By Jonathan Gold Thursday, Nov 11 2010
Formidable mustachios, women in bright saris gesturing with scraps of dosa, a flatscreen in the corner flashing Bollywood clips — it's a scene out of Cochin, not what you might expect a block or two from the big Culver City studios. Nowhere in California will you find another restaurant specializing in the cooking of Kerala, a strip of southern India shaped by a thousand years of spice trading. And even if you are familiar with other local southern Indian restaurants, a lot of the food may be new to you: saucer-shaped rice-flour pancakes called appam; the complexly spiced fish curry with undernotes of tamarind and garlic; and ven pongal, a peppery concoction of rice lashed with cumin, cashews and ungodly amounts of melted butter. If Mayura happens to be offering its special Kerala-style biryani, order it without question. The fluffiness of the rice and the sharpness of the spicing are superb.
As an Indian restaurant on the Westside, Mayura is a full-service establishment, not serving alcohol but not objecting when you bring your own; offering northern Indian dishes as out of place as sauerbraten would be on an Italian menu; and preparing dull but Halal-compliant plates of chicken tikka and lamb korma but cooking them in a separate kitchen so that vegetarians need not fear the errant bit of flesh in their bisi bele bath. Have another dosa instead. 10406 Venice Blvd., Culver City. (310) 559-9644, mayura-indian-restaurant.com. Open Mon., 5-10 p.m., Tues.-Sun., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Beer and wine. Takeout, delivery and catering. Lot parking. AE, D, MC, V. Location map hereRead the article From LA Weekly >>