At first glance the menu for this Sri Lankan café is bound to suggest Indian food. But the nearly 50 curries at Torrance’s Curry Leaf, which include varieties with beet, pumpkin, and yucca, possess a spicy tanginess and a subtle South Asian umami that’s unique to the island nation. The curries get a boost when paired with the chutney-like condiments: chili-infused blends of coconut, herbs, or vegetables that range from simply hot to volcanic. Mop up every drop of the sauces with rice crepes known as appams, or hoppers. Don't miss the malu miris, stuffed banana peppers that are another Sri Lankan specialty.
Curry Leaf, 16300 Crenshaw Blvd., Ste. 101, 310-538-8775 or curryleafrestaurant.com.