Walking down Pioneer Blvd on a hot, muggy night, I imagined I was transplanted halfway around in the world to New Delhi or Bombay. The streets filled with Indian people shopping, store owners chatting in their doorways, and Bollywood music blaring. Exotic, strange smells wafted in the air. The streets teemed, but unlike anything I've experience in Los Angeles, definitely felt more third world, but in a good way.
My day started at my favorite Indian restaurant called, India Restaurant. They have an excellent lunch buffet for ten dollars. It contains over 30 items. Some of my favs are the chicken curry, tandoori chicken, and masala. For dessert, they have my favorite, gulab jamun, a pastry made from fried milk curds, then doused in simple syrup. It tastes akin to a donut but a hundred times better.
After a very filling meal, I strolled down a few blocks to my favorite Indian Deli, Bombay Sweets and Snacks. As I mentioned earlier, my favorite Indian bite has to be the jamun and Bombay Sweets has racks of them, all different kinds. Vegetarian meals are served too, along with a big selection of burfi. Burfi is an Indian sweet made from sugar and condensed milk. There's many different flavors and it has the consistency of hard fudge (as in, not the super, soft fudge, but more storebrand fudge). I tried a box of assorted burfi but it wasn't me, I've never liked the taste of milk and it tasted strongly of milk. Next time I'll stick with the jamun and fried vegetarian snacks.
My last stop was at Saffron Spot, located in a posh Indian shopping center, at the south edge of Little India. Saffron Spot is an Indian ice cream and snack store. They have unusual ice cream flavors, such as rose and saffron, but they also had American flavors too. They also have more traditional India desserts, I got the Kulfi Falooda, a combination of two popular Indian desserts. Kulfi is ice cream's Indian cousin. It's made of milk, but not whipped. The falooda is an Indian beverage, it's a lot like a Chinese boba drink, but instead of boba, there's vermicilli and basil seeds. It was very refreshing. I could see why this dessert was so popular in India. It was more an acquired taste, but not bad. It looked like ice cream and shake, so it was off putting when it didn't taste as such, but that's something my mind had to overcome. I definitely would come here again to try their different ice creams and faloodas.