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For lovers of Indian Food: A Gem in K-Town

Toohey | May 1, 200610:37 PM

After reading/observing several posts on Indian food in the city of Los Angeles, I would like to put my two cents on a gem of place which seems to be missing from the lists of fellow Hounds.

The place in question is called "Makkah Halal Restaurant" located in a strip mall at the intersection of 4th Street and Vermont Ave (Koreatown). The owners are from Bangladesh and their food reflects an interesting mix of Mughlai/Punjabi (i.e. North Indian) with East Indian (Bengal) (The Yellow Dal/Dal Tarka is the closest to home-made daal in a lot of East/West Indian homes, the Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Bharta) is jolly good, the Aloo "Motor" as its called again has a homemade flavor to it - again more East Indian than North).

Lunch buffet is good, but does not have the variety of numerous other "Indian Buffet specialisits", however whatever is served is delicious to say the least. The Chicken Makhani (Butter Chicken) is yummy to say the least and IMHO, is more or less a daily fixture.

However, I would highly recommend going for dinner and trying out the Chicken/Lamb Tandoori dishes (Tandoori Chicken/Chicken Tikka/Lamb Tikka are juicy, spicy and luscious, Seekh Lamb Kabab is good but I have had much better in Pakistani restaurants in Orange County). The curries - notably the Chicken/Lamb Bhuna, the Shrimp Curry, and the Chicken Vindaloo is outrageously good.

The downsides (which don't concern me but may concern others) are: its not a date place, its ambience is nothing to write home about (perhaps obvious from the first point) and it doesn't serve alcohol (and I am not sure if they allow BYOB). FYI, most dishes are in the $8-11 range.

Its closest geographical competitors are in the Los Feliz area, and it does have a potential "halal" competitor in "Agra" but "Agra"'s curries are OK, and the vegetarian fare is way below average. The tandoori dishes on the other hand are quite good (and it allows BYOB - been there, done that). The other Indian place "Electric Lotus" at best is average in terms of quality but certainly better in terms of size of portions (though it is a little expensive).

Makkah Halal Tandoori Restaurant
401 S. Vermont Ave.,#3
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 383-9976

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