>> Rajdhani | Eat the World LA

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Rajdhani

INDIA 🇮🇳
(GUJARAT)

Without flash or much effort in signage to invite you in off the street, Rajdhani hides on the second floor of a fairly new two story commercial complex on Pioneer Boulevard. Once you find the nondescript staircase somewhere near the middle, climb up and find the entrance. There is ample outdoor seating but you will rarely find the terrace in operation during the lunch hours when the Artesia sun is blazing.

On a weekend you are likely to find the lunch service buzzing and the place near or at capacity, but come on a weekday and seats are in abundance. On a recent visit, the main source of noise and activity was at just one table where the Real Housewives of Artesia seemed to be having their weekly meal together. One other solo diner and a couple were all enjoying their all-you-can-eat thalis as well.

This is no buffet though, the food is always fresh, hot, and comes to you when necessary (or maybe slightly before). A thali ($17.49 at lunch, below) is a dish named for the stainless steel dish it is served on. Selections can change day to day and by season as ingredients are substituted when freshly harvested, but an order on any given day will be something like what is shown here.


Since there are no decisions to make, a meal begins almost right when you sit down, the thali is arranged before you and empty vessels are ready to accept their contents. The first step will be somewhat of a show as water and chaas, a slightly salty and refreshing yogurt drink, are poured at the same time from a high level.

After that, the team here really begins to move, with different components arriving quickly. For an annotated version of this photo see below, as their explanations come so fast they might be a bit hard to take in all at once for the uninitiated. The gist of a Gujarati thali is to provide a combination of the six tastes defined by Ayurvedic nutrition for optimal health.

To this end, there are two "soups" at the right, some dhokla and bhajia starters, papadum and two types of bread, a salad, and three "main" entrees aligned on the left. Somewhere along the way but available by request at any time, they will offer rice and dhal.


For those without an unlimited appetite, you can get the thali without refills of anything for a cool $13.99. This will however lead to the supreme disappointment of the staff, as it almost seems their grand mission to load you with a third and fourth round of each and every option until you near explosion.

Any thali will land you the choice of one dessert as well, the lightest of which is probably the falooda ice cream (below), a rose flavored delight topped with basil seeds. Do note, gluttons, that the dessert is just one round.


🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳
Z

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