Indian cuisine is a standard in healthy diets, featuring aromatic herbs and spices, fresh fruits and vegetables, hearty grains and legumes, and lean meats and seafood.
One can enjoy a variety of Santa Monica menus representing many regions of India, with a California flair – to explore and eat well on-the-go!
Pradeep’s Indian Cuisine
An Indian food tour of Santa Monica starts at this Montana Avenue mainstay.
Chef Pradeep Shastri’s vibrant menu selections are sans gluten, butter, and cream. Vegan items include carrot and coriander soup, and seasonal mixed-vegetable curry. Choose special creations like chicken tikka amritsari (boneless white meat medallions with curry-infused lentils, greens and basmati rice). Or, create your own combination dinner platter (either vegetarian or non-vegetarian). Look for organic green salad options, too.
Takeout and catering is available. Order online here.
1405 Montana Ave., 310-393-1467, www.pradeeps.com
Dhaba Cuisine of India
Main Street favorite Dhaba Cuisine features authentic regional dishes of India and daily local farmers’ market vegetable specials.
Start with an appetizer like samosas (spiced potato and vegetable turnovers with chutney) or fire-roasted corn on the cob. Main entrées include chicken korma (chicken in a cashew nut cream curry), paneer saag (farmers' cheese in a puréed spinach-garlic curry), and coconut salmon. Or, try a combination platter. Finish with a dessert such as seasonal strawberry ice cream made with farmers’ market berries.
Open for dinner only; takeout is available.
2104 Main St., 310-399-9452, www.dhaba.biz
Check out this all-vegetarian restaurant in mid-city for specialties rooted in northern India, and its daily buffet lunch.
The extensive menu includes a large selection of traditional Indian nan (flatbread) and other bread choices, and dal (dried lentils, peas or beans). Pick entrees like bhara began (stuffed eggplant with Chef’s secret recipe sauce), and sides such as boondi raita (seasoned yogurt with fritters).
Takeout is available.
1909 Wilshire Blvd., 310-828-7060, www.chandnivegrestaurant.com
Fans of Chef Sanjay Patel’s Westwood restaurant can find the Bollywood Bites food truck at its regular stops around Santa Monica. Here, one will find a menu of traditional and street food favorites, with vegan and gluten-free options.
Try a bowl or combination platter with entrées such as chana masala (slow-cooked chickpeas, onions and tomatoes) or aloo gohbi (spiced sautéed cauliflower and potatoes). Biryani is a popular street food item served here – choose chicken or vegetables cooked with basmati rice and onions. Select a side like tandoori chicken salad, and look for a selection of traditional Indian drinks including mango lassi (yogurt with mango pulp).
Takeout and online ordering is available; catering and events, too.
Various locations, 310-403-1661, www.thebollywoodbites.com