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New Menu from a Legendary Kitchen at Electric Karma

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(Gerry Furth-Sides) The minute you walk into the protected front entry way of Electric Karma, you know you are a special guest, away from scorching or nippy weather outdoors.  Inside it is always the perfect temperature.

Owner Paramijit Singh (shown above) is equally at home in the kitchen or the dining room at his restaurant, Electric Karma.  He and brother, Lakhvir “Lucky” opened the 80-seat upscale-casual place a dozen years ago.     “Pamma” created the menu and also designed the inviting, interior of the large restaurant with his wife.

You could call the chef- owner Parmitjit “Pamma” Singh a “second generation Indian chef.”  Singh, learned from the best –  their mom who cooked at home.  Pamma also holds the highest pedigree for Indian cooking in Los Angeles, working first in Neela Panisse’s famous Bombay Cafe  Kitchen.

Casual, upscale, Electric Karma prides itself on its authentic Punjabi style cuisine from Northern India, including vegan and vegetarian dishes.  Pamma and Lucky oversaw the kitchen themselves when they opened to make sure their family recipes were prepared perfectly. Pamma is happy to adjust even the long list of combinations that includes tempting naans,  soups, salads, appetizers, tandoori oven dishes and special party foods.

The result: a loyal neighborhood and destination diner following.  And Electric Karma is a short distance from the Original Farmers Market and The Grove on a lively, walking street.

Colorful décor rich primary colors enhance the atmosphere, inviting day or evening.  A covered, intimate outdoor dining area with with low table dining seats up to 30 guests.

The lively bar area boasts a long beer and wine menu, including beer from India.  Non-alcoholic drinks are plentiful; the sweet mango sangria is popular year round.  The bartender is happy to help you find a wine that you like to go best with your food and palate — offering tastes of several from which to choose.

Hot Flour naan, the traditional Indian bread of white flour and water made magical in a tandoor oven takes on many forms.  At Electric Karma naan is a house specialty and so there is Plain Naan and Garlic Naan, Onion, Olive, Chicken, Lamb Naan plus Kabuli (sprinkled with coconut and cherries) and Kashmiri Naan sprinkled with sesame seed.

The House specialty is stuffed with mozzarella and sprinkled with cooked onion, shown below.  The unique mozzarella cheese seasoning is fenugreek and chaat masala.  Piping hot and cloud-like when it comes from the oven at its best, it is the perfect starter or complement to wine or main dishes.  

The signature Electric Karma’s Chicken Tiki Masala is commonly found in most Indian Restaurants.  This dish is different because the recipe with intense flavors is direct from the Singh kitchen at home. The sauce is prepared with garlic, onion, ginger, tomato, cream and turmeric, cumin and coriander spices. It is served with basmati rice.

Tandoori shrimp and Fish features Tiger Prawns in a marinated sauce.  Even arriving from the oven, the shrimp is moist and tender.

Other impressive dishes to order include Nirvana Chicken in a coconut sauce with lemongrass, Lamb Korma cooked in a curry sauce with cashew nuts and almonds and a list of fish dishes

and  Green Chicken Tikka colored with basil, mint and cilantro.  The tomato-saffron sauce for chicken makhni is prepared for dairy-free customers without yogurt.

House-made mango, ginger and pistachio ice cream end a meal on a smooth, light note.

When we got home with our leftovers, we found them thoughtfully wrapped and labelled – with a little container of fresh pistachios as an added treat.  It shows the care and concern of the staff.

For details and full  menu of Electric Karma, please see http://www.electrickarma.com, 8222 1/2 West Third Street, Los Angeles, CA  90048, (323) 653-2121.


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Gerry Furth-Sides

Gerry Furth-Sides

Content Editor/Columnist

Photo-journalist Gerry Furth-Sides has been covering the ethnic and American culinary scene in California since it first came into prominence 25 years ago.