This week, Jonathan Gold pens a brief review on Akasha Richmond's newest modern Indian concept in Culver City, Sāmbār. While Michael Jackson's former private chef studied Indian cooking for many years, it's all about New World Indian cuisine here, "a kind of Westside Indian cooking filtered through Whole Foods, but the cooking is no less tasty for that." This modern interpretation is perhaps best exemplified in Sāmbār's pork vindaloo:
But I am guessing you have never tried anything like the vindaloo at the new Sambar in Culver City — a shoulder rolled around fiery Indian spices instead of rosemary and fennel, plunked into a hot oven and roasted until the meat becomes tender enough to slice with a pinkie nail and the skin hardens to a crunch that could shatter your teeth. Where a guy in Arezzo might toss you some green sauce, at Sambar it's served with a fresh mango chutney; a handful of pickled okra; and soft, turmeric-stained naan instead of hard-crusted bread. But it is distinctly porchetta. Can there be anything that screams of the new Culver City more than Tuscan-Indian fusion? I'm kind of thinking not. [LAT]
The Elsewhere: Bill Esparza digs into Colombian seafood fare at La Perla del Pacifico, Valentina Silva discusses the vegetable game at Manhattan House, The Offalo tastes the Ceviche Project pop-up at Skybar, and TimeOut runs down the best restaurants in Santa Monica.