Archive for 'Vegetarian'

Bawarchi Cements Culver City as Best Place For Indian Food in L.A.


Ask for the best Chinese food in Los Angeles?  People will tell you that you have to drive East into San Gabriel Valley.  Vietnamese?  It’s south to Westminster you go.  Japanese?  Torrence.  Filipino? Artesia.  Fans of Thai and Korean food (aka Me) are lucky.  Those two can be found within the Midtown Lunch boundaries, just West of Downtown.  But what about Indian food?  Well, for that, I’m starting to think that Culver City is the place to be. Sure, many of the restaurants are vegetarian only.  But the food is so good, so flavorful, and so uniquely Indian (forget everything you know about chicken tikka masala) that it’s easy to forget there’s no meat.

This realization didn’t happen all at once.  When I first moved to Culver City I tried India Sweets and Spices, and was super surprised by how good it was (jackfruit is not very common in New York City.)  Things got even better at Samosa House and Samosa House East. Same basic concept, but with tastier food (fake chicken and paneer FTW!) Mayura is great if you want an all you can eat lunch buffet (and meat), and I’ve heard Annapurna is good for dosas and other south Indian delights- but Bawarchi might just be the best of them all.

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Samosa House vs. Samosa House East: An Epic Battle Between Paneer And Fake Chicken


Not that I know much about people who don’t eat meat, but it occurs to me that Culver City is a great place for vegetarians… especially vegetarians that love Indian food. Veggie Indian food is one meatless wonder I can get down with, mainly because South Asians don’t automatically assume that because somebody doesn’t want to eat meat they also don’t want their food to have flavor… and calories.  The fact that they get it so tasty without relying on the sweet deliciousness of meat fat is just bonus points.  I’m a big fan of India Sweets and Spices (9409 Venice Blvd), but most people will agree that the go-to vegetarian Indian steam table/grocery store combo has got to be Samosa House… and, I guess by transitive property, the glossier Samosa House East- which opened in December just to the (you guessed it) East.

The original Samosa House

But with only 1.3 miles separating these two incredibly similar locations, pure proximity shouldn’t necessarily decide which one you eat at (unless of course you work at Sony and can just walk across the street to S.H.E.)  Sure, those who prefer modern decor will go the East route, while those who prefer the old school feel of the original (plus all the Indian groceries) will go West.  But food-wise they are almost identical…  save for 2 pretty awesome ingredients.

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Locali Brings Grilled Cheese Inivitational Winner to the Masses

Like many attendees of this years Grilled Cheese Invitational I left hot, sweaty, and completely grilled cheese-less.  If you didn’t have a “judges pass”, the entries were off limits, and if you didn’t want to wait in long lines at one of the few mobile vendors selling food, you were basically SOL. So when I heard that Locali, the “conscious convenience” store on Franklin & Van Ness was selling their DaVincheese sandwich- the 1st place winner in the Professional/Kama Sutra category- I headed right over to see what I had missed out on.

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Skip Govinda’s and Head to India Sweets and Spices


I discriminate against no food. And, quite frankly, I don’t understand people who do. Well, that’s not entirely true. I understand why people do what they do. I just don’t comprehend the how of it. I guess what I’m saying is, I understand why somebody would want to be a Vegetarian (although admittedly I understand the pescatarian phenomenon less), I just don’t understand how you could not eat pork (could I be a swineatarian!?) That being said I totally don’t mind good vegetarian cuisine, because often the chefs are forced to make things *more* delicious because they can’t fall back on ingredients like pork belly, bacon, or lard. (“Those all come from the same animal!” “Yeah, right Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.”)

So when I heard there was a Saveur endorsed, $7 all-you-can-eat buffet, in a Culver City Hare Krishna temple, my love of cheap buffets overruled my love of pork. And it was off to Govinda’s.

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