Here in this nondescript dining room in a nondescript strip mall in Little India, former software engineer Sailesh Shah and his wife, Shruti, prepare sweet and savory snacks from their hometown, and the results are fantastic.
The completely vegetarian menu lists close to one hundred Maharashtrian delicacies. Taking a cue from Miles Clements’ article in the L.A. Times, The Astronomer and I stuck to the quintessential street food offerings on our visit. Or at least we tried to…
To drink, a tall cup of sweet yet tangy piyush, a cooling beverage made from yogurt, saffron, cardamom, pistachios, and almonds that takes three days to prepare. Every sip was delightful to the nth degree.
Continue reading ‘Mumbai Ki Galliyon Se – Artesia’