The previous post theorized that the popular Gujarati vegetarian eatery might expand into the space vacated by a book and gift shop next door.
That didn't happen. Karma Fashion Studio took over the empty space instead, but Surati expanded anyway--outside, onto the sidewalk. At the top, you can see the row of tables waiting for customers when the restaurant gets crowded.
The latest lunch included one repeat from before, the silky bright yellow rolls of gram flour dough called khandvi (above). They're sprinkled with mustard seeds, cilantro and coconut strands and accompanied by a super spicy green sauce.
The friend who went with me swears that Surati's bhel puri (above) is better than any she tasted during months in India. As yellow as khandvi, it's a sweet and spicy, salad-like mix that includes crunchy rice puffs along with potatoes, beans, onions and cilantro.
You have to be careful with pani puri (above), or you'll splash tasty liquid over your face and hands. These miniature pastry puffs are filled with potatoes and green and black beans seasoned with sweet and spicy sauces. To finish them off, you spoon in mint-flavored water. This is what you'll be wiping off if you don't eat each one in a single bite.
Chick peas, channa, garbanzo beans, chole. They're all the same, and at Surati they come with a vegetable-filled samosa (above) that gets soft and gushy if you don't extract it from the sauce right away. But maybe that's how it's supposed to be.
There's something else new at Surati in addition to sidewalk seating. It's a line of Indian-flavored ice creams from Saffron Spot down the street. You take your pick from a photo menu near the cash register. After eating, walk down to Saffron Spot, and you'll find even more flavors there.
Surati Farsan Mart, 11814 E. 186 Street, Artesia, CA 90701. Tel: (562) 860-2310.
Saffron Spot, 18744 Pioneer Blvd., Artesia, CA 90701. Tel: (562) 809-4554.