Tantalizing methai (sweets) and chat (snacks) are what it’s all about at Surati Farsan Mart, a stylish shop specializing in Gujarati-style nibbles since 1986.
On the methai side of things are a rainbow of confections constructed from sugar, nuts, and spices. The shop makes half a dozen varieties of barfi, sweet bites flavored with dried fruits and nuts. While these are all quite lovely, it’s the restaurant’s tremendous selection of chat that keeps me coming back time and again.
The various types of chevdo or “hot mix” are my snack of choice these days, especially the “African Chevdo,” a spicy mixture of tikhi sev (thin, crunchy noodles), cashews, peas, peanuts, and fried shredded potatoes. The khandvi, inch-long chickpea flour “noodles” rolled with onions, mustard seeds, cilantro, and coconut, are equally irresistible.
Most swoon-worthy of all are the pitch perfect pani puri, delicate whole-wheat shells filled with mung beans, potatoes, and jaljira, a cool liquid imbued with herbs and spices, and drizzled with chutney. It’s best to eat it all in one big bite to fully experience the dynamic interplay between cool and spicy and crunchy. That, and to avoid any jaljira dribbling down your chin.
Surati Farsan Mart: Indian Sweets and Snacks
11814 186th Street
Artesia, CA 90701
One year ago: Drago Ristorante – Los Angeles (Santa Monica)
Two years ago: Bouchon Bakery – Las Vegas (The Venetian)
Three years ago: Good Girl Dinette – Los Angeles (Highland Park)
Four years ago: Fat Fish – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
Five years ago: Bánh Mì Cá Sardine
Six years ago: Davio’s – Philadelphia