Los Angeles, also known as the City of Angels, is vibrant and teeming with activities to suit diverse tastes.
Between the Hollywood glitz and glamor, high-energy surf community, and constantly updated fashion and hip-hop circles, good luck finding time to explore all your options.
I recommend you move with intention and get to know the city well. Plan your itinerary thoughtfully because you will most likely want to come back for more.
Restaurants should also be part of your itinerary because the food scene here is very mature and in a state of constant evolution thanks to the star power the city holds.
Whether you’re looking to have a casual catch-up with an old friend, wine and dine with an important business client or impress your date, you are bound to find a joint that suits the occasion in the city.
50 N La Cienega Blvd #120, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Spice Affair is a stylish restaurant in the upmarket Beverly Hils area. The decor oozes class, and their dishes are as true to Indian tradition as they come!
They tick all the “good restaurant checklist” boxes: great atmosphere, extensive drink selection, and efficient service. The prices are definitely on the higher side, so keep that in mind before you offer to pay for everyone’s dinner.
There are many vegetarian options, and I ordered the amchuri with a side serving of roti bread.
Although the serving portions are small, I got the sense that they’re going for quality over quantity. My food was delicious, and the spice levels were just right.
The joint has a private dining room for about 14 people and a separate banquet hall for bigger groups if you have a party.
2327 Honolulu Ave, Glendale, CA 91020
Cardamom’s style skews more on the upscale side while still managing not to overdo it. The abstract wall paintings on different walls make for good conversation starters. Additionally, the space is welcoming and can serve as a backdrop to your memorable night.
They specialize in traditional Indian food with a modern twist and have a good quality wine list. I was pleased to find out that you can get private dining if you book in good time.
A piece of advice if it’s your first time going to Cardamom: They don’t play with their spice. If a meal has a spicy label on the menu, you’re going to have your lips sizzling.
108 W 2nd St #104, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Badmaash is another modern Indian eatery that combines the old with the new. A quick look at their menu shows a clear separation between the more traditional Indian dishes and international variants.
The old and new offering is likely the result of having the restaurant run by the very capable Chef Mahendro and his two Canadian-raised sons bringing in the modern elements.
Even though the decor is simple, the wall art will pique your curiosity. I found the portraits depicting Gandhi wearing wayfarers particularly amusing. When there, make sure you try anything from the “Badmaash Faves” section of the menu.
However, the tables are a little small and can feel crowded in a sitting of more than three people.
115 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Chic and modern vibes permeate Tumbi Craft Indian Kitchen, which matches the restaurant’s location in the iconic Santa Monica Boulevard, one of the most vibrant streets stretches on the west coast.
Tumbi Craft Indian Kitchen is also a Michelin-awarded establishment as they received the Bib Gourmand award, one reserved for restaurants providing “good quality and good value” to diners.
Once there, try the rogan josh for your main dish or pani puri if you’re feeling more adventurous.
The bar has a variety of drinks, and you can see all of them and various glasses arranged in pristine order.
10406 Venice Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
Mayura Indian Restaurant is hard to miss as you roll down Venice Boulevard. The joint has a rich history tied to Kerala pride because the proprietors hail from that South Indian state. Their cuisine is unique as they strive to stay true to said traditional Kerala flavors.
The restaurant’s interior is sizable, and I would encourage you to visit with friends to explore some of South India’s finest cuisine.
Perhaps share a thali, which contains various dishes, with them. Parking is easy to come by right outside the restaurant, and there is outside seating if that’s more your speed.
13619 S Inglewood Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250
Al Watan specializes in Pakistani and Indian cuisines, finding a way to blend the traditional dishes with the more daring, innovative modern styles.
The restaurant’s footprint is modest, but the very overt advertising on the outside window makes it hard to miss as you zoom by S Inglewood Avenue.
Their family-oriented seating lends itself well to larger groups with children, and minor considerations like these make the difference between good and great restaurants.
All their bread is freshly baked and especially sweet when still hot. Try pairing that with any of the Currys to enjoy the explosion of flavors.
Al Watan has been in business for a whopping 30 years, and their excellent service will ensure they stick around for a few more decades.
2535 E Washington Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107
In the heart of Pasadena is Mint Leaf Indian: a modern restaurant with world-famous chefs and accolades from food critics to match.
The fittings are a little on the older side, albeit tastefully done, because the decor consists of multiple fringed fabrics, large-patterned wallpapers, and an embossed faux-bronze ceiling.
The food is flavorful but heavy on the spice. Unlike other joints, Mint Leaf has a 1-10 spiciness scale, and I selected 6 out of 10, expecting it mild. But I was very mistaken, and I’d recommend consulting the waiters before making an order.
As for the food, I suggest getting tofu tikka masala, which is very rich in taste.
21853 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364
The Bombay Frankie Company’s slogan is “home of the Indian burrito.” Residing at the Westfield Mall in Culver City, the restaurant knows its specialty and is not reluctant to advertise it.
The beautiful establishment only does counter-serve, like a typical fast food place, so it is a slightly different experience.
My chicken tikka wrap was very flavorful and paired well with my beer. There is limited seating inside and out, which is a shame because the space is so pretty.
I can see this being a much more vibrant place, and with the quality of their burritos, I doubt they would have any trouble filling those seats.
10200 Venice Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
Annapurna Cuisine is a simply-styled South-Indian food restaurant with generous serving portions and high cleanliness standards. The staff serves efficiently, so waiting times are generally short once you place your order.
The dosa is a popular choice for visiting diners, and you should pair it with their chutneys or sambas.
You could also ask for any of their specialties cooked in the kadhai, something similar to the more popular wok found in Chinese restaurants.
All plaza occupants share the parking space, so it’s limited, and this might be undesirable if you find yourself pressed for time.
7246 Rosemead Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91775
Bhanu Indian Cuisine & Market is half restaurant, half grocery store with a small, low-key setup.
It may feel a little cramped at full capacity on a regular day, but it’s that same intimate setup that would work well for a private event.
You can’t go wrong with any of their curries or butter chicken. As for the drinks, you can only get the non-alcoholic variety. I recommend the masala chai if a hot beverage is more your speed.
Don’t let this eatery’s lack of flashiness dissuade you; their well-executed menu is the reason they’ve been in business since 2011.
18525 Pioneer Blvd 2nd floor, Artesia, CA 90701
Rajdhani is a vegetarian eatery that stands out from many Indian restaurants in Artesia due to its platters.
People frequent the joint for the vegetarian thali, which is a family-sized meal served on a metal platter. Such dishes provide an excellent opportunity to experiment with different Indian flavors and textures.
My friends and I took advantage of their unlimited option, where they keep refilling your thali until you’re satisfied. The interior decor is rather basic but gets the job done.
On the other hand, the outside seating area does have some lovely fairy lights and looks charming at night. If I were to reserve a space for private dining, this would be it.
11510 Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066
Samosa House is the ideal eatery for Indian staples because all the food served is vegetarian. A grocery store is part of the restaurant, and you can buy Indian or Nepalese spices to take home for your cooking experiments.
Their tasty mango lassi (a milkshake-like drink made with buttermilk) might be the best this side of the US. I highly recommend it. I also tried the tofu curry, which was so mouthwatering.
The combo plates offer great value while allowing you to sample different flavors, but do not leave Samosa House without buying their crispy samosas!
428 S San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Nestled between two other businesses at Barclays Plaza is the hidden gem that is India’s Grill.
Warm lighting bounces off the colored walls to evoke a cozy, welcoming feeling in the family-run restaurant. The styling is simple, with basic seats and marble-topped tables.
Our order of paneer butter chicken and paneer tikka masala felt homemade, and the tasty naan bread went straight out of the oven onto our plates.
For drinks, you can take your pick from a selection of sodas, yogurts, and teas, but nothing alcoholic is on offer.
Being located at a mall meant that there was ample parking space.
7300 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Located at Sunset Fuller Plaza, India’s Tandoori Hollywood has ample parking on most weekdays, but it might be tricky on weekends.
I visited on a weekday and took advantage of their “All You Can Eat” lunch buffet, which runs from Monday to Friday.
The lamb curry was perfect, and our server checked on us constantly to make sure my partner and I were alright. Also, the samosas and onion bhaji were excellent starters.
There is a strip of beautiful paintings running along the length of the restaurant, making a beautiful decor.
Booth seating is the most abundant and is ideal for one on ones. The service was top-notch, and I would go back again.
1739 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
For decades, the Electric Lotus Kitchen of India has consistently served authentic Indian food to the people of Los Feliz.
The space is very relaxed, with sprinkles of modern decor touches in the form of pendant light fixtures, marble countertops, and sleek ceiling fans.
Booths along one end of the restaurant allow for seclusion, which my party of four preferred.
My order consisted of well-seasoned tofu tikka masala, and the vegetable biryani was so filling.
Two of my friends had never tried Indian food, but we were fortunate enough to have our waiter explain popular combinations to help them decide.
Right in the heart of West Los Angeles, on Wilshire Boulevard, is India’s Oven. The decor is basic but modern, with ample seating space easily accommodating large families.
The portions were very generous, and my samosas plus chicken tikka were delicious. What’s more, we experienced such a high level of hospitality from the staff.
We sat at the windows overlooking Wilshire, and it was very nice to zone out and enjoy the view at night.
However, there are no signs on the street, so the restaurant might be a little hard to find for first-timers.
But once you find it, underground parking is free for one hour on weekdays and all day on weekends. Therefore, you can enjoy some quality time, especially on weekends.
4325 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029
The best Indian restaurants tend to be family-run, and Agra Cafe is no different. Established in 2005, the joint specializes in North Indian cuisine and if you stop by, be sure to ask for their tandoori chicken or any of the vindaloos. You will ask for more!
The restaurant offers outside seating, but it was a little too basic for my liking. There are a few tables with two chairs each and one of those pop-up tents you would see at conventions.
Perhaps they could add a few plants to separate diners from the cars and people in the shopping plaza.
Either way, I was more than happy with the service I received, and the food quality was excellent.
10916 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
Since 1999, Jaipur Cuisine of India has served traditional Northern Indian tastes while catering to a more nuanced and sophisticated California palate.
I was hungry during my visit, so I chose to go heavy on the meats. My order of lamb chops was delectable, having been marinated in traditional Indian spices and grilled in the tandoor.
Much to her chagrin, I also helped myself to half of my partner’s chicken tikka masala, which had a smooth sauce.
7013 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Located on one of Los Angeles’ most iconic streets, Anarkali Indian Restaurant is surprisingly toned down.
Walking into the space provides a stark departure from the usual Los Angeles flashiness and theatricality. What you get instead is a succinctly styled restaurant that picks its cues from a regal Indian palace.
Our server was always on hand to get what we needed, and he was gracious enough to answer our questions about the interior design. I liked that our booth was very private, and it felt like we were in our little bubble.
The manager also periodically checked on us to make sure we were enjoying our mutton curry. The food here is delicious, and the ambiance is magnificent!