Los Angeles desperately needs a cool place to get great Indian food. A place like they have in London in spades. Where the hip atmosphere, friendly service and amazing food make you want to hit the spot on a weekend night and not just from your couch/delivery as you watch a rerun on TV. Much like Night and Market has done for Thai food, LA was clearly lacking just such a spot for Indian.
Until now. Hello Badmaash!
Here’s the deal. The place is downtown. The place is jammed. It’s loud. It’s got atmosphere galore. It’s got service that’s friendly but with an edge. It’s got a menu of Indian gastropub fare that you want to explore.
And then, by in large, it delivers.
Now, not everything is available on the menu during the soft open (seafood especially is lacking sadly for now). But what is sampled is pretty terrific for the most part.
Sure, there are misses. The naan is not a strong point. It is fine but not the pillowy softness where you want to take a nap on it. But it is good enough that you will most assuredly sop up the sauce from the butter chicken (murgh makhani) and the chicken tikka masala and the eggplant mash. That butter chicken btw, ridiculously flavorful. Two orders grace the table.
Saag paneer is nice. Smoked eggplant mash with caramelized onion and roasted garlic is a winner.
To start the chickpea and chips and the two bite fish are both wonderful. Less so, the samosas as the butter chicken version is already out for the evening and the traditional version of masala potato and peas proves alright but not much more. The masala potato fries likewise can be skipped, they are ordinary fries with some dipping sauce.
For dessert, some rice pudding with a ton of yummy cardamom leaves you with a bit of sweet and a hunger for more.
So, young hipsters and Indian food lovers, you’re quest for a spot to satisfy your cravings has finally been heard. And while improvements surely can be made, The Monster will be back to Badmaash.
Why go? The famous Carlsbad mussels aren’t available yet. You always want something to look forward to.
Monster rating: 4/5 Monsters
108 West 2nd Street, Suite 104
Los Angeles, CA 90012