I grew up eating Indian food and love the cuisine. That said, it’s hard to find good, casual Indian at affordable prices, even in a city like Los Angeles. Saffron has a small, focused menu featuring standbys like Tandoori Chicken Tikka Masala and Saag Paneer, as well as Tofu offerings and salads. Mango and mint chutneys are available in a salsa-bar format, and the cucumber salad that came with the Tandoori Chicken Platter was quite refreshing!
Interestingly, NBC’s reality show America’s Next Great Restaurant featured an Indian fast casual restaurant as a finalist. The judges ended up choosing a soul food concept, which I agreed with for two reasons. First, there are already great fast casual Indian restaurants in Los Angeles… Saffron has other locations in addition to the Beverly Hills restaurant. Second, the NBC concept restaurant was slated to open at Hollywood & Highland, a tourist destination. Wonderful for a show that is watched by viewers outside of Los Angeles, but probably inappropriate for an Indian restaurant catering to more refined palettes. Luckily, Saffron is there to fill my need for fast-cas Indian!