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A taste of home cooking at Tulsi Indian Eatery in Los Angeles, CA

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

"Oh, this looks so clean and green!", I said to my partner as I walked into Tulsi, a vegetarian restaurant, a few minutes away from the UCLA campus.


Often when I walk into an Indian restaurant, I know what I am getting into. Spicy and creamy food, cooked either North Indian OR South Indian-style. Definitely delicious but also sleep-inducing!


The Tulsi experience was a bit different. The restaurant offers vegetarian regional specialties from various parts of India. They offer curry combos at three price points, food from Western, Southern and Northern India, and section called 'Regional Influencers'. Some of the food has a 'fusion' feel, and also has plant-based options. Their drinks are interesting, provided by a company called 'Tractor' - certified organic lemonade and limeade with turmeric, mandarin juice with cardamom, and berry patch with strawberry, cherry and apple cider vinegar. Overall, a healthier feel to the restaurant. And I love that you get to buy, pay for and be served your food in an interesting, fast-food kinda way!


Come to Tulsi to experience this.

This is what to expect:

  1. Order at the counter

  2. Pay for your food, and get one of those buzzers that buzz and vibrate when your food is ready

  3. Wait for a super cute robot to come to your table with your food and silverware!


These are the things we ordered:

Pav Bhaji at Tulsi, Los Angeles
Pav Bhaji at Tulsi, Los Angeles

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji is a popular Indian street food consisting of a thick spicy vegetable curry served with soft bread rolls. In Hindi and Marathi, the word 'Pav' means 'Bread' and 'Bhaji' means 'a vegetable dish'.


Since these are served together as a meal, it is known as Pav Bhaji. The veggies in the bhaji are typically potatoes, peas, onions, cauliflower, carrots. The red color comes from tomato paste.


Ask for lemon and onions to make it fun.








Bhel Puri

This is a popular street food made with roasted puffed rice, fried chickpea vermicelli, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, brown and green chutneys. A sprinkle of lemon and cilantro adds to the charm. Chutneys add to the spice. If you find the dish to be mild, ask for a spicy chutney alternative!

Bhel Puri at Tulsi, Los Angeles
Bhel Puri at Tulsi, Los Angeles


Dosa at Tulsi, Los Angeles
Dosa at Tulsi, Los Angeles

Tulsi Special Masala Dosa

If you haven't had a dosa before, you are definitely missing out. Dosas are popular in South India, often served for breakfast or lunch. The thin pancakes / crepes are made from a fermented batter of lentils and rice.


The Tulsi Special Masala Dosa is a rice crepe with cheese, onions and tomatoes and a potato-onion stuffing. Served with sambar (lentil soup), coconut chutney and tomato chutney.


You can also order their plain dosas which have no cheese or stuffing - those are the most popular and child-friendly!








Sarson Ka Saag with Makki Ki Roti

With traditional origins, this authentic dish has flavors that must be celebrated! It is a classic dish from the state of Punjab in India and is eaten during winter months. You may not always find it in Indian restaurants but it is often prepared in Indian households. This dish at Tulsi is a spinach curry in ginger and with mustard leaves. Served with a flat corn-bread.


Mango Kulfi

This is one of the desserts we tried. It is a frozen dessert made with mango puree, milk and cream, and of course - sugar. It's a great after-dinner item that helps you cool off from all the Indian spices. This was delicious, and super kid-friendly!

Mango Kulfi at Tulsi, Los Angeles
Mango Kulfi at Tulsi, Los Angeles


Gulab Jamun dessert at Tulsi, Los Angeles
Gulab Jamun dessert at Tulsi, Los Angeles

Salted Caramel Gulab Jamun

This dessert is quite a popular item in the Indian subcontinent - small dough balls, fried and soaked in a sticky syrup.


At Tulsi, their salted caramel gulab jamuns are delectable Indian mini doughnuts soaked in sweet and salted caramel syrup. Well made and not crazy-sweet.







I was excited to know that Tulsi also caters! We saw a board and then inquired for more details. I am actually more interested in their LIVE counter option as I haven't seen that anywhere near me, yet. You can call them and also find information on their website. We will certainly be using their service for one of our events!

Catering options at Tulsi, Los Angeles
Catering options at Tulsi, Los Angeles

For me, it is so important to connect with those who cook for us - because food and cooking is an emotional act. It was wonderful to meet with and chat with Vicky, who handled the food service for us.


Tulsi has several locations in Los Angeles, so there is likely one that is in driving distance from you: Northridge, DTLA, Westwood and Riverside. If you visited the restaurant, and have a favorite dish, share it here.




 

LA-based Green Sea Shells is an online magazine that encapsulates the vibrant essence of Indian-American life, culture, and family travel. Join our community and subscribe to our complimentary monthly newsletter, Roots & Routes. Some of our GSS articles contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking a link, we’ll collect a share of sales at no additional cost to you.



LA-based Green Sea Shells is an online magazine that encapsulates the vibrant essence of Indian-American life, culture, and family travel. Join our community and subscribe to our complimentary monthly newsletter, Roots & Routes.