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A food spread at Badmaash.
Photograph: Courtesy Badmaash

The best Indian restaurants in Los Angeles

Craving samosas or excellent tandoori chicken? These excellent South Asian restaurants in L.A. have it all covered.

Patricia Kelly Yeo
Edited by
Patricia Kelly Yeo
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Eating Indian food sometimes feels like an exercise in Comfort Food 101. Pile up a plate with basmati rice, lamb vindaloo and a sizeable wedge of naan, and suddenly the plate is clean and you're already making a second batch. Luckily for us, Los Angeles is rife with Indian eateries and other cuisines from the subcontinent, with plenty of hidden gems scattered around the city. They're in every corner of the city, too—from Artesia's Little India to Silver Lake and West Hollywood, these Indian (plus Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan) restaurants are the city's best.

RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in Los Angeles

The best South Asian restaurants in L.A.

  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Culver City
  • price 2 of 4

Specializing in South Indian cuisine, with an eye to vegan and health-conscious options, this award-winning Culver City strip mall gem has stood the test of time. Dishes rich with cumin, coriander, turmeric pre-dominate, as well as creamy stews that sway more sour than sweet. On its massive menu spanning halal and vegetarian options you'll also find excellent versions of regional specialties like uthappam—a pizza-like pancake that features various toppings cooked into fluffy dosa batter—and Kerala-style fish curry with pieces of bubbly, ultra-light appam. The giant, conical ghee roast dosa is also a must order for every table.

  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Downtown Historic Core
  • price 2 of 4

A modern Indian restaurant marrying Toronto-style swagger and South Asian spice, Badmaash offers a delicious, carefully thought-out menu of Indian classics and more playful dishes, like a chicken tikka poutine and chili cheese naan. Run by the Mahendro brother-and-father trio, this isn’t your average Indian takeout-style fare. Take their double-fried chicken: Dusted with paprika masala, each piece is craggy, crunchy and out-of-this-world good when dipped into their side of serrano-cream sauce. No meal would be complete, however, without one of their poutines, which can be also topped with vegetarian-friendly channa masala. Time Out tip: Order the vegan-friendly oat milk chai, available by the bottle for takeout purchase as well.

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  • Restaurants
  • South Asian
  • Hawthorne
  • price 1 of 4

For years, this family-run Pakistani eatery has cooked up delicious portions of halal food, including a standout Karachi-style chicken biryani and plenty of specials. Call ahead to find out what's available that day, including a weekeed-only brunch plate with sweet, carrot-based halwa, chickpea-based curry and a deep-fried, handrolled puri.

 

  • Restaurants
  • South Asian
  • Hawthorne
  • price 2 of 4

Since 1998, this fully halal Pakistani restaurant down in Lawndale has offered the all-around best desi cuisine in the South Bay. Now-classic Indian and Pakistani dishes like chicken tikka masala, palak paneer and lamb korma are the move here, especially for weary travelers making the short 10 minute commute from LAX. Beyond takeout mainstays, spring for the harder-to-find Pakistani dishes like nihari—a spicy, indulgent braised beef stew peppered with ginger and jalapeño—and haleem, a hearty mash of chicken, wheat, barley, lentils, herbs and spices. Plus, Al-Noor’s garlic naan, which comes freshly baked and piping hot from the tandoor, serves as a welcome reminder of the humble flatbread’s highest potential.

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  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Silver Lake
  • price 2 of 4

What started as a large Indian market in Culver City has grown into a fantastic restaurant in Silver Lake, a cafeteria-style eatery serving incredible food. For vegetarians, it's a safe haven to find meat-free dishes that don't skimp on flavor. For non-vegetarians, well, it's just as enticing. Samosas are large and fried to perfection, and you can get your money's worth by opting for a combo platter: three sides with rice, bread and raita or soup. To wash it down, a mango lassi is your best bet (they even have a vegan version!).

  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Southeast Cities
  • price 2 of 4

Elaborate platters of Gujarati cuisine are the reason why Rajdhani, of all the restaurants and sweet shops in Artesia’s Little India stretch, stands out from all the rest. Despite being situated by the sea, the western Indian state is known for its vegetarian—not seafood—dishes, and Rajdhani is no exception. Servers bring dishes tableside (there's no buffet here), so you can get up close and personal with Rajdhani’s ever-changing thali—a selection of daal, chapati, okra stew and more, with vegan, gluten-free and Jain (allium-free) options abound. End the meal with the restaurant’s excellent desserts, like rose ice cream topped with basil seeds or sugary balls of gulab jamun.

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  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Southeast Cities

Since 1988, Artesia’s Jay Bharat has specialized in a mix of high-quality Indian sweets and everyday vegetarian Gujarati cuisine. The always-busy Little India restaurant offers thali platters for dine-in, takeout and delivery, plus a diverse collection of sweets available for shipping nationwide. Order sticky swirls of jalebi, milky white squares of kaju katli and other hard-to-find sweets, or visit in person for an excellent selection of chaat—street food snacks that range from filled, deep-fried puris to khasta kachori, a type of crispy, flaky pastry stuffed with lentils and mung beans.

  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Pasadena area

Open since 2011, this San Gabriel grocery store and casual sit-down restaurant offers all the usual takeout favorites like chicken tikka masala, along with a few hidden gems from the family’s recipe archives. Try the chicken pakora—deep-fried fritters perfect as an appetizer—or Bhanu’s take on bhel puri, a sauced, herbaceous mix of vegetables and crispy pieces of popped rice.

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  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Beverly Hills

With locations in Westlake Village, Woodland Hills, Encino, Beverly Hills, and Los Feliz, this mini-empire has offered delicious subcontinent-spanning Indian food for casual dine-in, takeout and delivery for close to three decades. A solid mix of North and South Indian dishes made with traditional clay oven cooking will sate your next takeout craving, from a spicy lamb vindaloo to sizzling platters of tandoori chicken.

  • Restaurants
  • South Asian
  • Koreatown

Located not too far away from Koreatown’s Little Bangladesh, this cafeteria-style takeout eatery and market offers regional specialties like rohu fish curry and mughlai paratha, a stuffed flatbread and popular Bangladeshi street food. Other South Asian dishes with a Bengali twist like lamb biryani, vegetable pilau and chicken karahi are also available here, plus a small selection of sweets.

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  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Culver City

This street level takeaway spot within Westfield Culver City first gained citywide recognition as a beloved gas station shop hawking frankies, a popular Mumbai street food known more commonly in L.A. as an Indian burrito. Now, the family-run Bombay Frankie Company runs an excellent fast-casual brick-and-mortar with housemade chutneys, locally sourced produce and freshly ground spices that elevate the flavor of every foil-wrapped North Indian treat. Available for both takeout (curbside pickup included) and delivery, the Bombay Frankie Company also offers plenty of gluten-free and vegan options, including a delicious aloo gobi (curried potato and cauliflower). 

  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Culver City

Specializing in Burmese and Indian food, this halal takeout eatery and grocery store in Culver City offers a pleasing mix of everyday-priced Southeast and South Asian cuisine. Here, dishes like tea leaf salad and panthay khow suey (a Burmese version of Thai khao soi) complement more Indian-style dishes like flattened patties of shami kabab and goat biryani. Beloved by locals since its opening in 2008, the family-run spot also has an excellent bright pink falooda—an ultra-sweet rosewater drink perfect in the spring and summer.

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  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • West Third Street
  • price 2 of 4

Is there an Indian restaurant in L.A. more romantic than Electric Karma? Probably not. The Beverly Grove eatery serves Punjabi cuisine in a dreamy setting with flickering candles, tasseled garden umbrellas and lanterns that set the mood. At night, Bollywood films are projected above the main dining room as world music plays softly in the background. Start with a few appetizers that include traditional vegetarian samosas seasoned with tamarind and sweet tomato chutney, sambar soup and cheese naan with mango chutney, followed up by palak paneer with tofu, chicken frankies (a sort of tightly wrapped naan burrito) and masala dosa.

  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • East Hollywood
  • price 2 of 4

Tucked into a small East Hollywood strip mall, this beloved late night spot is framed by a string of lights that beckon diners into a red and gold banquet hall. Known best for their incredibly creamy, vibrant red chicken tikka masala, India's Restaurant serves a bevy of solid standards—lamb samosas, a sweet vegetable curry, plenty of tandoori options—along with balti specialties that feature off-the-bone chicken, shrimp, fish and other protein options in hearty stews. Oh, and their garlic naan is perfect for some serious scooping action. You can also find the same cuisine at India's Tandoori (Manhattan Beach, Hollywood and Brentwood) and Torrance's Bombay Tandoori.

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  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Torrance

Found along a stretch of the breezy PCH, Bombay Tandoori & Banquet is a popular destination for South Bay locals—especially those in search of a solid lunch buffet for $13.95 (weekdays) and $15.95 (weekends). Fill your plate with basmati rice, lamb vindaloo, chicken tikka and shahi paneer, or order à la carte and tuck into creamy shrimp masala, gobi manchurian and goat biryani. Diners can order combos for dinner as well, like the Bombay Shakahari Bhojan, which includes naan, basmati rice, daal makhni, aloo gobi, and your choice of saag paneer or baingan bharta (roasted eggplant) and salad or raita (yogurt sauce).

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