• cowboys and turbans: indian and mexican street food

    February 25th, 2010quarrygirlcowboys and turbans, LA restaurants

    living in a household that is 1/2 english and 1/2 southern californian, it is a common debate which is better: curry or mexican? they are the two great take-out foods of our respective nations, and we can never settle on just one….and now with cowboys and turbans, we don’t have to.

    cowboys and turbans has two locations in LA (one in silverlake and one on wilshire), and they specialize in “indian mexican street food,” meaning they shove curry into awesome vessels such as burritos and tacos, and offer tikka masala without a south of the border flare. yep, this is pretty much my favorite combo ever. i went all out on my recent order from the silverlake location with burritos, tacos, and tikka galore!

    spinach tofu burrito with spanish rice, lettuce, tomato, cilantro, tamarind chutney, mint chutney and crispy chick pea strips wrapped in a soft grilled flour tortilla. $8

    the tofu burrito was MASSIVE and came wrapped in thin white paper (as any self-respecting street burrito does). it also was accompanied by a huge portion of mexic-indian chips that were somewhere between flavorful flat bread and tortilla crisps. they were so fucking good; i ate them before i could photograph them. oops.

    inside the burrito, was a mixture of rice, indian spices, tofu and spinach, and crispy chick pea strips. i am a traditional burrito lover, but this was a very welcome change. if you are a fan of both indian and mexican food, you are gonna go nuts for this thing. and just to put your little vegan minds to rest, i did double check that the tortilla was vegan as well.

    spinach tikka masala: spinach and tofu in a red non-dairy curry sauce with a side of basmati rice. $8

    another good option at cowboys and turbans is the tikka masala. both the spinach and spinach tofu varieties are vegan, and they are delicious. huge chunks of cubed tofu mixed up with a vegan red sauce and served with the perfect portion of basmati rice.

    now let me tell you about a little mistake i made with cowboys and turbans, which is actually quite embarrassing…

    tandoori tofu taco: soft shell corn tortillas with lettuce, tomato, cilantro, grilled onion chutney, tamarind chutney, mint chutney, and garnished with crisy pea strips. $2

    i ordered some tacos and burritos (all tofu, all vegan) to go, and when i got home i had a little bit of a freak out because they were ostensibly covered in cheese. i mean, look at the picture above. i was soooo pissed, i left a complaint through the contact form on the restaurant’s website, and within 10 minutes i got an email from the owner. he apologized profusely, offered me free food, and mentioned that there should never be cheese in those items. when i sent him a picture of the taco, he assured me that the cheese-looking shreds were actually vegan chick pea strips. whoops. i felt really bad, and he still was offering me a free meal. i can’t even even believe how nice he was, when i was clearly being an idiot.

    so i would still encourage you to ask that all your food be made vegan when you order, but don’t flip out because of these chick pea strips’ appearance.

    overall the food at cowboys and turbans is really excellent, and the customer service can’t beat. i highly encourage you to go support this place. lemme know what you think!

    cowboys and turbans
    2815 Sunset Blvd.
    Everyday: 11AM – 10PM


    5515 Wilshire Blvd.
    Monday – Friday: Noon – 6PM
    Show Days: Noon – Midnight

    PS: follow coyboys and turbans on twitter!!!!! they tweet about vegan things!

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32 responses to “cowboys and turbans: indian and mexican street food” RSS icon

  • EXCUSE ME, quarrygirl, there is NO DEBATE. How can the cuisine of one of the world’s great nations (India), that has been developed over thousands of years, each dish incorporating the subtleties of many spices and herbs AND the vast majority of it being vegan even be compared in the same sentence to Mexican food?

    While Mexico is also a great nation, an entire cuisine built upon beans and rice just can’t compete with the complex flavors and subtle textures that is Indian cuisine.

    Other than common seasonings of cumin and coriander, the comparison stops there. I’d eat Indian food over Mexican any time, and I suggest that any sane person would agree.

  • I was wondering what cowboys and turbans was about when I was going home last night.
    omg… finally!!!
    Several years, I had curry tofu burrito in Portland. It was the best thing that I ever had. I have been waiting for something like this in LA.

  • THAT is the coolest restaurant idea ever. I want my very own!!

  • By the way, those chick pea strips are called “sev”, pronounced like “save”.

  • indian food in a burrito??? sign me up.

  • This looks incredible. I live in Silver Lake and had never heard of this place. I need a curry burrito now.

  • I need to track these down. Esp since they have delish vegan food =) I am fasting for Greek Orthodox lent, which means no animal products.

  • I would kill someone for that burrito

  • How cool, I’d never heard of this place. I’m from India, and I love cuisine from all over. This seems like an interesting mix, looking forward to trying it out.

  • you watch your mouth mr meaner!!! this is los angeles where the burrito (read “mexican”) is king of everything!!! i must be insane because i’ll take grandma’s tamales before that curry any and every day!!!
    also, about the cheese issue. this is why i date an omnivore. taste this is it: butter, cheese, meaty…?!

  • Hey Quarrygirl, it looks like you started a trend blogging about this place today. Someone is biting your style.

  • mexican food > indian food

  • I agree, that burrito looks like a must try.

  • Whoa. That burrito could do some damage. I’m going to the Wilshire location today!

  • I tried this place last year at Coachella and it was just okay. I ordered a naan sandwich and the rice dish you have pictured. I may give them another try though, now that they are so close.

  • mr. meaner, you obviously don’t know what Mexican food really is. poor you.

  • okay, i’ve been lurking this site for awhile, but i finally have something to say.

    since he’s british, i always imagine mr. meaner with a pretentious english accent (i know you’re not pretentious, mr. meaner!) and his first comment of this blog post literally made me spit water. comedy gold.

  • Looks very tasty, but I have to say, I need to know your go to mexican take out place! Every place I can think of is too far out of the way for take-out.

  • I clicked on this from Facebook, and I am so mad that this place isn’t open now. I need to eat!

  • QG did you see what I was talking about? XXX


  • Ooh, I’d love to try this combo!

  • I went to the Silverlake location last night at around 7:30 and the place was really busy. The funny thing is, the cashier asked me if I heard about them from Quarry Girl!

    My girfriend and I shared the burrito and the tofu spinach tikka. We both loved the burrito, but agreed the tikka would have been better if it didn’t have what tasted like canned spinach. I don’t think I’d order that again.

  • I’ve driven by here a few times and didn’t realize what it was. Oh, I WILL try it, soon.

  • I just went there for lunch, and I told them I heard about them from Quarrygirl too! 🙂

    The tacos were so yummy!

  • Wow, this sounds like such a great idea for a restaurant.

  • thanks for telling me about this place. i love your blog !

  • Oh wow. I am a fan!

  • I had the burrito yesterday and it was divine. Thanks for writing this.

  • Went in last night. Loved it. The spinach tofu burrito was great. Little disappointed with the fries; they were good, but it was just fries with dipping sauce. Thought they would have been prepared a bit differently, or something. Overall, will definitely go back.

  • The chutneys, especially the mint, were amazing, best part of the meal.

  • Just ate there an hour ago for the first time.. soo sooo goood and massive portions. Got the free Taco as well!!

  • Just ate the tofu masala and a veggie samosa and was totally unimpressed. The samosa was too spicy and the masala was meh at best.

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