Taj Tandoori in Palms is growing on me

Sorry in advance for no pics and blathering, but Taj Tandoori has been a reliable go-to lately. They serve “Indian/Pakistani/Halal” dishes. I don’t think they’ve been open very long. We found them on yelp (OMG) - very high ratings. They’re located next to Sofra on Venice Blvd in the Palms area.

Both my wife and I have been crazy busy at work lately. Exhausted, we’ve called in orders here a few times now and have been very happy with their food. The seasonings, the spice levels and the portions are just right to us. Most dishes are spicy - heads-up - but if you enjoy heat, they will suit you fine. The briyani has been very good (not Zam Zam good, but not nearly as oily either).

Their chicken - Tandoori and Yaj Pathani - has dethroned Charga in this household. Again - the seasoning really hits the spot for us. I’m no Indian cuisine expert, but the food in general has been spot-on.

Anyway, they’ve gotten consistently busier over the past month since first visiting them. The majority of dine-ins have been South Asian so they appear to be doing things right.

So if they take longer than promised in fulfilling your order, cut them some slack - like most ethnic eateries, they’re a family-run eatery for the most part. In fact, tell them to take their time. One can’t rush Tandoori excellence…:wink:

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That is such a nice review! I love the part where you tell people to be patient.

The boy and I don’t really like Indian food, but will eat tandoori and naan. We’ll check it out, thanks.

The gentleman running the cash register - I am guessing the head-of-household - can get a little panicked when it’s busy and things start to back up a bit. He’ll poke his head in the kitchen and urge them to hurry. I mentioned something to the effect that I’m in no rush and that I could wait. My line of reasoning is that roasting chicken in haste seems like a lost cause.

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Looks promising! It’s interesting how, between this place, Zafran Pot, Chargha House, and old standbys like Mayura and Samosa House, the Culver City/Palms area is fast becoming our own Little Artesia.

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Yes - the pickins’ have gotten better.

Oh wow that’s really nice, and closer to me than Charga.

I tried Charga House and I wasn’t impressed. I really liked the food at Taj Tandoori. As a plus, Taj Tandoori is a few blocks from my house. If you haven’t already, check out the Muslim grocery store next door, West LA International Market. They have a mind blowing selection of middle eastern cooking staples. Also, I’m impressed with the freshness of the dried lentils.

Charga has some menu items that we like. The halleem, naans, roti, chana masala, seekh kabob and whole chicken Charga are pretty good. The briyani was just ok.

The store next door has some sausages that we found serviceable albeit quite greasy.

We tried a few vegetarian items as I don’t eat meat or poultry (sag paneer, okra and naan, mango lassi for my husband, salt lassi for me). I didn’t like anything we ordered.

Mango lassi is kind of an afterthought at most Indian places that I’ve tried. One place that makes theirango lassi with determination is Samosa House. In fact, if you don’t eat meat, stay away from any place that has “Pakistani/Halal” in their description, and go to Samosa House. They are vegetarian/vegan and do make some pretty good dishes (and nice samosas).

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Personally, I prefer salt lassis to mango lassis. It’s my husband who likes mango lassis. I will recommend Samosa House to him. I really like the salt lassis and many other dishes at Tara’s Himalayan. I actually don’t eat samosas. It’s a blood sugar thing. Do you recommend the other dishes at Samosa House? Also, does Samosa House use steam tables or do they prepare the food to order? As you can see, Taj Tandoori has a variety of vegetarian and seafood dishes.

Samosa House has steam tables AND prepares food to order. 90% of what I get there is samosas, so I’m not the best judge on what else is good that you may be able to eat or like. The jackfruit is good, as is the cauliflower (smoked?), pakoras and yogurt curry.

The Pani Puri, the naans and anything built on a naan is good as well.

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Many thanks to @bulavinaka for the tip regarding Taj Tandoori in Palms. Upon the owner’s suggestion, I ordered palak paneer and a plain naan, which came to about $11. While I was waiting, he set up a table with an umbrella for me outside. He was truly welcoming and had a lovely, warm personality.

Unwrapping my goodies at home, I noticed that they had packed everything with care. My palak paneer was in a tightly-sealed container with a couple of layers of Saran Wrap securing everything in. Not a drop of the precious liquid was breached.

The palak paneer was perhaps the spiciest version I’ve come across, but it was so delicious, redolent of ginger and perhaps fenugreek. Normally, I don’t like finely pureed greens in this dish, but the intense flavors won me over. Also it wasn’t cloyingly rich, which is one of my main complaints about palak paneer. I couldn’t stop eating it despite my sniffles, and the naan provided welcome relief as well as my leftover takikomi gohan (Japanese rice with soy sauce, dashi, and mountain vegetables), which was an ideal partnership of Indian/Pakistani/Japanese culinary traditions. Due to the spiciness and generous portions, I was only able to finish half of my meal. I look forward to polishing off my leftovers tomorrow with Kleenex in hand.

For dessert, I had a guava pastelito from Coppelia’s (next door to Taj Tandoori), which was pretty good. The pastry was flaky, and the filling was very, very sweet, but it helped quell the stinging fire in my mouth.

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I like your choice of tablecloth and plate.

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Thanks so much, @J_L! It’s my silly hobby pretending I’m a food stylist… If you’re interested in buying any of the pieces, here are the links. The plain plate is from William Sonoma’s brasserie collection: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/brasserie-all-white-porcelian-dinnerware-collection/.

The tablecloth is actually a tea towel. :wink: I just try to make it look like a tablecloth. It can be found here: http://www.ameliemancini.com/shop/cactus-tea-towel-black?category=Kitchen. General Store in Venice might still carry it.

The lovebirds plate is from Anthropologie’s Calligrapher Monogram Canape Plate series: https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/calligrapher-monogram-canape-plate?category=kitchen-dinner-plates&color=901.

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Tried Taj Tandoori last night and was very pleased! We ordered the Tandoori Chicken and the Taj Pathani Chicken. Both were tender, moist, and flavorful, though I slightly preferred the spicy rub on the Taj Pathani. Chutney was also quite tasty and reminiscent of the one Zam Zam used to serve.

I will definitely be back to try some of their curries and for more of that awesome chicken. Thanks for the rec @bulavinaka!

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We prefer the spicing on the Taj Pathani as well.:yum:

Only question I have on this topic is

charcoal or no charcoal?

I know I’m geographically off a bit – but you could add in Tera’s Himalayan which is a block or so from Taj. I used to go there quite a bit, but not so much anymore, though I’m not sure why. Their food has a lot of overlap with Indian/Pakistani. They also serve yak – which I don’t see anywhere else.

The other spot you could add in is a spot I am more enthusiastic about: Jasmine.

The family who runs Jasmine are from Myanmar. They serve Burmese food. Again, not exactly the same as Indian/Pakistani but many of the dishes are similar. We go there more often. It’s not at all fancy, even if you eat in they serve on paper plates. But they do good business, it can get pretty crowded and they do a lot of take-out. Jasmine is on Sepulveda between Washington and Culver – so it’s more or less in the same neighborhood. They also have a small grocery store. Super nice people, low prices. (The lunch specials are really reasonable.)

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Thanks @PaulF for reminding me. My wife used to get takeout from Jasmine kinda semi-regularly. As you with Tara’s, we just let it go after a while - no reason.

I’ve never had Tara’s - my wife has (she goes out for lunch way more than I do) and enjoyed it. We’ll have to put these places back in the list. Thanks again.