Thursday, November 11, 2004
there are two food things i miss the most when i'm in guam--one specific restaurant in la, and one cuisine overall. i'll get to the former shortly, but the latter is definitely indian food. there's an indian restaurant on island, but all its predecessors have left me flat, so i'm reluctant to try it.
surprisingly, i've also found most indian restaurants in los angeles lacking. that's not to say that there aren't good ones about, but there's usually one or two factors that prevent me from making regular pilgrimages--price, parking, location, and consistency of service and quality are the regular offenders. india's grill on san vicente blvd. near the beverly center/beverly connection on the west hollywood/beverly hills border would probably lose out on the location factor; even though it's quite close to me, it sits in a mini-mall on a one way street that bisects several major intersections at a precarious angle--the only way for me to get to it is to drive several miles out of my way to catch the one way street properly, or circle around several large residential blocks to find the right street that will take me to the correct street (i neglected to mention that the one way street also has a parallel service street that can potentially mess you up as well). harumph. luckily for it the food is so good, it's worth the extra effort.
the interior of the restaurant is clean and minimalist--i think. the lighting is so low, it's hard to make out the details. in any case, i usually end up doing take away, as it's almost always packed. on the rare occasion i do sit in, the staff is helpful and accommodating, and dishes arrive quickly.
i'm not an expert on indian cuisine, so i can't tell you what region the food is based on. i can tell you that they use very fresh ingredients, the spices are always clean, and potent. the meats and veg are never overcooked or dried out, the rices and breads are fluffy and flavourful, and you can always taste the individual elements of the dish, even as they blend together perfectly. they give generous portions, and will adjust spiciness according to your preference. i have to say india's grill will turn up the heat factor more than most restaurants will, which can be a big plus for many. everything i've tried from the menu has been excellent--the vindaloo, korma, and makhi are exceptional. you can mix or match sauces with a variety of meats, seafood, and vegetables--even tofu (yes, this is la we're talking about).
i was surprised to find out that the owners of india's grill also own the hipster hangout electric lotus in los feliz, which is heavy on atmosphere, but i find that the food, while good, isn't up to india's grill standards. eh. i guess it's something for the kids.
428 s. san vicente blvd
los angeles 90048