When Arjun and Nakul Mahendro first came to Los Angeles from Toronto, they were a little underwhelmed by the quality of some of the Indian food they found in the city.
So they set out to create the kind of Indian food they would want to eat; the kind of food they’d eaten growing up under the tutelage of their father, Pawan, an accomplished Indian chef from the Punjab state of northern India.
In this episode of “Off Menu,” the Mahendros tell Food columnist Lucas Kwan Peterson the story of Badmaash, a modern Indian restaurant with two locations in L.A. They head to Artesia, a small city on the border of Los Angeles and Orange counties, which has some of the best Indian restaurants in Southern California. They chow down on beloved Indian foods like dosai and idli, as well as slightly more unconventional fare, such as chicken tikka pizza.
During the course of their day together, Arjun and Nakul explain to Lucas their vision of Indian food and where the cuisine is headed.
The first thing you notice when you enter Badmaash, a new Indian gastropub in downtown L.A., is a giant wall covered in striped colors.
Los Angeles, to its credit, is wonderfully in touch with the world’s street foods.