>> Biriyani Kabob House | Eat the World Los Angeles

Monday, 11 November 2019

Biriyani Kabob House


A Google Maps search of "Little Bangladesh" will only pull up a four block stretch of 3rd Street between New Hampshire in the east and Alexandria in the west, but any on the ground search will make it clear the neighborhood starts at Vermont and extends well west of Alexandria. More important than the delineation is the feeling on the street and the fact that this has been an important place for the Bangladeshi community since the 1960's.

As with any street in this general area, you will also see signs in Spanish and Korean, but the bright white sign here is the simple advertisement for a simple place. Enter via 3rd Street or the mini mall's tiny parking lot to find a workaday dining room and order at the counter. A very long menu for such a small place greets diners, as do specials on bright TVs, which may actually be to its detriment as it becomes overwhelming and may steer folks away from what the shop does best.

As might be determined from the name, biriyani is the absolute star here and nothing like some of the dishes labeled as such around town. There are too many instances of spiced rice and meat dishes getting this name, but kacchi biriyani (here spelled kachey) needs a long cooking process, the meat and the rice must slow cook together. This type of preparation requires someone with extraordinary attention to detail to make sure the meat is cooked just right.

Kachey lamb biriyani ($9.95, above) is excellent. The spices and aromatics pour out of the basmati rice when the plate is placed in front of you. It is a marvel how well everything is cooked together, at this price point in Los Angeles there might not be a better version.

While obviously not pertaining to the biriyani which takes much longer, a sign on the counter states that everything here is prepared to order fresh. This does not lead to crazy wait times, but be ready to give a few minutes of your time for items like black pepper chicken curry ($12.95, above), which was satisfying if not at the level of the biriyani.

As with most dishes, a choice of basmati rice or naan is given, but this demanded a freshly cooked sheet of their very good naan, a wonderful way to soak up all the oily curry.

Travels in Bangladesh revealed that the people eat a lot more fish than in many other parts of South Asia. This meal was with someone who did not eat other meats, so it was a pleasure to see so many fish options on the menu. Unfortunately the selection of fish tikka masala ($9.95, above), which lives on the "Chef's Special" section of the menu, was ill-advised.

Not only did the fish seem old, but the tikka masala had no life. Even at the most run of the mill Indian takeout joints, tikka masala has some sort of sweetness that is enjoyable in a British way, but here it oddly was almost tasteless.

For those that do not enjoy chicken and lamb, it would probably be wise to stick with the shop's vegetarian options based on this one dish. If you have other experiences, please let others know in the comments.

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