Los Angeles’ Little India: A Foodies’ Dream

Dahi Sev Puri from Surati Farsan Market. A must order!

Over the summer, my partner and I ate our way through India.  I gotta admit.  A big reason for visiting India wasn’t just the monuments (though the Taj Mahal was even more spectacular than ever imagined).  I was probably more excited about eating Butter Chicken and curry every day.  No judgement!

And eat we did.  Plus, miracles of all miracles we didn’t even get sick once.  We tried the creamy curries of Northern India, yogurt lassi’s in Varanasi and fresh seafood in Kerala.  But there was one dish that escaped our grasp  – a street food from Mumbai called “Dahi Sev Puri.”  Okay, not the easiest name to say (or remember… Thanks Google!).  I was so bummed I didn’t get to try it.  But lucky for us, we live in LA.  Where we have every little neighborhood you could imagine – Koreatown, Little Bangladesh, Philippines.  And yes, you guessed it:  Little India, located in Artesia (a 40 minute drive South of LA or just 15 minutes from Disneyland without traffic ).

Chowing down in Artesia, California. 15 minutes from Disneyland but worlds away.

Chowing down in Artesia, California. 15 minutes from Disneyland but worlds away.

So what is Dahi Sev Puri?  In short, pure deliciousness! It is a small deep fried whole wheat puffy shell stuffed with beans, potatoes and covered with sweet and slightly spicy sauces, yogurt and crunchy noodles.  I wasn’t sure what to expect (after all it doesn’t really sound all that appetizing as I’m writing this!).  But seriously, it was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Hands down.

Dahi Sev Puri from Surati Farsan Market. A must order!

Dahi Sev Puri from Surati Farsan Market. A must order!

The place to get Dahi Sev Puri is at Surati Farsan Mart.  It’s all vegetarian and I’d recommend trying out some of the savory/sweet mixed snacks.  They also have the full spread of deserts – heavy marzipan treats typically seen in bakeries across India.  Not really my thing, but seemed like a big draw for the locals both in India and in Artesia.

The trick to eating Dahi Sev Puri is to just pop the entire thing into your mouth.  Otherwise, you’ll be left holding a handful of sticky mush.  It is the perfect balance of tastes and textures and a light snack especially if split among two.

Trays of deserts like you'd see at a typical bakery in India.

Trays of deserts like you’d see at a typical bakery in India.

Artesia – Walking the Main Corridor

Pioneer Boulevard is a great place to stroll around (Between 178th Street and South Street).  Along this route, you’ll find shops with colorful sari’s each with signs featuring women dolled up for their special wedding day.  There are Indian grocery stores like Rasa where you can stock up on industrial-sized Ghee or peruse the aisles lined with paratha and naan.  It’s so much fun – and a great place to stroll for about an hour.

Shopping for some Buddha statutes - they got you covered in Artesia

In case you needed some copper plated Buddha and Shiva statues? They got you covered in Artesia

All the walking worked up an appetite so we grabbed lunch at The India Restaurant.  Let’s face it, what trip to Little India would be complete without some Butter Chicken?  They tempted us with the all-you-can eat buffet, a deal at just $11.95.  But I have no self control so decided to just order it a la carte (a wise decision for me!) along with a garlic naan.  It’s one of the more upscale places along the Pioneer Boulevard strip. And the food ranks up there too.

Self control here! Ordering the Butter Chicken ala carte since I have no control when it comes to Indian buffets!

Self control here! Ordering the Butter Chicken a la carte since I have no control when it comes to Indian buffets!

Artesia Restaurants:

Surat Farsan Mart
11814 E 186th Street, Artesia, CA 90701 and also located in San Diego
You must get the “Dahi Sev Puri”- costs $4.99.  You will thank me for this!
Open Tuesday-Sunday from 11 AM-9 PM and 11 AM-9:30 PM Friday and Saturday

The India Restaurant
17824 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701
Typical northern Indian curries.  Butter Chicken is awesome.  Cost $14.95.
Lunch special is just $11.95 and runs from 11 AM-3 PM
Open 7 days a week.  Lunch from 11 AM-3 PM and Dinner from 5-10 PM

Pioneer Blvd Stores 

Loveleen Sari Palace
18507 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701
Bright colors, and a fun place to just check out the latest trends in Indian garb for men and women

A selection of Sarees for men and women.

The latest styles from India at Loveleen.

Bombay Spices
18626 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701
This store has it all.  Groceries, spices, human-sized Shiva statues.  It’s a fun place to browse.  And who knows, maybe you’ll find that perfect copper plated Buddha for your new age aunt in your family.

Pioneer Cash N’ Carry
18601 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701
I love going into international grocery stores.  I don’t know what it is.  The thrill of new foods?  Not knowing a single product?  Or maybe just discovering something new.  Here you’ll find aisles of boxed pre-made curries, sections of the store dedicated to rice, and industrial-sized containers of Ghee.  I’m in!

Load on the butter - vats of Ghee for the India recipe.

Load on the clarified butter – vats of Ghee for the India recipe.

Summary
Los Angeles' Little India: A Foodies' Dream
Article Name
Los Angeles' Little India: A Foodies' Dream
Description
A sample of India's best street food, located in Los Angeles.
Publisher Name
www.gourmetglobetrotter.com

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