BATD ON Feb 06, 2015 AT 1:06 pm

by Chrissy Iley

Travel: Spice Affair, Beverley Hills.

Travel: Spice Affair, Beverley Hills.

Brits in LA are always saying it. The one thing they miss about Blighty is that you can’t get a good curry. I crave curry. I crave Indian food. It’s my go-to comfort.

If you go randomly to a curry house in Britain the chances are it will be good and tasty. I’ve been to Gymkhana in Mayfair, which is the current buzzword in Indian fare. Chic curry, not a flock wallpaper in sight. And sure, it was nice.

I never imagined that a chance meeting at Spice Affair on La Cienega, Beverly Hills, would blow them all out of the water. It is a pretty room, has attentive staff. They’re knowledgeable too. But the food…nirvana.

The Paneer Butter Masala was pure velvet. So good I had to go back the next day to revisit it.
It is called fusion cuisine. It is a cleaner Indian style but it keeps the best of the traditional. The Layered Vegetable Biryani with broiled saffron was a magical as promised. It came almost like a pie with a chapatti topping. Kulcha is potato, peas, paneer, cumin, onion, gorgonzola and wild mushroom. Incredible. Ginger Okra Flock and Fire is stir-fried ladyfingers gingered up to perfection. Their Just the Saag is somehow greener, creamier and fresher than any spinach on the planet, and light too. Fenugreek never tasted so good.

I’m yet to try a Smoked Pineapple Quencher, which is a signature creation made of pineapple fired in a tandoor oven. But I can say that the cocktails were modern, clever, delicious.

There’s a lounge menu with dishes like Sev Poori, and corn bread with spinach and feta cheese, and miniature Chicken Tikka to go with the wonderful cocktails. But there’s something magnificent about sitting and enjoying a feast of food so well thought out and exquisite that it deserves the constant accolades of being the best Indian restaurant in Los Angeles. It’s got to be up there as one of the best Indian restaurants in the world.

As with most Indian food if you choose well and eat light it’s a fantastic bargain. However I could not resist trying too many dishes and taking tomorrow’s lunch home. It would be reasonably priced at any price because it’s so divine, but be careful, it’s so delicious you will eat more than you ever imagined you would.

Spice Affair, 50 North La Cienega Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Tel: 310-400-6800.

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