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Indian in Little India

Thi Nguyen | Aug 6, 2001 08:38 PM

So far in my food wanderings in this my new home, I've been following the J. Gold book. Great, except it's let me down for trips to Artesia for Indian.

It suggests Jay Bharat as a chaat place, and India Sweet and Snacks for desserts. Both great, certainly. Jay Bharat is actually amazing. I recommend it to all - every thali is great. The best ones are to be had only on weekends. (Thali are sort of set meals of breads and lots of little different tasty preparations. All thalis at JB are veggie.) Its veggie cuisine beats out the Westside favorite Madhu Daprakash by a considerable distance, to my admittedly unschooled tongue. This is a restaurant that actually totally silences conversation, on every visit.

But the J. Gold book suggests Radjoot, which is closed now, for a kind of high formal cuisine that I hadn't heard of before.

And it suggested Ashoka the Great for straightforward tandoori-and-masala cuisine, as did a few other sources. I had never been more let down by a trusted source. The food was overcooked, badly flavored, and just sort of depressing. Perhaps it's gone downhill, or perhaps it was just an off night, although I suspect not, since it failed Restaurant Finding Rule of Thumb #3: on a street in a heavily Indian neighborhood, where the street presence seemed largely Indian, where English was not the primary language spoken on the street, where every other restaurant was filled with Indians, Ashoka had nary an Indian diner.

So: where to in Artesia? (Or, actually, anywhere, for Artesia level food.) I love Jay Bharat, but where to for tandoori? And the standard makhanis and the like? And anything else that might be good which I probably never have heard of?

Oh, and Jay Bharat makes sensational in-house hot-mix. Is there better to be had?


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