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Delicious Spree LA to Z: Annapurna Cuisine

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LAist is going on a delicious spree around LA from A to Z. Today, we finish up last week's A: All About Indian, with a trip to Annapurna, Indian Vegetarian Cuisine.

Like most Indian restaurants, Annapurna has a lunch buffet. Is it odd that buffets are so common in Indian restaurants? No, it’s very understandable, actually. Indian isn’t a a cook-to-order cuisine like burgers, sushi, or Chinese. Curries simmer for hours, improving in flavor as they stew down, and meats aren’t just flash- or stir-fried – they cook for a long time time in the tandoori oven. So these things are started in large batches early in the day, so setting out reasonable quantities in a buffet serving dish is logical. Annapurna’s buffet is long, but the serving pans are small, so I know the food hasn’t been sitting there collecting germs from diner all day. The refreshed the buffet at least four or five times during our meal there.

The regular menu looks long, but is deceptively so because each whole section is essentially one thing, but served with different accessories. All the appetizers are different combinations of deep-fried vegetables and either chickpea or lentil flour. Dosas are thin crepes made with rice and lentil flour, and though there are almost 20 listed under the dosa section, they are all just adorned wtih different accessories like spread with butter, or chutney, or stuffed with cheese. Uthappams are a thicker pancake, with similar ingredients in the batter, but a heavier portion of rice flour. They are similar to a pizza, as they can be topped with peas, onions, chilis, and cheese. There are rices mixed with different things, each one listed separately, like lemon rice, tamarind rice, and tomato rice.