Sunday, March 11, 2012

Staking Out Streets Of India

Streets Of India is one of those places I constantly find myself dreaming about, craving their scrumptious food. It's true that I dream about most vegan food, although Streets Of India is still one of my favorite places in Los Angeles. It does help that the food is inexpensive and they offer amazing deals. On my recent visit, my friend and I had our usual feast there, finding ourselves stuffed to the point that we almost needed to be assisted out of the restaurant.

We began the meal with an essential appetizer: Samosas ($4).

These were just as tasty as always. They were very crispy and perfectly deep-fried with a curried, well-spiced mixture inside. The sweet and spicy chutneys further enhanced the flavors.

Next, we had the Bhelpuri ($4).

This appetizer was incredible and so different from what I'm used to. There were crunchy pieces of puffed rice and a lovely mixture of sweet tomato chunks and bitter onion slices. There was a wonderful assortment of flavors and textures and it was quite spicy.

Next, we had the Vada Pav ($4).

These were fried potato patties and were very delicious. They had a wonderful soft, delectable texture and were easy to chew. The taste of potatoes was strong, with hints of spice and curry flavoring.

Next, we had the Gobi Aloo ($8).

This dish was fantastic. The cauliflower and potato pieces were cooked very well and were soft and easy to chew. They were coated in tasty sauce that had both ginger and tomato flavorings. It was very spicy and slightly bitter.

Next, we had the Vegan Lamb Vindaloo ($9).

Since I've never had real lamb, I can't attest to how realistic this actually was, but it was delicious. The soy meat was very chewy, as I imagine lamb to be and had a savory taste. The sauce itself had a rich, tomato flavor and was very creamy. It had a lovely combination of sweet and salty flavors.

We had a dal that came complimentary with one of the dishes and a rice with the other. The dal is a dish on its own, making it humorous that a dish comes with a side of another dish.

The dal was very soupy and had wonderful chunks of lentils and spices. It had a hearty taste and was quite spicy.

Next, we had a side of mango chutney ($1) along with some pappadum ($1.50).

The chutney was so sweet and luscious and would have worked perfectly as a dessert to end the meal. It was a great contrast to the intense heat of the dishes and even had notes of spice. It was smooth and syrupy, with chunks of mango, which complemented the crispy pappadum chips very well.

Overall, the meal was fabulous.  The food was top-notch, authentic and innovative. The servers were attentive as always, making sure we had everything we needed. With the $25 gift certificate, we each spent less than $10 for the meal. Talk about a feast on the cheap! I cannot wait to return again soon.

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