Mayura - Kerala in Culver

I’m quite sure that most of you are well aware of this place and some of you probably obsess as much as we do, still I feel there needs to be a dedicated thread to this place because it is monumental. Surely the followers of J Gold have tried it.

For people who live in LA proper, going to Artesia anywhere remotely close to regularly is out of the question. All of the other options that at least I’ve explored don’t come close to delivering what Mayura does.

What is unique about it is that they focus on where they’re from, Kerala and it’s something like the only true Kerala place in all of California (unconfirmed). Padmini goes home quite often and apparently still brings in bags of spices and curry leaves.

Kerala cuisine is mostly vegetarian with a great fish curry and loads and loads of breads. Bright flavor that are spiced in a different way to the rest of India. Dosas, Appam, Uthappam etc are great for mopping up curries and sambar. They do however offer meat dishes as well. Huge fan of the buffet here. Tandoor is running on charcoal so the chicken comes out nicely smoky, they use this chicken for curries, which makes it twice as good.

Been going for 5 years now and since we’re going back today I wanted to see what you all think of it and it hasn’t really featured here yet. Let’s see if anyone knows a better place that I can explore locally.

some favorites

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Looks good but as a clarification, Kerala cuisine is very, very far from being mostly vegetarian. All kinds of fish, seafood and meat (including pork and beef) are staples of the state’s cuisine.

Also, their online menu suggests that their focus on Kerala cuisine is not very, well, focused. They list dishes from elsewhere in South India and also all the familiar North Indian curry house staples. ( http://mayura-indian-restaurant.com/culver-city/culver-city-foods.html)

(As for curry leaves, they’re easily available in every Indian grocery across most of the US.)

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Really? I’m just going by what the owners have told me. Interesting. I always thought the very south was vastly pescatarian

Indian restaurant owners are not, by and large, good source of information on Indian cuisine.

Kerala has a large Christian and Muslim population. And most Hindus eat meat. Yes, a lot of fish is eaten in Kerala but so is a lot of other meat.

In fact, the Southern states–Kerala included–are the least vegetarian. See this study from 2006 for some detail: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/article3089973.ece

The survey shows that regional location matters more than caste or community. As expected, the lowest proportion of vegetarian families are in coastal States such as Kerala (two per cent), Tamil Nadu (eight per cent), Andhra Pradesh (four per cent), Orissa (eight per cent) and Bengal (three per cent). Most land-locked States, especially in the west and north, are places with the highest proportion of vegetarian families: Rajasthan (63 per cent), Haryana (62 per cent), Punjab (48 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (33 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (35 per cent) and Gujarat (45 per cent).

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very interesting thanks for the info… i guess they’re just talking about their community then…

still love the place

My guess is they just tell people what makes sense for them in terms of what they do at the restaurant.

I do hope they’re not putting tandoori chicken in the chicken curry in the Kerala section of their menu (“Mayura Specials”) or suggesting that mopping up that stuff with masala dosas or utthapams is the Kerala thing to do.

No. Don’t read what I wrote as remotely accurate. I’ve never been to India. Place is bomb, do you agree? If not, what’s better?

I haven’t been (no longer live in LA and eating Indian food is not my focus on our regular visits–I cook at home blah blah blah). I was just responding to some of the statements you were making (or repeating) in the interest of putting good information out there.

I have struggled with Mayura. I live very close by, and was hoping it would become a regular rotation place for me. But my problem has mostly been with the ingredients themselves. I had the kerala fish curry. The fish tasted rancid. To be sure, this was not a high quality cut. I am willing to try it again but every time I think of that bite I go somewhere else.

My standard Indian go-to on the west side is Akbar in Marina Del Rey.

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I find Mayura inconsistent, ranging from reasonably good to pretty bad. They do have some Kerala dishes on their menu but they are not particularly noteworthy.

Unfortunately, there is no other Kerala restaurant in the area. The closest substitutes? Apey Kade, which is Sri Lankan, is excellent. Addi’s and Mandovi, which are Goan, are quite good.

For vegetarian Indian food I’d head to Artesia. Rajdhani and Surati Farsan are personal favorites, and I have seen good reports for Chennai Dosa on this board (I haven’t been).

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I’m way into it. I’ve only had positive experiences there.

Only downside is that it’s a pretty big space yet it’s always been really empty when I’ve been, which is a bit of a downer. Maybe I’ve just gone at down times. Has that been the case for you?

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fwiw:
i tried the lunch buffet at mayura about a year ago and tried the lunch buffet at apey kade last week.
to my palate, the flavor profiles were not at all similar.
would not see one as a likely good substitute for the other.

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No, pretty busy for lunch every time I’ve been (i’m the duke). Includes today. Not packed but at least half full.

They’re having another round of renovations now which is nice, new floors already in. Furniture next.

Don’t know about the guy who said he had rank fish there. I had it today. I guess it’s possible he was served old tainted fish? I’ve never had anything off-putting there myself.

I’m excited to try that Sri Lankan place and looked at pictures and didn’t think they would be similar enough. There’s no replacement right in the area for it anyway.

@westsidegal: was there one flavor profile you preferred more? It’s been awhile since I’ve had either Mayura or Sri Lankan, but I did feel like there are overlaps in the two cuisines…

wsg, how was the food at apey kade? good? or no?

thanks.

the only food i was allowed to try at apey kade was the lunch buffet.
to really evaluate the food, i’d need to hit it up for dinner.

not enough info yet

Does Mayura serve a lot of Kerala/South Indian dishes in its lunch buffet? I’m wondering if like is being compared to like. Because there is in general a fair bit of overlap between Sri Lankan cuisine and Tamil and Kerala cuisines.

what i think i had traditionally Kerala today for lunch:

dosa with sambar and coconut chutney
vegetable biriani, daal(pretty universal for india, but again dif spice blend),
mushroom masala (no clue if kerala), a glorious potato dish with loads of onion, pepper (no clue again),
appam with fish curry
chicken curry (no clue)
tandoori (clearly no)

mango dessert with cream of wheat base (no clue)

i recommend that you go for dinner, not lunch.