Sunday, July 25, 2010

Looking for Little India: Bombay Garden, Artesia

"Cuisine of India" sounds vague, but seeing lots of cars in the parking lot and on the verge of starvation, the Mathlete and I decided to give it a whirl, unaware of its poor yelp reviews. The space is massive inside, however, I could barely squeeze my six foot frame into our corner booth. The Mathlete had to request new silverware to replace the crusty originals. After placing orders, my Indian friend called me back telling me to go to a different place, but it was too late. Alas, this is all part of the adventure and we kept an open mind about our food to come.

We started off with a Taj Mahal lager. It was smooth and not overly carbonated.

The Bhel Puri ($2.95) seemed an intriguing conglomerate of puffed rice, diced potatoes, onions, tomatoes and crunchy flour mixed with spicy-sweet and mint sauces. It was like Indian bar snacks. Unfortunately the crispy rice was stale, making it difficult to enjoy the delicious flavors. I am dying to try a fresh version of this dish along with a some ice cold Indian beer.

The Vegetable Samosa ($3.95) and Vegetable Pakora ($3.95) came together on a big plate.  I was a little disappointed by the small size of the samosas, but, this is ain't Texas so I retracted by superficial judgments and took a bite. It was nothing spectacular, just your everyday potato and pea with a hint of yellow curry samosa. I was a little confused by the pakora's lack of vegetable shape. It was mostly fried batter with a few specks of what appeared to be cauliflower and onion somewhere inside. I felt a little jipped in the veggie department.

The mint-cilantro chutney and hot picked vegetable condiments made the situation better.

The Garlic Naan ($2.95) was chewy and aromatic.

Continuing with our carb fest, the brilliantly prepared Mughlai Biryani ($13.95) served as redemption to our sorry appetizers. Although it may not look it, there were serious chunks of tender lamb buried underneath all that gorgeous saffron rice.

Rounding out our feast was one of my favorite Indian dishes, Palak Paneer ($6.95). The cheese chunks -showing signs of golden seared edges- bathing in ultra creamed spiced spinach, proved to be a textural success. This was my favorite dish of the night.

As we walked outside some of the other restaurants patrons were kind enough to pose for me :)

There are so many Indian restaurants along Pioneer Avenue "Little India" strip in Artesia that I probably wouldn't return to Bombay Garden, but it was a nice start.

Bombay Garden
17221 Pioneer Blvd
Artesia, CA 90701
(562) 860-4608


weezermonkey said...

I kinda think the last photo made this meal worthwhile.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

I remember Ashoka being a pretty decent buffet. And on Wednesdays, it's unlimited dosa night at Woodlands.

Peter M said...

The hallmark of a good Indian restaurant is if they have their own tandoor oven and make awesome naan bread with it. Look, seek and eat!

Ruth Abatzoglou said...

This place would be great for a "staycation" to India while only traveling to Artesia! I loved the last photo, makes me want to go right now.

Shanti said...

It's pretty casual, but my fave is Jay Bharat, which I found courtesy of Indian family friends who love the place. Check it out!

Esi said...

I've had some serious cravings for Indian food lately. Now, thanks to you, I will order it tonight!

Banana Wonder said...

Weezermonkey - Hah, so true, they were extremely high spirits :)

Wandering Chopsticks - Woodlands and Dosa, Ashoka and buffet? Fantastic. Now, what about in P-town? :)

Peter - Next time I'll be sure to raid the back for oven inspection :)

Ruth - Maybe week 9 of summer break you can dedicate to Little India? You'd look fab in a sari.

Shanti - Thanks! I will check it out :)

Esi - I know, I want Indian tonight too.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

As the Black Eyed Peas say, I'll meet you halfway. :P Haha. But it actually is a good halfway point for us to meet up before you go!

I used to go down there to get my eyebrows threaded at Ziba. Not the outposts, but the original. Since they do Madonna's and Gwen Stefani's eyebrows, they're good enough for me. :P

We can go for Indian ice cream as dessert!

Banana Wonder said...

Wanderchopsticks - I'm tempted, so tempted. Indian ice cream??!! Drool!

stuffycheaks said...

thank goodness the meal recovered. stale rice is definitely not cool.

Banana Wonder said...

Stuffycheeks - you got that right, sister.