One thing I know is that sometimes the food that I’m craving is not at a restaurant close by – wherever I am. It doesn’t matter what city I’m in, whether I’m traveling or at home, this holds true. There are a lot of Italian restaurants close to where I live, including my favorite that is within walking distance from my house. But if I want Indian cuisine, I get in my car and drive about 15 minutes away to a favorite place in Culver City. If I want to try the newest American place, it might be downtown or Santa Monica or in one of the beach cities- all perhaps at least 30 minutes away. And, here’s the kicker, if I want great Dim Sum I drive over an hour.
That’s just the deal. Good food is worth the travel miles – it’s worth the gas and the traffic. If you want good food in a particular cuisine, you might need to drive. Just be prepared to do it. You can’t always find what you’re looking for close by. I’ve found that the drive is part of the whole dining experience. Gather your good friends together who are up for an adventure and GO. You won’t regret it. At least, I never do.
I love Indian food, but my favorite place closed a few years ago. I hadn’t been able to find a new place to satisfy my craving until recently when one of my best friends, Akasha Richmond, opened SĀMBĀR in Culver City, CA.
If you’re looking for wonderful flavors presented in a slightly untraditional way, then SĀMBĀR needs to be on your list of go-to restaurants. They’ve recently opened for lunch and have some fantastic salads and Kati Rolls on the menu if you want something lighter. For dinner, they offer a curry I thought I’d never eat in Los Angeles – Truck Stop Goat Curry. Don’t let the goat scare you. If I tell you it’s amazing – I wouldn’t be exaggerating. They have beautiful little samosas, oven roasted curried cauliflower and yogurt roasted vegetables to mention just a few of their vegetarian offerings. All of their sauces and chutneys are made in-house – the best! Their bar is incredibly creative, as well, with unusual spiced cocktails (using infused alcohols and flavors that are inspired by the cuisine), punches and their own take on the classics. Clare Ward, who created them all, is a genius and you’ll see her behind the bar most nights. For dessert, they serve a wonderful food memory of mine – soft serve ice cream. Oh my! Run, don’t walk. You won’t be disappointed.