Badmaash is a hip, Indian gastropub in Los Angeles that takes a modern approach to traditional flavors. The restaurant serves up vibrant and innovative dishes in a cozy and colorful space, and there’s something about the buzzy atmosphere and bustling kitchen activity that enhances the tastiness of their meals. Badmaash translates roughly as “bad ass,” and the name is absolutely appropriate. The food has attitude; and, overall, it’s a “cool” place — but not intimidating — with a diverse crowd, friendly hosts, and energetic servers who are happy to make recommendations and who encourage sharing.
Badmaash had an incredible dinner menu offering as part of Dine LA, an exciting two-week event that highlights “the diversity of culinary experiences L.A. has to offer.” And as soon as I saw it listed among the other fantastic restaurants in town, I knew that Badmaash had to be one of my first Dine LA stops over the weekend.
The Badmaash dinner menu comprised three courses — an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert. My picks (plus Brandon’s appetizer) are below!
Chef Pav’s Pink Lentil Soup
Brandon and I chose two different appetizers, so we could share! Brandon picked the pink lentil soup, and this had to be one of the best soups we’ve ever tasted. It was bright in color and flavor, and somehow light AND creamy at the same time. The tomato, ginger, and cilantro gave the lentils a zingy lift. If only this was a bottomless bowl…
Bean Sprout “Bhel” Salad
I’m a big fan of bean sprouts, so I picked the “bhel” salad — a Bombay street food. The bowl was overflowing with refreshing bean sprouts mixed with jicama, red onion, “sev” (crunchy noodles made from chickpea flour), cilantro, lime, and tamarind. So refreshing!
By the way, the triangular thing in the background of the photo is a samosa filled with butter chicken. It wasn’t part of the Dine LA menu, but we couldn’t eat at Badmaash and not order at least one samosa.
Goan Pork Curry
There were four main courses to choose from, but Brandon and I both wanted the Goan pork curry. When a menu item is described as “sweet-sour-spicy,” how can you not go with it?
The curry had a nice medium heat from the Serrano chilies, and the slow braised pork shoulder was very tender and equally sweet and sour thanks to the jaggery sugar and tamarind. The fluffy basmati rice, pickled onions, and homemade pickles were perfect sides to the fragrant and rich pork.
Salted Semolina “Halwa” Cake
For dessert, I chose the sweet “halwa” cake — which I was very lucky to get, as there were only five left by the time we arrived for dinner! It was soft and sweet, and it reminded me of sticky toffee pudding. The toasted almonds sprinkled on top of the toffee sauce gave the smooth cake a nice little crunch.
Brandon ordered mini ice cream sandwiches made with vanilla ice cream and Parle-G cookies. I had a bite.