Indian in West Los Angeles.
Gentle light, a quiet, romantic atmosphere. French doors open out onto a breezy California night. You can feel the energy, excitement of the street as you enjoy your meal by gentle flickering candlelight.
Yes, I’m describing an Indian Restaurant.
Why wouldn’t I be?
Now, for some reason that’s not exactly the stereotype that enters a lot of people’s minds when it comes to Indian Restaurants. I get the feeling that a lot of patrons of Indian places are thinking only of the exotic, only of the faraway.
But the Indian-American population is on the rise. It’s on the move, so the idea of India being this far away idea is kind of…well, dead-ass wrong. I expect in my lifetime for Indian Cuisine…or should I say Indian-American cuisine to become every bit as commonplace as Chinese (American) or Mexican (American).
Even as that happens, I also expect fellow traveller foodies to seek out the stuff actual Indian-Americans like.
So…why can’t there be white tablecloths, candlelight and good service along the way?
Needless to say, Jaipur Cuisine of India does know how to set a mood. The first time I was in there, it was after a movie. Me and my date sauntered in, a little too close to closing. They served us anyway, but we kinda had to wing it on what was left. Was that the Chicken Tikka in this case?
Why yes, yes it was.
If nothing else, Jaipur managed to make one of my earlier Indian Cuisine experiences easier. It succeeded in making me want more.
Fast forward to 2014. Another outing, this time in the daytime. Jaipur does the all-you-can-eat Lunch buffet as well. I guess all Indian places are doing it nowadays. The Food costs are relatively low, as you consider that it’s mostly vegetables and spices you eating. The food keeps remarkably well, and like a good Boeuf Bourguignon, it may actually get better as it sits in the pan, waiting for your fork or spoon. It does take a little of the specialness away from the dinner service, kinda like watching a play with all the backstage lights on. Still the lunch was good. I just preferred Dinner. Either way, it’s a good place. Again, not the greatest in town, but damn good.
And for some reason, I got there just as they were wrapping up Lunch Service. What is it about me and this place as it’s closing down?
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: While you’ll get the greatest and best known hits of Indian Gastronomy during the Lunch Buffett, I still recommend coming here for dinner.
As my first dinner experience here was…let’s just say early on in my experience with all things Indian. I went pretty safe, and pretty typical. Chicken Tikka, some Naan Bread to pull a Scarpetta on that wonderful, wonderful sauce. But I look up and down the menu, and the nearest and dearest of Indian’s best is here. Would I feel safe in their hands with these basics?
Now, I need to wander into still more Indian places and continue my personal education.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: …and this is more for me, than for you, mind the hours.
PARKING: There, but occasionally limited. You’re looking at Parking inside the Westside Pavillion’s two semi-joined structures.
What do I mean by semi-joined? Trust me, the Westside Pavilion is basically two malls joined together by a small footbridge that stretches across Westwood Blvd. Thus, there is parking on both halves of the mall.
Optimally, you’d park closest to the Restaurant, which his the half where the Landmark Theater sits. But, because it’s where the Landmark sits, it’s usually the most popular half of the mall.
You can park on the other half, though I’d try to shop somewhere inside to get a validation of some kind. Also walking this at night is…well, it isn’t dicey, it’s just a long walk in the dark, and you’ll have to determine how comfortable you feel doing that.
Jaipur Cuisine of India
10916 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Tel: (310) 470-4994
Daily: 11:00am-3:00pm / 5:00pm to 10:30pm.