Mayura Indian Restaurant – Bringing Their Own Unique Flavor of India to California

(Photo Courtesy Mayura)
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For quite a while now I’ve heard friends on the westside tell me about this wonderful Mayura Indian cuisine restaurant located in a strip mall in Culver City. So it was about time we went to check it out for an afternoon lunch. The food is absolutely fantastic and very authentic to Southern Indian cuisine. It is a family-run restaurant that is almost approaching its 20th year here in Culver City having opened in 2006.

MAYURA means peacock, which is an elegant bird and they named it that for the grace and elegance of the cuisine. It is a favorite among Hollywood Indian heritage actors like Mindy Kaling, Frida Pinto and Dev Patel as well as Padma Lakshmi of Top Chef fame. They all enjoy the authentic food they grew up eating. You can see their pictures up on the wall from when they dined here. The entire cast and producers from the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire came there for Oscar week other actors like John Lithgow and Jack Nicholson are regulars. Many Indian cuisine restaurants in Los Angeles feature food from the northern region this restaurant specializes in southern Indian cuisine making it a rare find here in Los Angeles. All their dishes are gluten-free and they have two separate kitchens one to cook vegetarian dishes and the other one to cook non-vegetarian dishes. All their spices are imported straight from India to make sure they have the highest quality to use and prepare their dishes. They have a loyal following going back many years and were consistently on Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold’s “101 Best Restaurants” list. In 2010 the President of India who had just left office and was visiting Los Angeles stopped in for a meal. And their loyal customer base continues to grow to this day.

Mixed Vegetable Pakora (Photo Stephan Martin)

Mayura is the only restaurant in Southern California from the South Indian state of Kerala, which lends itself to different flavors than every other Indian restaurant. To keep the menu and flavors authentic, Mayura gets all of its spices fresh and direct from Kerala.

If you are looking for a way to get introduced to the flavors of Mayura, the mixed vegetable pakora is a wonderful appetizer. The pakora is full of all the spices that define Indian food. They bring to life this combination of mixed vegetables that is battered in chickpea flour and deep-fried and paired with sauces, including the very unique mint, ginger and turmeric sauce. This next dish, the banana fry, could be an appetizer or a dessert, but regardless of when you eat it, this is a crispy, tasty treat. They slice ripe plantains, then they are deep fried in rice flour batter and served to you crispy and warm.

Chicken Tandoori

Mayura seems to prepare chicken in every possible imaginable way, so your dilemma will be which one to try. The classic chicken tandoori is cooked in a Tandoor oven to perfection. The chicken is marinated, covered in spices then cooked to a tender perfection with the bone-in. When it comes to lamb, once again they have a lot of options and the quality of the meat and cooking style will shine through with any dish you choose.

Fish Curry with Salmon

Mayura has a lot of classic Indian dishes, but there are a few that were a bit of a surprise, in a good way. The branzino fish fry is the entire fish, de-boned and deep-fried and you get the entire fish. They do serve a more standard fish fry, which gives you two pieces of shallow-fried marinated swai fish fillet. Last but not least on the fish side of the menu, the fish curry using salmon, really highlighted all of the spices that Mayura uses in a curry that would make any Indian restaurant proud. It is served with pancakes that are very light and airy and made to make a dish out of the tender salmon allowing you to absorb all that great curry sauce.

Mayura Indian Restaurant has gained so much notoriety for a reason, the food is simply incredible and that is regardless of whether you love Indian food, or love great food in general. While the food is the star of the restaurant, it also defines what a family restaurant is all about. You feel welcome from the moment you walk in the door and guest after guest makes this their weekly stop to not only enjoy the food but also the family and inviting experience you will get every time you visit Mayura.

For more information, visit: Mayura


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