Parents-in-law have been talking about their new favorite Indian place for a couple months, Rita’s (possibly Rita’s Gate of India or just Gate of India? It’s not 100% clear), and we finally tried it with them tonight. No pics unfortunately, but we had:
Bhelpuri: I had never had this before. An appetizer that is kind of a carb-y salad, with crispy noodles, potatoes, onions, tomato, some herbs, and a tamarind sauce. I wish the noodles were a little crispier, but I did really enjoy the tamarind sauce; it was sweet but with just enough tang to not be cloying.
Coconut Lamb Curry: This was probably my favorite dish. Relatively sweet, with a really bright, complex flavor that I think is often lacking in westside Indian. I basically forced myself to stop eating this so I could have some for lunch tomorrow.
Aloo Gobi: Again, I thought the flavors were just really fun. Whereas I feel like Aloo Gobi is basically just healthyish (bland) tasting cauliflowers and potatoes, these were cooked to the point the cauliflower were nearly dissolving into the curry, which was fantastic.
Chicken Tikka: Maybe a tinge undercooked and the least exciting taste of anything we had. Still fine and I did appreciate that it wasn’t dry at all, but much more generic-tasting than anything else we had.
Vegetable Biryani: I didn’t have a ton of this, but what I did have appeared to have good flavor and veggie distribution throughout the biryani.
Raita: Not as electric as some, but perfectly acceptable.
Service is super nice but a little slow. Considering how bereft Santa Monica has been of Indian, this was a pleasant find indeed and saves the drive to Lawndale or Culver City.
Rita’s (Gate of India) 1450 5th St, Santa Monica