When I was living in Santa Barbara there were no less than three great Indian restaurants to dine at, all of them which also had lunch buffets. I would find myself eating out at Indian restaurants quite often, an average of about once every two weeks, Indian cuisine can be quite comforting and full-flavored. So when I came back to live in Los Angeles a couple of years ago I was a bit disappointed in the lack of Indian restaurants, no- to be more specific, I was disappointed not in the lack of Indian restaurants but in the lack of good Indian restaurants. I tried a couple of different places only to find that the Indian food was either too bland, too oily or simply made with less-than-fresh ingredients. In such a city as Los Angeles I am surprised to find that there are virtually no worthy Indian restaurants to dine at!
And then, last Saturday, armed with a gift certificate to East India Grill Mr. Borscht and I made our way to the restaurant. I was of course ever-so excited even knowing how my hopes have been dashed many times before, but I am at the core an optimist and also find trying new restaurants a rather pleasing and exhilarating pass-time.
The restaurant has parking in the rear although we did not know this at the time and parked along the street. The restaurant is small-ish, covered outdoor seating as well as indoor seating is available. Clean with an open kitchen the restaurant is not fancy yet comfortable and casual. There is an Indian man that cooks behind the counter, he stirs a great big vat with a long stirring stick and an Indian man waits on us. We pick a table outside, through the glass window that separates inside from outside I see a young Indian couple eating lunch, there is a spark of hope.
We begin with an order of samosa, one order consists of two samosas. Triangular stuffed breads that contains peas, potatoes and a whole lot of flavor! The samosas are absolutely delicious, I eye all the bits of herbs and spices and realize that not only are the samosas delicious but they are the perfect consistency, slightly crunchy on the outside while the potatoes on the inside have a soft moist texture, not at all clumpy like other samosas I've had. Can this really be the best samosa I've ever had?... I think so. But I stop myself from getting too excited too soon about this new Indian restaurant, afterall, how hard can it be to make samosas.
I opt for the Chicken Vindaloo lunch special. The lunch special comes with not only chicken vindaloo and rice, but also a small side of potato and pea curry and a small side of shredded cabbage salad drizzled with Italian dressing.
Everything was spectacular, my heart beat wildly as I finally come to the realization that this is the Indian restaurant I've been looking for since I've moved back home. The curries are flavorful, delicious, the textures perfect, the portions more than fair, the price? Awesome.
I was especially pleased with the chicken in the vindaloo which was not dry but perfectly moist, there is possibly nothing that I hate more than dry meat in the world of gastronomy.
And to sop up all the curry goodness we ordered two orders of garlic naan, although I believe that one order would have sufficed, a single portion of naan is rather large.
And even though by the end of the meal I sat there stuffed I just had to have a taste of there Gulab Jamun dessert. The sweet bread balls sprinkled with shaved almonds in sweet syrup are rather small, but they are sweet and of course, delicious like all else we had.
Thank you East India Grill!
And thus I say after my pleasing PLEASING experience at East India Grill, if you are still on the look out for a favorite Indian cuisine spot try this little spot. For now, this is the only place I'll go for my Indian fill.
Total Damage: $ 40.00 +/-
2 orders of garlic naan
1 order of Gulab Jamun
2 lunch specials
1 Fisher King beer
1 order of samosa
345 N. La Brea
Los Angeles, CA 90036