Al-Watan. Photograph by Lisa Romerein
A tandoor as large and hot as a jet engine is the centerpiece of this Pakistani and Indian gem. Disks of buttery naan emerge looking like Neapolitan pizzas. Bright orange chicken quarters arrive whole on a sizzling plate or chopped up and drenched in curry sauce. » 13619 Inglewood Ave., Hawthorne, 310-644-6395.
India Sweet House
This no-frills spot is dedicated to the Indian snacks and small dishes known as chaat. Specialties include softball-size samosas, lentil pancakes stuffed with curried potatoes, and miniature thali (sampler plates) filled with stews like daal (lentils), aloo gobi (cauliflower and potatoes), and mattar paneer (peas and cheese). The decadent gulab jamun—sweet-sticky milk dough balls dunked in rose water—is an exceptional dessert. » 5992 W. Pico Blvd., Mid City, 323-934-5193.
Next door to King Fahad Mosque, the takeout-only, Pakistani-owned market serves halal-friendly kabobs and spicy pilaf dishes known as biryani to families heading home from evening prayers. On Saturday nights there’s goat biryani: fragrant and deeply seasoned. » 11028 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 310-841-2504.