Bawarchi Indian Kitchen

Strips of bread dough tightly seal the lids on massive cooking pots at Bawarchi Indian Kitchen in Culver City, where chef Amarpal Sabherwal puts his colorful spin on the classic north Indian cooking technique known as dum pukht. The low and slow method allows the juices and spices to mingle in his flavorful—and all-vegetarian—curries, dals, and masalas. An ordinary Indian buffet this is not. With more than two decades of high-end restaurant experience, Sabherwal turns out inspired creations masquerading as fast food. For only $9 you can dig into three items from the frequently replenished 20-item buffet. The big screen: “Bawarchi” is a reference to the acclaimed ’70s Bollywood comedy of the same name in which a charming chef works magic in the kitchen. Sabherwal isn’t far off.

By Linda Burum