Your sukhasana is sublime. You nod, humbly, as your yoga teacher uses the correct Sanskrit for poses. The Namaste at the end of class is heartfelt. But perhaps it’s time to go further into your appreciation of the Indian sub-continent and put down the pressed juices and enjoy a dhosa (yes, it’s gluten-free, made with rice and lentils, before you get apprehensive). Anarkali, on Melrose, just east of La Brea, is an excellent place to start.
Serving curry-loving Angelenos since 1983, the Choudhury family, originally from Bangladesh, has created a quiet oasis of calm during the day, and a livelier, more celebratory atmosphere by night. The menu is satisfyingly broad but not overwhelming. If you want to be truly understated, try the vegetarian special at just $5.95 (lunch special, Monday to Friday), pick your spice level (mild to eye-wateringly fiery) and sip a simple cup of chai tea (steeped with soothing cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and cloves, served with milk; sugar if you need it).
Yes you can order it to go. But please don’t. Take advantage of the secluded booths, separated by vibrant silk panels and admire the saffron colored textiles suspended in swaths from the ceiling. Amber bulbs in the side lamps create deeply attractive pools of light. The shimmering glow from the chandeliers above highlights the pale fondant pink walls with yellow/gold painted archways. After an hour with your tea, mild curry, the low chanting music on the sound system, nestled in the booth at the back, you’ll feel restored.