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.
Also spectacular here was the “Dum Biryani,” another Kerala specialty combining basmati rice with moist chicken and a ton of spices. Paired with the fragrant mountain of rice was a papadum, a hard boiled egg, and two different chutneys. This was our favorite dish of the night.
For our final selection, we opted for the “Kerala Fish Curry,” salmon fillets bathed in a creamy and assertive broth. Located on the Malabar Coast, Kerala is famous for its seafood preparations. The curry was served with spongy pancakes made from fermented rice flour (appam) that soaked up the broth and delivered it to our mouths with ease.
Mayura is a must for Indian food lovers seeking hyper-regional fare outside of Artesia’s Little India. That rice…so good!
Mayura Indian Restaurant
10406 Venice Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
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