Tim Foolery

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Badmaash – Modern Indian DTLA

I spent the week in Los Angeles for work, staying downtown. My travel companion stayed in a different hotel, we have differing hotel affiliations: me being a Starwood guy and he a Hilton guy.  Staying in different hotels has its positives and negatives. One positive is that you don’t have the obligation to eat with that person.

From the restaurant list I pulled together before my trip, I knew I wanted to try this tiny little Indian place called Badmaash.  My travel companion hates Indian food. So I didn’t even have to pretend to feel guilty about telling him to go off on his own for dinner.

I walked from the Westin Bonaventure to Badmaash, which took me about 20 minutes. It was a lovely evening in LA – the locals were cold, but considering the morning I left Chicago it was sleeting, I thought the 14C temps were fantastic.

I made reservations on OpenTable for my single spot dinner.  I arrived and found 3 tables available as well as most of the bar.  I opted to sit at the bar, mostly because I didn’t want to take up a two top table in such a small place.

As I sat down, I was greeted by my waiter who offered water and the menu.   After finding out that this was my first visit to the restaurant he walked me through the menu, pointing out the classic Indian dishes, the modern take items and finally his favorites.  I ordered a glass of wine immediately, while I reviewed the menu.  The Loire Sauvignon Blanc was crisp and refreshing.

The one thing that really caught my eye when I reviewed the menu prior to my visit was the Chicken Tikka Poutine.  The Spiced Mango Pork Belly also got my mouth watering.  That’s the biggest issue with dining alone – you can’t order a bunch of items and share with your companion.  If you want to try several things you just have to be a pig and eat them all yourself – or waste it. I can’t bring myself to waste all that food.

I decided to start with a Butter Chicken Samosa and the Chicken Tikka Poutine.  My server mentioned that the Poutine was his quiet favorite item on the menu.  Quiet as in that he doesn’t advertise it – when he eats at Badmaash, he claims to always eat the poutine.  He offers other recommendations to his customers though.  I didn’t care enough to ask why he was so clandestine here.

The samosa came out pretty quickly, but not so quickly that you felt that it was just sitting under a heat lamp in the back.  I also ordered a side of Spicy Mango Chutney.  The samosa and the chutney were great together.  The wine continued to flow – as who I assume was the manager offered me a refill on my wine. I had about two-thirds of my wine left when I was offered a refill.

The Butter Chicken Samosa

The Butter Chicken Samosa (sorry for the blurry pic!)

The poutine arrived about 5 minutes after I finished my samosa.  The portion wasn’t huge, but it was ample food for my entree, considering my samosa starter.  The poutine was great.  The fries were perfectly prepared, the chicken was so perfectly tender and the sauce had a nice flavor with just a little spice – dipping the poutine in the Spicy Mango Chutney made a perfect dish.  As I was about half way through the poutine, I was offered another refill on my wine – which confused me.  After I finished this glass I would have had about 2.75 glasses of wine.  Not sure what was going on here.

Chicken Tikka Poutine

Chicken Tikka Poutine

I finished a big bottle of water with my dishes as the chutney had a little spice that needed to be quenched.  The server thanked me for coming and dropped off my check.  I noticed they ended up charging me for two glasses of wine.  I ended up getting more wine than they charged for, but the phrase “Can I top off your wine?” doesn’t mean the same thing to me as “Would you like another glass of wine?”  The whole beverage service seemed a little strange.  Be sure you are clear on what you are ordering and reordering so you aren’t surprised by your final check.

Next time I’m downtown LA – I’d definitely revisit Badmaash and I’d want to come with a couple friends so we could work out way through a vast majority of the menu.

Have you been to Badmaash?  What was your favorite thing on the menu?  Have you tried the poutine with the spicy mango chutney?  What about the wine service — did you get confused too, or was it just me being me?

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