Los Angeles Adores the Spicy Fare at These Top Indian Restaurants

Angelenos love their spicy food and there are plenty of Indian restaurants all over Southern California that feed that need. From deliciously tasty spots near the beach like Tandoor-A-India to the modern offerings from Mint Leaf in Pasadena, there are choices galore to get your Tikka Masala or Saag Paneer fix. Los Angeles boasts one of the largest Indian-American populations in the United States, perhaps that is why there are so many Indian eateries to choose from. Some are small, family-run spots while others are chic, sophisticated restaurants in the best parts of town. What they all have in common is a dedication to recreating the special tastes of India, with exotic spices like saffron, tamarind, turmeric, garam masala and many others. Tandoori ovens abound, some made with stainless steel and powered by gas and others (more authentic and harder to find) made of clay and depending on charcoal to create the unique smoky taste that characterizes favorites like Tandoori Chicken. Most places will also let up on the spice level, for those who love the flavors of India but cannot take the heat; simply ask and the chef will adjust accordingly.

Photo courtesy of Badmaash


Badmaash on Fairfax is the second outpost of this Indian-style hipster hangout (the first is on 2nd Street in DTLA) and it seems to be even more popular than its older sibling. The brainchild of Chef Pawan Mahendro and his two sons, Nakul and...  Read More



Mayura Restaurant in Culver City is one Indian place that makes certain that their vegetarian customers are taken care of, by dedicating two kitchens to their food preparation. One is strictly vegetarian, making up classic dishes like Vegetable...  Read More

Electric Karma


Electric Karma is the place to find authentic, yet unconventional, Punjabi cuisine prepared by owner and chef Paramjit Singh. With a warm, friendly and romantic atmosphere including a pretty open-air courtyard and the candle-lit dining room, the...  Read More

Fairfax District
Cardamom Indian Cuisine
Photo courtesy of Cardamom Indian Cuisine


Cardamom Indian Cuisine prides itself on making every food item from fresh ingredients – there's nothing canned or frozen in their kitchen. Even their spices are bought whole and ground in-house for optimum freshness. Offering dishes from all...  Read More

La Cienega Corridor
Spice Affair
Photo courtesy of Spice Affair


Spice Affair offers a fascinating amalgam of old and new Indian cuisine in a beautiful setting. Chefs Anupam Bhatia and Nimish Bhatia quickly made their marks with their creative offerings, as Spice Affair was rated the #1 restaurant in Beverly...  Read More

Taj Mahal Cuisine of India


Chef-owner Dev Singh opened Taj Mahal Cuisine of India in Encino more than thirty years ago and he's still going strong with this award-winning restaurant guaranteed to tickle your tastebuds. Using a clay Tandoori oven, Singh creates classics...  Read More

Streets of India Cafe


Streets of India Cafe is a family-owned restaurant that specializes in cuisine from India, Nepal and Tibet. It's a family-friendly place, too, where kids enjoy sipping Mango Lassi drinks and nibbling on Peshwari Naan, which is Tandoori-oven...  Read More

TŪMBI Craft Indian Kitchen
Photo courtesy of TŪMBI Craft Indian Kitchen


At TŪMBI Craft Indian Kitchen, Chef Imran Ali brings an eclectic, exciting twist on Indian food to Santa Monica. His dishes emerge from less-familiar (to most Americans, anyway) places like Rajasthan, Goa, Afghanistan, New Delhi and...  Read More

Playa Del Rey
Photo courtesy of Alison Widdoes


Tandoor-A-India is the go-to spot for great Indian food near the beach. Located up on the bluff in Playa del Rey, this homey restaurant has an atmosphere that is quiet, quaint and inviting. The place is justifiably famous for their Chicken Tikka...  Read More

Mint Leaf
Photo courtesy of Mint Leaf Restaurant


If you are looking for top-notch Indian cuisine, the Mint Leaf in Pasadena is the place to be. Entering the exotic space, you'll feel as if you've stepped right into a Mumbai eatery, with its golden lamps, dark leather banquettes, red tapestry...  Read More


Meet Jenny Peters

Jenny Peters – aka Jet Set Jen – is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist, editor and party columnist specializing in travel, entertainment, film, food, wine, fashion and the other good...  More About Jenny