• December 12th, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, samosa house

    samosa house east in culver city

    as of yesterday, there is yet another takeaway indian vegetarian restaurant on the scene in culver city (on washington at overland) and it’s called samosa house east. run by the same people who are behind the quarrygirl approved original samosa house just blocks away, the east location occupies a more simple and modern space with a menu that’s similar but with a larger focus on mock meats. with ample seating and no market attached to the restaurant, samosa house east is a great alternative for on-the-go diners who don’t want to muck about with people lining up to buy groceries, etc.

    vegan samosa chat $3.50

    vegan samosa chat $3.50

    i hit up samosa house east this morning, and on their first full day of being open they were still working out some kinks but served me some damn decent food. i ordered a vegan samosa chat which consisted of a crispy fried indian pastry pocket topped with chutney, coriander sauce and curry, all for just $3.50. it was absolutely delicious. plus, the dude behind the counter told me that as of tomorrow, samosa house east will be offering a vegan soy yogurt as an alternative to all dishes that come with real yogurt. so awesome.

    when i was there, samosa house east was still setting up and didn’t have all their dishes out yet. but according to their twitter account, by the afternoon they were serving veggie fish, jackfruit, and smoked cauliflower—just to name a few things! i am so stoked that this restaurant has opened, and once they hit their stride, i think they will absolutely amazing.

    cheap, fast, delicious, meatless, takeout. i fucking dare you to find something wrong with that.

    samosa house east

    right now, this restaurant does not have a phone number and they are still getting their hours sorted out. they should be open from 11am-11pm…but don’t quote me on that.

    here is the samosa house east address, along with the original samosa house website and phone number in case you have questions!

    samosa house east
    10700 Washington Boulevard
    Culver City, CA 90232-3314

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  • March 8th, 2009mr meanerholy cow, LA restaurants

    Well, not IN the Beverly Center, but right across the street across from Souplantation on 3rd St., just East of La Cienega. Holy Cow is an honest to goodness fast-food style Indian eat-in/carry-out kitchen with a range of veg and non-veg offerings. As is common with many Southern-Indian restaurants there’s no beef on the bill of fayre (probably due to quasi-Hindi leanings of its owners) which leaves an extra-large gap in the menu for vegetarian food, much of which is either naturally vegan or can be made as such.

    vegan take-out dinner from holy cow

    vegan take-out dinner from holy cow

    On our recent visit, we rolled up at 8pm on a Saturday evening, and made that classic mistake: allowing cell a couple of ‘phone babbling people to go into the restaurant ahead of us. By the time they’d figured out what they wanted to eat, changed it three times, and had any number of ‘phone conversations with friends about the menu selections, we’d been standing by the counter for a good 10 minutes. However, the experience was rather educational as we deduced the gang in front of us were somewhat observant Jewish people, most particular to ensure that there was no dairy in anything they ordered – in this way, we got a good grounder of what could, and could not be, veganized without having to go through a big Q&A with the person taking the order.

    When it was finally our turn, a very nice Indian gentleman of some stature and presence politely engaged with us, helping guide our choices. As is common with West Coast outlets like this (especially Indian), ordering a “dinner” is excellent value. For only a couple of bucks more than an a-la-carte single main dish one can get a appetizer, main dish, side of vegetables, rice and bread. Sadly for us, the naan bread contained eggs, so we had to order a-la-carte, even though a better economic decision might have been to order the dinner and trash the naan bread. But that’s not very vegan, now is it?

    vegetarian samosas: crisp turnovers filled with potatoes and peas. $3.95

    vegetarian samosas: crisp turnovers filled with potatoes and peas. $3.95

    We started off with two Vegetable Samosas – at only $3.95 they were exceptional value and extremely tasty, being freshly prepared in the kitchen when our order was taken.


    They had that crispy outside with hot steamy inside that is so unique to this dish. The nearest thing is a Chimichanga – that decadent Mexican-style deep-fried burrito, but I’d rather a samosa any day!

    aloo gobi: potato and cauliflower cooked with herb and spices $6.95...and saag tofu: pureed spinach with tofu and spices. $6.95. plus rice!$2.95

    aloo gobi: potato and cauliflower cooked with herb and spices $6.95...and saag tofu: pureed spinach with tofu and spices. $6.95. plus rice!$2.95

    I have a complete weakness for Potato and Cauliflower curries, particularly the Aloo Gobi which, if done right, can be a sublime dish. There’s something about the intersection of basic ingredients like vegetables, spices and oils that Indian cuisine does so well, and Holy Cow’s rendition holds up to the highest standards.

    Our other entrée was Saag Aloo with Tofu – basically pureed spinach (spinach haters stop reading this paragraph now!) with chunky potatoes, spices and small, firm tofu pieces. This can very much be a hit or miss dish in many Indian restaurants because the cooking times of everything vary so much – seconds for the spinach, but 30 minutes or more for the potatoes and tofu, so a juggling act in the kitchen is needed to pull this delicate dish off to perfection – and whomever was back-stage at Holy Cow knows exactly how to make Saag Aloo happen: the end result being perfection.

    Finally, we ordered White Rice, which was a bit misleading (albeit in a good way), because the rice was actually cooked in herbs and spices, including turmeric, which gave it a yellowy look and, spicy flavor that complemented the food perfectly.

    So, bottom line, Holy Cow was a GREAT, inexpensive Indian take-away very much in the tradition of my homeland in England where you can take home the curry or sit in a brightly lit restaurant and eat it there. Holy Cow has the ambience of a vegan Thai restaurant, but the food is so much better.

    With convenient parking, incredibly polite and helpful staff as well as completely above-average food, you can’t go wrong. The only competition is Samosa House, which is distant competition both in miles to travel (it’s in Culver City) and taste of the food.

    Thanks for being there, Holy Cow, and thanks for understanding about vegans and our standards. We’ll be regular customers.

    holy cow

    holy cow

    holy cow
    8474 W 3rd St
    Los Angeles, CA 90048
    (323) 852-8900

    monday – friday
    sat and sun

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  • October 27th, 2008mr meanerindian food, LA restaurants, samosa house

    It’s no secret that I’m a HUGE fan of Indian cuisine. Growing up in the UK where it is, of course, the national dish has enabled me to be quite discerning when Indian food is placed in front of me. So, I was delighted at the prospect of visiting the Samosa House in Culver City this past weekend to try their extensive vegan selection (they have seven vegan and three vegetarian entrees).

    a samosa with potatoes, chickpeas, lentils, potatoes w/ long beans, bitter melon, spinach tofu and jackfruit.

    a samosa with potatoes, chickpeas, lentils, potatoes w/ long beans, bitter melon, spinach tofu and jackfruit.

    Well, I can tell you that the experience started off really well. The restaurant is deli-style, where orders are placed and served from heated containers right in front of you in a very clean and orderly environment. The service is excellent – the nice man behind the counter described all the dishes, including which were vegan. We could not decide which of the seven to taste, so we ordered them all as two 3-side samplers (with rice and bread) for $7.99 each, and one side (for the odd man out, final entrée: more to come on that).

    The seven dishes were as follows:

    Potatoes: Pretty much as the name suggests – lightly spiced potatoes served dry in no sauce
    Chickpeas: Your common chickpea curry served in a light sauce
    Lentils: Usually my favorite side, lentils served in a dark, creamy sauce, of which more later
    Potatoes with Long Beans: The name says it all – again, not a very saucy dish
    Bitter Melon: Seemed to be small fruits in a tangy sauce. Much more of a condiment than a side, if you ask me
    Spinach Tofu: Creamed spinach and small tofu chunks (although there were al most no tofu chunks in ours)
    Jackfruit: Pure Luck style jackfruit in a dry curry sauce


    We also had a very hearty serving of rice with each sampler (in fact, the rice accounted for around 60% of the volume of each container) and two small chapatti breads. Of course, we couldn’t help but order two of their signature samosas which were wrapped and fried right there. No microwaved samosas wrapped in foil here!

    We ordered the dishes to go, and hightailed it through West LA as fast as we could to get home – largely because carrying Indian food in your car leaves a lingering odor that lasts in direct proportion to how long you carried the food for. Although our journey was only about 20 minutes, I could still smell the curry in my car the following morning — even though we carried it in the trunk!

    Read the rest of this entry »

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