Good Indian on the Westside.
I’ve tried to get big into Zomato now that it’s taken over from Urbanspoon. And one of the consequences of hanging out in Zomato’s world is that I’m making a lot of connections with Foodies from around the world: Australia, Canada, and particularly in and around India.
My personal rule has always been that when showing off the foodways of Los Angeles, I don’t show off stuff you can get better where you are. My Dad lives near Baltimore. We don’t do a lot of Crab or Seafood while he’s in town. Another friend is born and bred in Italy. We don’t do a lot of Italian when she’s in town.
I don’t know how good the Indian food is in Los Angeles, at least compared to the Mother country. I’ve been to places that are all right. I’ve been to places that I thought were sensational. I have no idea how any of my new Zomato buddies from India herself would react to what I’m having here in town. All I know is what I like, and than when an Indian friend in town makes a recommendation, I try to follow it up.
Electric Karma was one such recommendation from a friend who used to work bar at the old House of Blues Foundation Room. She’s Indian-American. She may have been raised in South Carolina, but she knows her stuff. So when she suggested Electric Karma, I knew I had to try it.
Walking in, and the first sense that hits you is…well…that of a typical Indian restaurant in Los Angeles. High marks for the decor, and the feeling. Of course, I’ve come in for a late lunch, and the place is practically deserted. (Okay, one other dude’s walked in now that I’ve gotten my Mango Lassi). It’s comfortable. A lot of seats, a few of them outdoors next to a massive window. Even a bit of a bar toward the back.
Electric Karma is nice. Just a touch nicer than the places I’ve been too in North Hollywood. About the same as Jaipur which is not far away. It’s a good casual restaurant, with a bit of money pumped into it’s veins. It carries none of the Westside attitude that can make going out a chore. I can see this place shining a bit, even at night. A place to walk into out of the night heat, and sit down for a comfortable meal with a date or whoever. It’s not my favorite place for Indian in Los Angeles, but it’s not bad.
My friend was right.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I led things off with a nice, nice tall, cold Mango Lassi. Now, I have a friend who has (and hopefully will be) spending significant time in India. He’s eaten his fair share of actual Indian food, and even he gets overwhelmed by the spice. To me, the Lassi, particularly in it’s Mango form is the solution. Creamy, tasty, bursting with flavor…it’s also milk based, and it cools the tongue, making the further consumption of more spiced food all the more possible. (Y’see, when you drink water…water spreads the spice around. Milk…or Milk in Lassi form coats it over, quenching the fire).
Electric Karma makes a good Lassi. It should be your non-alcoholic drink of choice.
Next, I went with the Palak Paneer, Basmati Rice and the Daal of the Day, which looked (and tasted like Squash…good Squash.)
Now, when you look at that plate, you might be saying. But Malcolm…WTF. Is that it? Is that all the food you get at this place? Plus it’s (le sigh) VEGETARIAN. You can’t fill up on Vegetarian.
Oh no…gentle reader…you most certainly can.
I didn’t believe it either. My expression slouched into one of profound disappointment when I saw that plate dropped in front of me.
And then I finished…and man I was full.
Of course, the Naan helped.
So don’t be deceived. You are getting yourself a mammoth amount of food, and it’s good too. The Squash Daal was good because…tell you the truth, I don’t even like Squash all that much, and I couldn’t get enough of it. The Spinach was tasty, creamy, but not so much you couldn’t taste…you know…the Spinach over the cream. The folks at Electric Karma know what they’re doing. Trust them with a bit of your money.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Nothing too much to worry about here. Comfortable spot. Just walk in, get your grub on.
Okay, fine. I’ll give you a little something. It can be a little hard to see the mostly yellow sign when it’s doused in Sunlight. There. There’s your safety tip.
PARKING: Okay. I’ll be honest with you, the situation is difficult.
West 3rd Street is a fairly popular one in L.A., and of course, all the metered spaces will be taken when you pull up to Electric Karma or the nearby Son of a Gun, wherever you go. Unless you get stupid lucky. The next solution is side streets.
On the side streets. I got stupid lucky. I found a meter on Sweetzer fifty feet from West Third. Further back is more Residential streets, and more open parking. As memory serves, it’s okay to park back there. It’s a bit of a longer walk, but you need the exercise anyway. Just be mindful of the signs. It’s a residential area, and look out for those “Permit only” signs”. We don’t want you to get a ticket.
8222 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Tel: (323) 653-2121
Daily: 11:30 am – 10:30 pm