Oh Akbar, I am in love with your crisp on the outside, creamy on the inside, fresh out of the oven Cheese Nan bread. Slathered with the spicy coconut chutney, it’s the best thing I have ever tasted in my life. Really. The very best. The moment I sit down I request this. Please, please bring the delicious bread right away or I won’t be okay.
Safe in the knowledge that cheese Nan is being made fresh for me, I can order one of Akbar’s delicious appetizers. I recommend the Aloo Aam Tikka- Potato patties stuffed with seasoned green peas and spices, served with homemade mango chutney. It’s beautiful and sweet and pairs well with a Mango Lassi- a mango flavored yogurt drink.
My other favorite appetizer is the Samosa- potato pyramids that are fried, crispy on the outside and smooshy on the inside- (somehow reminds me of Richard Dreyfuss’ creation in Close Encounters of the third kind) Perhaps I love these so much because they are the perfect vehicle to transport more of the spicy coconut chutney into my mouth.
So here’s the lowdown, if you can swing it, the trick is to come here at lunch. The restaurant is rarely crowded. Perhaps people don’t know they are open for lunch- from 11:30-2:30. You can get all your favorite dishes for half the price. I love the Akbari Chicken, chunks of chicken in a sweet, savory, cashew saffron sauce. The menu says “best in town” and I believe that’s the truth. At lunch this delight is 8.95, come back at dinnertime and you will pay 17.95. It does come with sautéed mixed vegetables, Dal of the day, rice and Nan.
The best part about dinner is the server Shebby; (Like saying Chevy, with a minor speech impediment.) He is so earnest, so genuine and eager to please. His mannerisms and appearance remind me of Dev Patel in the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Shebby is reason enough to come here, like visiting a favorite cousin. When I was there last, my friend ordered the Chicken Tikka Masala and Shebby said “Have you tried the Chicken Makhani, it’s 90% Tikka Masala, but 10% better because it has butter and onion and more spices.” I felt like we were getting turned on to a secret menu- like at that California burger franchise. Thanks Shebby!
Everything is good here, tons of vegetarian options, strong fragrant beers, and the bread, have I mentioned the bread? You can get it with cheese, garlic, onion, dried fruits…. If my obsession with the bread ever ends, I will try one or all 5 of the desserts they offer.
Akbar winner of “Best Indian food in the South Bay”
1101 Aviation Blvd. Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30 Dinner: 7 days 5:00-10:00 pm
Chicken Akbari Lunch-8.95 Entrée-12.95 Dinner-17.95
Chicken Tikka Masala Lunch-8.95 Entrée-12.95 Dinner-17.95