For all that LA has in tacos and Thai and sushi and those juice places Reese Witherspoon goes to flush her toxins out at, we lack in Indian food. Now, are there a few solid, traditional places around town? You bet. But there’s certainly not a ton of awesome destination-worthy Indian food, especially in the city’s central restaurant-heavy areas.

So when a modern Indian-fusion spot opens downtown, it’s safe to say it pretty much has the market to itself. Hello Badmaash, we’re very glad to have you here.

Located in a stretch of downtown where the Historic Core becomes a bunch of buildings you do jury duty at, Badmaash isn’t exactly a place you casually stumble upon. Nor is it even all that easy to find even when you’re looking for it. But once you do, be glad. Because Badmaash is the kind of cool, modern Indian restaurant this city has never really seen before.

Badmaash review image

photo credit: Holly Liss

The menu itself is broken into several sections, but can generally be whittled down to two: traditional Indian dishes you know and love and Indian-fusion dishes designed for Instagram. We can say this because they’ve literally put a hashtag on the menu: #BadmaashLA Favorites. With everything from Masala Fries to something called Chili Cheese Naan 2.0, this section might initially read like a stoner’s guide to not eating Taco Bell again tonight, but don’t dismiss it too quickly - it’s all pretty d*mn delicious. And none more so than the Chicken Tikka Poutine. Is it essentially tikka marsala on top of French fries? Yes. Are we driving across the city right now to order another one? We’ll pick you up in five. The traditional dishes won’t exactly blow you away, but they’re all still incredibly solid and a needed breather among the more modern plates.

Badmaash has also created a fun, cool vibe you want to hang out in. This isn’t your rowdy big group throwdown spot, but it is where you go for that casual, last minute date night or midweek dinner with friends when you couldn’t fathom putting on a button-down.

You can keep your toxin flush, Reese. We’ll be over here at Badmaash enjoying the kind of place this city actually needs more of.

Food Rundown

Badmaash review image

photo credit: Holly Liss

Chicken Tikka Poutine

Whether you’re sober, or high, or somewhere in between, this baby is a treasure. Feel free to write this off as the kind of late night munchie food you gave up years ago - it just means more for us. Salty, spicy, and savory, this nearly perfect dish is worth driving across the city for. And yes, that’s gravy at the bottom.

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Butter Chicken Samosas

These guys aren’t too far off from other samosas around town, except for the fact they’re about twice the size. And stuffed with a hefty portion of butter chicken curry. And yes, it’s all as good as it sounds.

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Goan Yam and Pork Curry

Easily our favorite amongst the traditional dishes. Sweet and spicy with a perfectly braised pork shoulder sitting in the middle, don’t judge yourself for immediately ordering another one.

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Chicken Tikka Masala

Fairly standard, but slightly little less creamy than most other chicken tikka masalas, your one friend who’s still convinced they don’t like Indian food will enjoy this.

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Ghost Chili Lamb Vindaloo

This is fantastic. And also not nearly as spicy as the menu warns you it is.

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Chili Cheese Naan 2.0

Despite having a name that sounds like something Guy Fieri escorted himself into Flavortown, this isn’t all that over-the-top. It’s essentially an Indian quesadilla and it’s good. But also nothing to write home about.

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