When I was refereeing at an AYSO soccer tournament for my son’s all-star team about 10 years ago, another mom on the team, a professor at L.A. City College, also refereed.
Between games we would talk about various topics and one day the Taj Palace (on La Cruz), came up. I mentioned it was one of my kids’ favorite places to eat. Then, my fellow ref, whose family is from India, told me it was regarded as one of the best places to find genuine Indian food in L.A.
A Malibu resident wrote on Yelp: “I am a tech person who worked in Silicon Valley, which as most know, has the best Indian spots in California. Have to say Taj Palace is right up there. They are conscious about not making food too spicy, yet if you ask they are not shy to kick it up several notches. Their chicken dishes are fantastic and always with breast meat, which is a big win for us. Their rice dishes cover the full spectrum and are always perfectly cooked.”
In February, a resident wrote: “Really glad to find this restaurant after our workout. The service is great! Waiter is very helpful. I love the lamb tikka masala, it’s so tasty. And the naan is very good; we ordered two different types of naans, one has stuffing in it, very good! We also had the eggplant. Although less tasty it feels very healthy.”
My son always starts with an order of onion Bhaji ($6.95), and the Gobi Pakor ($6.95) is delicious, too. There are numerous salads and soups, such as the mugultawny ($7.95), chicken ($7.95) or vegetable ($7.95).
Chicken Tikka Marsala ($16.95) is a favorite with my daughter and my husband usually orders chicken tandoori.
I waiver between the shrimp vindaloo ($15.95) and the shrimp saag ($15.95). They ask if I’d like medium or spicy—and depending on my mood, the heat is exactly right.
For those who have elected not to eat animal protein, there are numerous vegetarian options, including the vegetarian coconut curry ($14.95), the Gobi Manchurian ($13.95) and the Kashmiri vegetable curry ($14.95).
There are Tandoori specialties such as Murg Masallam ($26.95), which is a whole chicken marinated in yogurt and cooked in a tandoor (Indian clay oven fired with mesquite charcoal) or the fish tikka kabab ($16.95) or the Seekh kabab, ground lamb mixed with spices, cumin and cilantro and broiled on skewers ($14.95).
Don’t forget the rice biryani or the Indian breads, such as the naan or the parantha, pure yumminess.
Located at 15200 Sunset, next to Modo Mio, the restaurant has free parking underneath the Chase Bank building. Call (310) 454-0988 or visit: tajpacificpalisades.com, where you can order online.