But despite my slaughterhouse tendencies, the vegetarian-Indian restaurant Samosa House tempts me to change my barbaric ways. Combining the joys of shopping and eating, the market/restaurant is the definitive place to satiate hunger pangs and shopping addictions.
Right when you walk in, you are greeted with fresh fruit stands, upbeat Bollywood musicals on a plasma TV screen and the smell of curry and spices that permeate the air and urge you to breathe in its strong scent, resulting in plenty of tummy rumblings.
The restaurant is similar to a cafeteria: a long line forms in front of the vibrant and ready-made Indian fare, which is served on Styrofoam containers divided accordingly for each entrée.
The most popular choice would be the three-combination plate, which comes with saffron rice, two pieces of roti (a thin tortilla-like wheat bread) and raita, a cucumber and mint yogurt sauce. For only $6.99, this is a hefty amount of food.
There are plenty of entrées available, but there is no menu available since the selection changes daily. Also, none of the entrées are labeled, but the courteous staff is more than happy to give you samples and explain the ingredients to you.
The food they serve is unique and guiltless, since everything is healthy and fiber-filled. The jackfruit with fresh spinach is surprising, having an artichoke-like flavor and meaty texture that you almost forget you’re eating fruit. The soy chicken in bright orange masala curry is very flavorful and spicy while not being overpowering, and the stuffed vegetables in yogurt curry isn’t spicy at all, but instead has a wonderful creamy and subtle flavor.
When done eating, make sure you peruse the grocery aisles filled with rare and exotic Indian and British ingredients and products, and for fresh produce like taro root and Indian eggplants.
Yet you can’t leave without trying a samosa, the potato and pea-filled triangular pocket of pleasure the restaurant is named for. Possibly the best in Los Angeles, it’s lightly fried and melt-in-your-mouth yummy; it comes with tamarind sauce and mint chutney for dipping.
It’s a popular misconception that vegetarian cuisine is tasteless and unfulfilling, but all the memorable fare at Samosa House refutes that very thought, even for us carnivorous folk.
For more information, call (310) 398-6766.