Lunch can often be a time where you need energy to get past the second half of the day but also a kick in spirits to grind out the clock. With so many choices available and such a short amount of time, the last thing on your mind is a buffet. However, a buffet is a perfect place to get your food quickly without the hassle of waiting for food to be made. Yet, buffets are often stereotyped as being low quality and expensive. Luckily, in the diverse city of Artesia near the 91 Freeway lives an Indian restaurant so simple, the name explains itself. This restaurant is The India Restaurant and it has one of the best Indian lunch buffets around.
The interior of this restaurant is nothing like the exterior. On the exterior you simply see the large sign for the restaurant, a tiny square parking lot, and a gray monolithic facade. Inside however, you find a fancy atmosphere: a full bar with hanging wine glasses, white linen clothes and napkins, and silverware. The waiters are all dressed formally and you just get a sense of pride from the decor. This pride spills out to their service.
The service here is amazingly on point. It sounds strange to say that about a place serving a lunch buffet but there is great attention to detail. Whether it is taking away empty plates or constantly filling up the freshly made garlic naan, the service is fantastic.
When you think of buffet, you think of hot foods being under heat lamps and being dry but not here. Instead, there is one long L-shaped counter separated into several sections. The furthest left is the cold section which holds the salad items and several sauces, both Western and Indian. Continuing to the right is the appetizer/rice section. Here you can find samosas and other fried vegetables and though the samosas are quite delicious, with the crispy crunch of the exterior and the tender bites of potato and vegetables on the inside, the crescendo of flavors is still to come.
Continuing forward, the next section is vegetarian curries. There is a vegetable korma, a lentil curry, and this amazing mix of mushrooms and other vegetables cooked with a sweet sauce which became caramelized through the process of cooking. The last dish is incredible and even for the carnivores out there, these vegetarian curries are wonderful and should be tried.
The second grouping of curries contains meat like the chicken curry, a lamb curry, and this amazing mix between sweet, creamy, and savory with the butter chicken masala. The butter chicken masala is incredibly delicious, one where almost everyone diner in the restaurant was trying. The use of word "butter" seems appropriate for the decadence of this curry and you'll be dreaming about it long after you've finished lunch.
The desserts are great. Though there are four options, the only two that really matter are the milk balls (gulab jamun) and the kheer, which is a creamy sweet rice porridge. The milk balls are some of the sweetest and juiciest you'll ever have and the kheer is some of the creamiest as well. Both are refreshing and satisfying endings to a spicy road of flavors.
Lastly, there has to be mention of excellent naan they create. Not only is the garlic naan topped with freshly minced parsley, but it also comes freshly baked out the tandoor, steaming hot and fluffy. You will actually need to wait a moment before biting into it because of how fresh it is and honestly, if Nirvana is a food, it would be this naan.
For an all you can eat (AYCE) lunch buffet you will be paying $11.99 plus tax. For the quality you get here, this is highway robbery.
The India Restaurant might seem an unconventional choice when only thinking about the stereotypes placed on a lunch buffet. However, this restaurant has amazing food, a great atmosphere, and very affordable. If variety truly is the spice of life, then The India Restaurant is the place to go.
The India Restaurant
17824 Pioneer Blvd
Artesia, CA 90701