When you have the need for a little spice in your life. Anarkali, 22721 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills. (818) 704-0533. Style: Standard Indian with a fondness for freshness. Setting: New Wave Colonial. Recommended: Onion bhajees , a sort of combination onion ring and hush puppy; vegetable samosas , potato turnover; shrimp tandoori . Cost per person: $9-$20.
The Clay Pit, 3465 West 6th St., in Chapman Market, Los Angeles. (213) 382-6300. Style: Indian, L.A. style--the tandoori oven is mesquite-fired. Setting: Designed--it’s in the Spanish Baroque historic Chapman Market. Recommended: Reshmi chicken; tandoori chicken salad; kofta kebab, finely ground lamb on skewers. Cost per person: $11-$20.
India’s Cuisine, 19006 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana. (818) 342-9100. Style: Indian with imagination. Setting: Simple storefront. Recommended: Gobhi paratha, whole-wheat bread stuffed with spiced, minced cauliflower; rack of lamb; tandoori game hen. Cost per person: $8-$12.
Kenny’s Kitchen, 14126 Sherman Way, Van Nuys. (818) 786-4868. Style: Tasty Indian for the health-conscious. Setting: Mini-mall unchic. Recommended: Bhelpuri, a crunchy salad of puffed rice, fried noodles; uthapam, vegetable crepe; kashmiri kofta, cheese and vegetable dumplings. Cost per person: $5-$12.
Tazeen’s Indian Cuisine, 9748 Washington Blvd., Culver City. (213) 204-5136. Style: Indian for anybody. Setting: Tiny, coffee-shopish with pictures of Indian movie stars on the walls. Recommended: Chicken tikka; chicken breast marinated in yogurt and spices; mutter keema, sauteed ground beef with peas and spices; aaloo bonda, diced potato deep-fried in a thin batter. Cost per person: $6-$20.