>> Swadesh Halal Restaurant & Grocery | Eat the World Los Angeles

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Swadesh Halal Restaurant & Grocery

W. 3rd Street facade

COVID-19 UPDATE: A tent and a couple umbrellas are set up just in front to provide some covered seating, while one table is still available inside.

If you have been eating at Swadesh since before Anthony Bourdain and Roy Choi came in 2013 for one of Parts Unknown's very first episodes, you will remember clearly that nothing much has changed or probably ever will. No matter what big name comes through the doors, the grocery store still stocks boxes of fresh produce as well as jarred and canned goods. You can still send money via Western Union and pick up a Powerball ticket.

Sometimes placing an order means waiting for the customer ahead of you get all three heaping bags of recently cut ginger to her car first, other times you can walk in and not see any people including staff. There is plenty to check out before someone comes to take your order though, step up to the steam table and see what looks good.

Steam table and menu inside

Sure, there is a video menu board up there, but the only things guaranteed to be around are those right in front of you. Ask for as many meat and vegetable dishes as possible for your group, add some rice and sheet of paratha (below) for everyone, and have a seat. The bread will be cooked to order and come out far too hot to handle, but once it cools a bit is the perfect vehicle for all your curries.

A barrel drum barbecue parked outside hints to the weekly BBQ Night, when kebabs are cooked over charcoal and served as plates or wraps. Check out their Instagram page, created shortly after the pandemic started in the States, for exact days this is happening.

Freshly made paratha

If there is a constant line of criticism about this place, it is about the generous use of certain oils in many dishes. It turns some people off the cooking, and certainly you will not find this high level in the house of a Bangladeshi friend or even at restaurants in Dhaka, but it is just the way things are here.

If you are not in the mood for these curries and other dishes, take a look at the tandoori chicken and other dishes that come out of the oven they have in the kitchen.

Overhead shot of everything from a recent meal

Puti fish curry

Beef and lentil curry

Karella (okra veggie)

Chicken pattie

Inside the chicken pattie

📍 4153 W. 3rd Street, Little Bangladesh, Central Los Angeles


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