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What's Cookin' Behind the Curtain - A Window into Indian Food

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Every Friday, LAist is taking you on a trip down to Orange County to uncover the unique dining experiences that await adventurous eaters willing to explore beyond the county line.

As much as I love fine dining, there’s a certain satisfaction that comes with the comfort foods that I find at local hideaways that five-star restaurants can’t provide. While these local eateries will never make a Michelin guide, they possess a reliable meal, a distinct atmosphere, and the promise that they’ll never be overrun by trendy crowds and changing tastes. They’re the places that I identify with pride as one of “my spots”, a secret that only a select group of people know about.

Which gets me to this week’s restaurant: Bukhara Cuisine of India in Huntington Beach.

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Bukhara is a classic neighborhood hole-in-the-wall restaurant that wins few points for ambience and service, but scores big on charm and meal quality. Specializing in Mughlai-style cuisine (ancient Northern Indian), Bukhara probably isn’t going to be the best Indian food you’ve ever had. As Ali Miller pointed out in Wednesday’s review of Electric Karma in Hollywood, LA is a bit lacking when it comes to high quality Indian cuisine. So while your meal may not transport you back to Delhi, you will get reasonably-priced good-quality food in a simple, no-frills environment.

Bukhara is a located in a strip mall across the street from the two-year old Bella Terra entertainment center. It is an interesting dichotomy to see the big megaplex theater and new stores and restaurants of Bella Terra opposite the rundown storefronts where Bukhara sits, tucked between a Subway and a Cingular Wireless outlet.