Friend hasn’t had Indian in awhile and doesn’t mind driving out w/ me to Lawndale today for lunch. For those of us who don’t have a super well-developed palate for Indian food, are there significant differences btw Al Watan and Al Noor? I tried one of these places many yrs ago and very much enjoyed it, but I can’t remember which one I went to…
Al Noor is just a teensy bit more westernized. It’s cleaner, the curries are less, oily, etc. But it’s still legit Indian/Pakistani food.
Al Watan is a little grubbier and arguably a teensy bit more authentic. It’s the place to go for tandoori chicken, kebabs, etc. They use mesquite IIRC. I also like their chicken tikka masala, but it comes with a slick of oil on top that some find unappetizing. Here’s a pic:
BTW, if you go to Al Watan, try the buttered seasame naan:
If it matters to you and your friend, Al Noor offers Indian appetizers while all Al Watan offers as a starter is a salad. However, the mixed tandoori at Al Watan (huge) is about the best I’ve had in California and the onion kulcha is also excellent as is the nehari.
We did Al-Watan and LOVED it! Pics on the Weekend Rundown.
Back at the India Sweets House for the weekend special masala dosa and rasmalai
Even feeding the city of LA by getting a parking ticket. What kind of antichrist tickets a scooter. Sheesh
What about the place on Pico next to Penguin?
(please dont’ be a 7-eleven joke, please dont’ be a 7-eleven joke)
Er, a cross street might be helpful…
ok that’s funnier than you think because i have the same model and color scootie
Only been a couple times, but I love Bombay Grill, tucked away in a strip mall in Hollywood. The food has such a depth of flavor here from all the layers of spicing - they certainly seem to use more whole seeds, leaves, peppercorns, etc than most places in the area, e.g. Crown of India, Anarkali, Cardamom.
Some of my favorite dishes are the bhindi fry, yellow tarka dal, and chicken biryani. In general, they seem to pay a lot of attention to the little things. I appreciate the spinach flavor in the saag dishes is more pronounced, not so overwhelmed by the dairy. Even the raita tastes better because there’s more fresh cucumber to brighten the yogurt.
I didn’t write about this place sooner because I thought they closed in January! Then I was driving by last week and randomly spotted their door open again. Turns out the chef/owner makes an annual trip to India and closes the restaurant while he’s away - he’s literally the only cook in the kitchen from what I could see (while his kids take turns running front of house). He usually goes for a month but this year, he extended his trip to almost 3 months! I wonder if they lost a lot of business because people assumed, as I did, that they permanently closed. To complicate matters, they said their landlord told them they have to leave at the end of August because of remodeling. They’re in the same strip mall as Soregashi and Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts, but those 2 don’t have to leave because they’re much newer. Anyway, sorry for the rambling - I just hope they stick around for a while because they’re really sweet, and the food’s great.
100% agree. The best examples of saag tend to have less heavy cream, hell I know some examples that have none at all. Unfortunately, many Indian restaurants put a lot of cream in their dishes, perhaps to stretch the solid ingredients further or perhaps to make the dish seem more decadent. Tastes so much better without it though.
It’s probably for both reasons you mention - I feel like a lot of people order saag dishes simply as a vehicle for the sauce or paneer or whatever else is added in as opposed to the saag itself!
Guilty. And I much prefer the paneer w/o the saag, truth be told! (sorry)
I should have said I totally order saag paneer sometimes just for the paneer too! But depending on what else is ordered, it’s nice to have the option of a more spinach-y dish.