99 Essential Restaurants 2014

Surati Farsan Mart

photo by Danny Liao

If you’re vegetarian — even if you’re not — you’ll love the food at Surati Farsan Mart in Artesia’s Little India. This is a Gujarati restaurant, specializing in dishes from India’s Western coast. The miles-long menu offers anything from a complete meal on a thali to veggie burgers and dosas (there’s even a chocolate dosa). Try the silky yellow rolls called khandvi, topped with mustard seeds, cilantro and coconut, or khasta kachori, which smothers crisp, bean-filled shells with layers of fine noodles, yogurt and sweet and spicy sauces. Snack on saladlike bhel puri, a mix of crunchy rice puffs, beans, potato and onion with cilantro and spicy sweet seasoning. Or bite into a soft idli, a rice-and-lentil cake, which comes with sambhar, a lentil-and-vegetable soup that is especially good here. After you’ve eaten, head to the counters filled with sweets and snacks so tempting that  you’re sure to leave loaded with  bags and boxes. No problem if you’ve never seen such goodies before. The friendly staff is really nice about handing out free samples.

-- Barbara Hansen