Spice Affair Reveals Unique Flavors of India

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There are many restaurants in Los Angeles that specialize in Indian cuisine. Most of them have the decor which is similar to restaurants in India. Although the cuisine is mostly southern, some restaurants specialize in northern. However, Spice Affair is unlike any Indian restaurant we have reviewed. It is truly unique in its decor, as well as it’s cuisine.

Anupam Bhatia, a world renowned specialist in Indian cuisine, the CEO of Spice Affair, has a restaurant in San Francisco which successfully created a unique flair with Indian cuisine, combining traditional Indian cuisine with the west.

His vision of colorful spices from India are really succulent when combined with his lamb, chicken dishes, curries, and vegetable dishes. Mr. Bhatia believes in teamwork in making a successful restaurant atmosphere, as well as excellent service and cuisine that arouses the palate.

duck and date melange
Duck and Date Melange

As with any good restaurant, there must be a solid background. Punet Chandak, the Chairman of Spice Affair and his wife Sonia Batra, the co owner have done a splendid job in this area.

The decor designed by Sonia Batra is unique in that there’s an agate wall in the cocktail area which lends itself to the contemporary setting of the restaurant. The wallpaper throughout the dining area is unique and blends in well with the modern oak tables. Even the banquet area is unique with its crystal chandeliers.

Naresh Domai, the banquet manager, has played host to many stars from India and told me they can handle large banquets up to 300 people.

Now that the information on Spice Affair has been explained, I can tell you there are a number of celebrities who really enjoy the amazing Indian cuisine of Spice Affair. Tom Hallick, who starred as Brad Garrett, on The Young and Restless, and his wife Yin Jiang, a concert violinist with Andrea Bocelli, were two celebrity guests who recently enjoyed a culinary journey they had never experienced with Indian cuisine.

I have known Mr. Hallick for quite a few years, and Tom Hallick knows his cuisine. Sonia Batra joined Tom and his wife, explaining their version of Indian cuisine.

“In Indian cooking, spices that compliment each other have been paired together traditionally for centuries past; at Spice Affair we’re taking some tradition and a lot of non tradition to create excitement. We’re having an affair with spices, where the focus is on flavor, not heat.”

Come take a culinary journey with Tom Hallick, Yin Jiang, and myself.

We’ll begin with Kingfisher beer for Tom Hallick, a Citrus Clove for Yin and a Coconut Lustre for myself.

flash grilled sea bass
Flash Grilled Sea Bass

We started our evening as a tasting, family style.

The Citrus Clove is prepared with Bulleit bourbon, poured over ice and stirred with cloves, fresh cucumber, lime and lemon. Bourbon has been the key ingredient in old fashions since the early 1800’s and exotic cloves of Asia. The Coconut Lustre, a delicious signature cocktail of Spice Affair is a light and frosty combination of coconut, rum, Godiva, a white chocolate liqueur and Frangelico. It is blended with the richness of hazelnut and the sweetness of chocolate.

With that said, our appetizers consisted of a Mix Max Bhel of Micro Greens, prepared with puffed rice, tomato, and chaat dressing. Goat Cheese and Asparagus Tiki, which is prepared with potato, asparagus, and goat cheese patties is another popular appetiser.

There was also a wonderful Mushroom Cappuccino. Ah, this soup is delicious, blended with wild mushrooms and served as a cappuccino. Simply amazing!

Tom Hallick loved the Tikki, and said, “the Goat Cheese and Asparagus Tikki is as good as it gets.” In fact, all the appetizers are delicious!

We all enjoyed the Northie Lamb Blis, Malai Chicken Mild and Succulent, Flash Grilled Sea Bass, and Tangy Stuffed Eggplant.The Northie Lamb Blis, is lamb from Australia, cooked to perfection in the style of northern India.The Flash Grilled Sea Bass is marinated in yogurt, fresh herbs, turmeric and tandoor grilled.

Another dish which is very popular is the Malai Chicken Mild + Succulent, which is marinated with pureed almond and cream cheese; and the Tangy Stuffed Eggplant, where the caramelized onion with almonds, tamarind and tomato are stuffed in baby eggplant. These popular dishes are superb, in their balance of herbs and spices.

cardamom martini buddha bliss
Cardamom Martini & Buddha Bliss

What’s not to like with a superb selection of deserts before one retires for the evening?

The desserts at Spice Affair are prepared in house and are the talk of Los Angeles. “This evening was unlike any dining experience I’ve had with indian cuisine,” Tom said.

That sentiment was certainly agreed to by his wife, Yin Jiang, and myself. The Gulabo, a rose flavored homemade indian ice cream, cooled our taste buds, as well as the Mango Mango, alfonso mangoes served as a mousse and the Chintu Ki Rasmalai, a soft paneer with pistachios was heavenly.

Tom Hallick though, has a sweet tooth, and he took the Chocolate Love. It is warm chocolate molten cake, with vanilla ice cream. Tom devoured the entire desert.

black pepper shrimp
Black Pepper Shrimp
tandoor artichoke hearts
Artichoke Hearts from the Tandoor
chicken biryani
Chicken Biryani

Spice Affair hours for lunch are 11:30 to 2:30 Monday – Friday. Dinner is 5 pm to 10 pm Sunday – Thursday, and 5-11 Friday and Saturday. The buffet brunch is Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 am to 3 pm and Happy Hour is 4:30 pm to 7pm seven days a week. They’re located at 50 North La Cienega, suite 120 in Beverly Hills, California.

Visit www.spice-affair.com or call (310) 400-6800 for reservations. Celebrity Scene News awards Spice Affair five stars for an incredible culinary journey.

Pete Allman, “The Man on the Scene,” is based in Marina del Rey, California, concentrating on producing feature films, television projects, and commercials. Pete also has an office in Las Vegas, which he visits occasionally.

Pete is also a restaurant critic, broadcast personality and celebrity interviewer. He produces inspirational messages for television and other media.

Of all the investigations he makes, we suspect he likes critiquing restaurants the most, because he can taste the food, savor the atmosphere, interact with people, and photograph all the goodies.

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