10 Great Indian Restaurants In Little India guide image


10 Great Indian Restaurants In Little India

From tiny family-run snack shops to tandoori specialists to legendary dosa spots, here are the 10 best restaurants in Artesia's Little India.

Right in the middle of Artesia—and just a 30-minute drive from Downtown LA—you’ll find a place called Little India. Since the 1980s, this neighborhood enclave has been a hub for Indian businesses selling everything from fresh spices to crystal-studded sarees. Most of the action takes place along the busy northern stretch of Pioneer Blvd, where you'll also find dozens of fantastic Indian restaurants. If you need help choosing where to dip paper-thin dosa in some sambar or enjoy a sizzling tandoori chicken leg, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s our guide to the best places to eat in Little India.


Jay Bharat

Jay Bharat is one of the oldest restaurants in Little India, and one of our favorite spots to spend a quiet afternoon eating thali. These stainless steel platters include several small bowls of rice, dal, sambar, chutney, raita, and vegetable curry. Depending on which thali you order, you’ll get slightly different combinations of sides and your choice of fried bread to go with it. Our favorite is their classic Gujarati thali, which comes with soft roti to rip and dip into creamy yogurts, lentil broths, and fragrant pickles.

If there’s one thing to get at Udupi Palace, it’s the paper masala dosa. The crispy, thin South Indian dish is about 3 feet long and shaped like a tube, so it’s easy to crack off a couple of pieces and share. It comes stuffed with potato masala that you can scoop up and dip into things like coconut chutney, sambar, and milk curd. This is the perfect spot to grab a quick lunch in Little India, which is when the dining room usually fills up, but you could also stop by for a casual weeknight dinner.

One of the few strip mall spots in the neighborhood where you’ll usually see a line, Ambala Sweets has been the go-to snack shop in Little India for decades. They specialize in mithai and namkeen, or sweets and snacks, which are made fresh and placed inside a huge display case. They’ve got hundreds of options that you can order over the counter, and much like a spoiled kid in a Toys R Us, all you have to do is point at whatever you want. We especially like their papdi chaat, with its deep-fried discs smothered in thick yogurt and tangy chutneys, followed by some coconut-dusted chum chum for dessert.

A few doors down from Ambala there’s a casual, sit-down spot that specializes in dosas you won’t find anywhere else. While most South Indian restaurants are entirely vegetarian, Chennai Dosa Corner also offers Indian crepes filled with meat dishes like mutton goat curry and minced chicken keema. With 25 different options on the menu, you could come here on a monthly basis and never eat the same dosa twice for years. Dosa varieties at Chennai range from soft and spongy kal dosa to thin and crispy uttapam, and each one comes with a side of coconut chutney and spicy lentil-filled sambar broth.

As you probably can tell from the name, you should order paratha here. This small, counter-service spot serves 12 different kinds of buttery flatbreads stuffed with things like milky paneer, spicy chili, and turmeric-dusted aloo. The flaky whole wheat dough on every paratha comes out golden brown, and for $8, you can add on a large side of curry for dipping. Our top pick is the smoky dal tadka, which smells like a mountain of cinnamon and cardamom, and the juicy dhaba chicken, which is loaded with ginger and garlic. Paratha Grill also has some Indo-Chinese specials on the menu that are pretty great, too.

This all-you-can-eat South Indian spot will keep your thali tray full until you tap out. Located on the second floor of a busy strip mall, this entirely vegetarian restaurant offers a rotating selection of stews, masala curries, and desserts for $26 per person. Keep this place in mind for a big weekday lunch—which ends at 2:45pm—or a weekend dinner feast with friends who are down to sample whatever spice-rich specials the chef brings over. If it’s warm out, grab a seat on their patio which overlooks a crowded stretch of Pioneer Blvd.

Surati Farsan Mart can feel a little chaotic when you first walk in. It’s always packed with people drinking tea and eating chaat, which means you’ll probably have to wait in a long line and fight for a table. But the South Indian sweets and snacks here make the whole experience worth it. They serve hot, spiral-shaped jalebi coated in bright orange sugar syrup, saffron-dusted spheres of deep-fried ladoo, and our favorite pan puri in town. When you finally reach the counter, they’ll price everything by the pound. We usually get a tray of Indian street food to eat on the sidewalk patio and a gift box full of chocolate rose coconut rolls to take home.

This South Indian restaurant is our favorite kind-of-fancy, sit-down spot in the neighborhood. The waiters wear button-downs, there’s a water feature near the entrance, and the big round tables are set with elaborate colorful menus. While Podi specializes in crispy dosa flavored with fragrant from-scratch spice blends, everything from the spicy Chettinad goat curry to the Amaravathi biryani is flat-out delicious. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily, but keep in mind that the wait times can be well over two hours on weekends. Be sure to cap off your meal with some of their house-blended chai.

There are dozens of branches of this South Indian chain scattered across the globe, including this casual, booth-filled location in one of Little India’s many strip malls. Anjappar specializes in Chettinad cuisine which is known to be spicy and meat-heavy. You can still come here for vegetarian classics like dosas, idly, and uttapam, but the really good stuff involves a blazing hot clay oven. Anajppar serves some of the juiciest, chargrilled tandoori chicken we’ve ever had, with a spice level that skews north of 10/10. We’re also big fans of their parrotta special combo plate, which comes with a smoky mutton curry made up of tender goat chunks, ground masala, and red hot chili peppers.

Paradise Biryani Pointe is another chain with several locations across the country (that just so happens to be in the same strip mall as Anjappar). They specialize in—you guessed it—biryani, and servers here carry these rice dishes full of marinated meats and spices around the room like piles of gold. Paradise Biryani Pointe can certainly fill up on weekends, but ultimately serves as a mellow spot to grab a quick dinner during the week. There are usually music videos playing on the TVs above the bar and a couple of families feasting on huge bowls of chicken biryani.

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