Chennai Masala

Editor’s Pick

$$ Indian

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Just a short jump off the Sunset Highway in a strip mall next to Tanasbourne, a slice of southern India percolates. The otherwise ambience-free setting wears one telltale patina: flowers handpainted on the wall, lovely and patternless. The friendly staff tends to steer newcomers to safer dishes. Just smile, nod, and say, “But what are your favorites?” and then be prepared for rustic delicacies, particularly dishes labeled Chettinad, a region in food-adventurous southern India. Full immersion means an appetizer of fried lentil-flour doughnuts called thairr vada, slow-cooked mugalai lamb koorma, and, last but not least, a dosa (a rice-flour crêpe, filled, rolled, and meant for sharing). Go for the head-turning, three-foot-long “family dosa” or get adventurous with the chile-sparked Uttapam dosa. Holler for a mango lassi drink to cool the heat.

Last updated: 01/30/2014