This may be the most unusual pasta you've tasted. It's sev (top left), which is fine vermicelli cooked with sugar to make it slightly sweet. In front is yogurt prepared so that it too is slightly sweet. Parsi custom is to eat them together, a delightful creamy, shreddy blend.
This dish was part of a buffet honoring Parsi new year at Woodlands restaurant in Artesia. Read more about the restaurant and its Parsi food in my article for LA Weekly's Squid Ink. (Parsis are Zoroastrians who emigrated from Persia to India.)
To make it brown, the sev is fried in butter and oil, explains Bhicoo J. Manekshaw in her book "Parsi Food and Customs" (Penguin Books India, 1996). Next it is added to a syrup of sugar, water and milk and cooked until dry. Then it is mixed with cream and rosewater and served garnished with almonds, raisins, nutmeg and cardamom.
Milk for the yogurt is boiled with sugar and allowed to set until firm enough to cut with a knife, giving it a custard-like texture. Another dish at the buffet was real custard, seasoned with cardamom and nutmeg and garnished with almonds. This dessert is always served at Parsi weddings.
At the right in the photo at top is a Parsi rice pulao, one of many Parsi dishes that will appear from time to time at the Woodlands, which is located in Little India.