What a shame the county line lies where it does; the best Indian restaurants in SoCal lie just five minutes from Buena Park, La Palma and Cypress, yet they're in Artesia, squarely in Squid Ink territory. Damn. Still, we have some good contenders, from Afghan to Southern Indian; it's just a tragedy that OC's Sri Lankan restaurant is no longer open to cap the list.
As always, if you don't like the contents or order of the list, let us have it in the comments!
10. Clay Oven Cuisine of India
There's someone with a modern bent in the kitchen at Clay Oven; thoroughly European ingredients such as artichokes are incorporated into the cuisine, but the reason to go is for their maniacally good goat curry, which has pride of place as the first item in the house specialties section.15435 Jeffrey Rd. #116, Irvine; 949-552-2851; clayovenirvine.com.
9. Dosa Place
Indian burritos? No, not really; but Dosa Place is the place to go for long tubes of incredibly thin dough wrapped around your choice of fillings, from the standard spiced potatoes, to chile-tinged eggs, to smoky goat curry. You'll need extra napkins.17245 17th St., Tustin; 714-505-7777; dosaplace.com.
8. Tamarind of London
|Tamarind of London|
This high-end, swank dining room's menu is unapologetically for carnivores; everything from masala crabs to tangy, spicy ghost chile vindaloo. Dress up and have a cocktail before dinner; this is about as far as it gets from steam-tray food slopped on rice. Bring money, too.7862 E. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach; 949-715-8338; tamarindoflondon.com.
7862 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA
14450 Culver Drive, Irvine, CA
13882 Newport Ave., Tustin, CA
24301 Muirlands Blvd., Lake Forest, CA
327 Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, CA
14131 Red Hill Ave., Tustin, CA
7232 Orangethorpe Ave., Buena Park, CA