Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: India’s Clay Pit – 2/5 Stars

India’s Clay Pit
$$ Indian
309 N Virgil Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90004

Cooks please -taste- your food before bringing it out! I got a really bad stomach ache here after eating their undercooked brown rice. My partner told me that it was ‘al dente’ but it was hard enough to give me sharp stomach pains for the rest of the night, which then dominoed into a kind of -yuck- laxative effect.

Now let’s talk about their food food. I don’t appreciate how things are hit or miss here. While my non-vegetarian acquaintances attest to enjoying the meat dishes here, their veg stuff leaves a lot to be desired. The veg curries and vegetables make me wonder whether they are pre-made, while the cooks focus all their energy on freshly preparing the meat items. The spinach/saag essentially tasted as flavorful and fresh as those Indian TV Dinners that you buy in a box and heat in an oven. It tasted like spice added post-hoc to the blandness.

The baingan bharta (eggplant) made thawing a frozen Indian meal actually seem desirable. It was the only time I’ve ever not enjoyed eating that dish out of the five or six Indian restaurants I’ve tried in Los Angeles. It tasted like curry that was coagulated from a flavorless, old eggplant and then pureed into a slop oblivion. I hope that they consider taking it off their menu while sorting out their freshness issues and preparation of their vegetables.

Since I found the curries to be pretty mediocre, I stuck with okra the most recent time I visited and it was better. I am unsure if I lack confidence in their food is fresh but the spices that the okra was prepared in tasted a lot better than the okra itself – it was shriveled. Okra offers a kind of crispness that their dish seemed to lack. Due to the other unfortunate circumstances I had with their food, it leads me to believe that their okra was not fresh either.

We were also served lackluster samosas that were not fresh – they tasted cooled, hardened, and dry in the center. Samosas are amazing when they melt in your mouth and this was the first time I ever got a bad samosa from an Indian restaurant so was taken aback. The hardened daal tasted like clay in the center. But fortunately, we got the pakoras, which actually tasted as good as they’re supposed to taste! Their naan and roti taste fine too.

In the end, it’s a shame that I was pleasantly surprised about getting something good here. I really want to like this place but unfortunately, their vegetarian dishes were at best as good as frozen saag from a TV dinner. It is a shame because I find the paneled ceiling to be beautiful here and hate to see it wasted on mediocre food.

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