Badmaash knew they were destined for something big. The plucky, modern Indian restaurant debuted in 2013 on a quiet block of Downtown LA’s northern edge, bringing a Toronto-style swagger and artsy vibe to the Civic Center. Now Badmaash is ready to open its second location, this time in the heart of Fairfax planted next to the uber-popular Jon & Vinny’s and across from the iconic Canter’s Deli.
Brothers Nakul and Arjun Mahendro, along with father Pawan Mahendro, have transformed the former 88 Chinese on Fairfax into a sleek, low-ceiling affair with clean lines, a sunset-style color block, and tightly packed tables that lend to a community feel. The menu resembles the Downtown original, with some playful plates like chicken tikka poutine (a nod to their Toronto roots), fried chicken with paprika masala and serrano-cream, or a chili cheese-stuffed naan.
Of course, traditional bowls of channa masala chickpeas, spinach saag paneer, and a spicy ghost chili lamb vindaloo come along with freshly baked naan or basmati pilaf. Pawan’s more distinctive dishes, like a coconut curry mussels or South Indian fish “moilee” display a level of finesse that’s rare in LA. Anyone looking for a classic butter chicken or chicken tikka masala won’t be disappointed either.
Badmaash opens today from 6 to 10 p.m., with Tuesday to Saturday through the month of June before widening service to daytime and brunch starting in July.
Badmaash Fairfax. 418 N. Fairfax Avenue. Los Angeles, CA 90036.