Badmaash – Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

Finally a decent Bombay style cafe has come to LA. But this one comes with a touch of rebellious attitude that makes it a bit more hip. Part Bollywood, part hipster, if Quentin Tarantino were to frequent an Indian place, this would be it. It’s hard not to like a place that has a food porn section of the menu as well as incorporating the use of expletives.  Tradition be damned.

The food follows accordingly and is slightly different than what you would come to expect of a typical Indian restaurant.  Here you will see the absence of food swimming in a cesspool of ghee, the Indian clarified butter, and spices are toned down so they do not overpower the dishes and wreak havoc upon your digestive system.  But you will have some difficulty in classifying this place – fusion, tapas, organic, farm to table…whatever it may be, quality of ingredients are high and portion sizes are individualized rather than for sharing with the entire table.

Take for instance their Canadian-Indian dish of Chicken Tikka Poutine, which is an Indian twist on a Canadian national dish.  Having just come back from a recent trip to Canada, I can vouch that it is up there with the best poutine that they have to offer with crispy fries, rich gravy, cheese curds, and some chicken tikka on top.DSC_0018

Butter Chicken Samosas were also tasty. It is hard not to like anything that is wrapped in a pastry shell and then deep fried.DSC_0016

But my favorite was the Ghost Chili Lamb Vindaloo.  Using one of the hottest chiles in the world, the bhut jolokia, it was mildly spicy.  I use this term comparatively since anything with the ghost chile pepper in it tends to be painfully hot.  This one was at a perfect spice level where it created a good amount of heat without having to endure the pain that usually follows afterward.DSC_0017

Graciously, we were offered some of their Bombay Cutting Chai which is one of the best chai teas that I have had with a nice balance of cardamom and spices. Unfortunately I was only came for lunch so I was not able to enjoy their full dinner menu or be able to pig out. Other items that seem to stand out and are popular include their Chili Cheese Naan, Dad’s Carlsbad Mussels, Punjabi Pork Confit, Spiced Mango Pork Belly, and Spiced Lamb Burger.  It’s been a while since I have seen an Indian restaurant that offers pork on the menu! They also have the popular Indian cola, Thums Up, which is as much a part of Indian culture as is outsourced IT labor.  I can say that I was pleased enough to warrant a future dinner trip here, especially considering their decent selection of craft beers.

Bill total = 3 lunch entrees, 2 beverages, 2 appetizers, tax, tip = $72 ($36 per person)

Website: www.badmaashla.com

Badmaash on Urbanspoon

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