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LA’s Indian Gastropub Treasure: Badmaash

Imagined flavors and hues of India come alive in the heart of Los Angeles at the Badmaash, helmed by brothers Arjun and Nakul Mahendro and their father, Chef Pawan Mahendro. Positioned snugly on N. Fairfax Avenue, with a sibling gracing DTLA, Badmaash tells a tale of Indian culinary heritage finessed with an LA spirit - a narrative both sublime and gorgeous.

Walking into Badmaash is like stepping into a gastronomic carnival of Indian delights with a twist. Here, traditional Indian dishes cavort with a distinct LA flair, inviting you to "eat like you're Indian." To begin our journey, we savored their Onion Fritters (onion bhajjia). Encased in a spiced chickpea batter, fried to a golden-brown nirvana, these fritters, escorted by a tangy tamarind chutney, are a tantalizing prelude to the symphony of flavors that follow.

At Badmaash, the humble samosa is bestowed with a decadent upgrade. Today, we reveled in their Handmade Punjabi Samosas, filled with delectable Butter Chicken. And how can one resist the call of the Chili Cheese Naan? Stuffed with robust white cheddar, serrano chilies, and cilantro, each bite is a hot, cheesy, and heady embrace.

Next, we embarked on the main course, featuring a robust Chicken Tikka Masala and an audacious Ghost Chili Lamb Vindaloo. Tender chicken chunks sautéed in a tomato curry, vibrant with fresh ginger, cilantro, and serrano chilies, were juxtaposed with succulent lamb slow-braised with the fiery 'bhoot jolokia', serrano and red chilies. This was accompanied by the light and fluffy Basmati, acting as the perfect blank canvas for these spicy masterpieces.

One does hope, however, that they someday introduce a Chicken version of the Ghost Chili Vindaloo. The thought itself is so mouthwatering that it warrants a regular spot on our table.

On previous visits, we’ve accompanied our feast with a side of Masala Potato Fries, Badmaash Broccolini, and Chicken Tikka Poutine. But today was about simplicity, and we left satiated and elated.

Our culinary voyage ended with us feeling like an India-inspired vision of Gandhi sporting Rayban sunglasses, embracing peace, love, non-violence, healthy eating, and being good. Badmaash indeed echoes these sentiments, presenting an Indian culinary experience that transcends borders and cultures. It is an LA gem that scores a resounding 5 out of 5 forks on our scale. Bon appétit!

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