1781 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024
I have never been to the Indian Subcontinent, so I can't vouch for authenticity. But I can say that Ambala Dhaba is hands-down one of the best Indian restaurants in LA. The prices have gone up dramatically over the six years I've been dining here, but the decor has changed for the better (the outdoor patio is a nice touch). The food is not the red sauce-yellow sauce variety found in typical American Indian restaurants. While everything I have had here has been good, skip the standards and ask the server for recommendations. Dishes I enjoy: Aloo papadi chat and Bhel puri, little appetizers of chickpea, potato, and crispy rice-cakes; Methi pratha and Methi Kulcha, flatbreads stuffed with fenugreek; Phillaur, Ludhiana, or Amritsari chicken; Jallander lamb; Eggplant bartha, Bhindi masala (okra), Aloo bhain (potato with lotus root), Arbi (taro root), Shalgham (turnips), and Karela (bitter melon). Truly outstanding is the Sarson ka saag, a blend of mustard greens and spinach best enjoyed with Makki ki roti, a flatbread made, I believe, of maize. Their pickles are not the tradition super-sour and salty ones, but a pleasing mix of carrots and potatoes. And for drinks, the Jal jeera, a spicy drink, and Shikanjvi, a fresh limeade, are great choices, as are the sweet and salty lassis. And of course, the kulfi is delicious.