West LA: Indian Food and Cocktails at Bombay Cafe
Longtime West LA favorite Bombay Cafe has been faithfully serving Indian food on Pico for years. You may have gotten lunch or dinner there but did you know they have a full bar?
We tried quite a few drinks including the Malabar Gin Gimlet, Ginger Margarita and Mango Margarita. The clear winner was the Mango Margarita as people love blended drinks. If you like ginger, go for the ginger margarita which is made with fresh ginger.
The haldi jhinga was a delightful crispy shrimp appetizer. It’s a great starter while thinking about what curry, naan and/or
As much as I love the idea of roasting meat it or baking bread in the tandor, I always found the meats to be a bit dry. It was the opposite at Bombay Cafe however. The chicken tikka turned out to be very tender and perfectly moist.
If you ask nicely, I’m sure you can get one of Bombay Cafe’s house pickled vegetables with the Mumbai Martini. The menu said you get cauliflower but mine came with standard olives.
I couldn’t quite decide what the aloo-ki-tikki reminded me of. They are potato pancakes and I finally decided it was like eating really good sopes but made out of potato rather than corn.
I found Indian pizza! Well, sort of. The shrimp uttapam could double as your favorite flatbread. The shrimp were super fresh.
If you’re in the mood for something spicy and tequila, get the Bombay cocktail (tequila, ginger, jalepeno, Angostura bitters). It is still light enough to go with food.
Did someone mention Indian pickles? Oh, I did! We got a dish of achaars and I treated it like any other pickle, as a tidbit to go with my food but I found it best with something like the chicken frankie (below).
When food trucks began becoming popular, I discovered a wealth of street food. And easy lunches. One of those was a burrito-like Indian roll called a frankie. We tried the chicken which is again made with the wonderful masala sauce and two chutneys. You can also get this with lamb.
One of my favorite Indian curries is saag (spinach). Bombay Cafe had a similar curry called pajek panner. Popeye would love this dish!
If there’s a vegetable that I can’t resist, it’s eggplant. I can’t ever make it as spectacularly as Indian (and Chinese) restaurants so I always make it a point to try. Bombay Cafe’s is great. Just the right sort of side dish to go with the rich curries.
We really enjoyed the lamb korma with its rich and creamy curry. It’s not much to look at it but it’s comfort food. It went well with both rice and naan.
Bombay Cafe is probably best known for their makhni tikka or chicken tikka masala. As mentioned, I liked the chicken tikka so it was a must to get the chicken tikka masala which we were told should be properly called the makhni tikka.
I love dal and of course we had to get some to go with our Indian meal. It would feel incomplete to me without some dal.
For a solid Indian food option, check out Bombay Cafe the next time you’re west of National Boulevard!