Monday, March 31, 2008

Electric Lotus

4656 Franklin Ave
Hollywood, CA 90027

Adequately Fed: $15

Vegetable Samosas***
Fried Calamari*****
Chicken Vindaloo***
Lamb Mint Curry***
(Out of Five Stars)

I'm always suspicious of restaurants that are darkly lit. Regardless of the romantic mood of dinner by candlelight, I wonder what imperfections in their food they're trying to hide. Electric Lotus, located on Franklin and Vermont has just the kind of lighting Spider-man, Batman, or any other superhero with a light adverse motif would appreciate.

Besides the lighting, the restaurant looks as though it is under construction with some tasteful decoration, but also elements, such as unpainted ceiling, that leave you wondering where the construction crew is. Of course, I never judge a restaurant by its ambiance.

We ordered two appetizers, samosas, common fare in all Indian restaurants, and calamari. Unfortunately, Electric Lotus does not serve complimentary naan, which is like a French restaurant that doesn't serve bread. It does however, have a wide selection of different kinds of naan on the menu in the range of $3-5. Personally, I rarely eat samosas, but the order (which came with three samosas) was rather plain. They weren't as crispy as I expected, though the spiciness in the filling gave them some personality. The calamari, interestingly tempura battered, were excellently fried. More interestingly was the tamarind dipping sauce that came with it, which added a crisp sweet tang. Sadly, the order of calamari was $12 and certainly not enough for more than four people at most.

Their curries come in cute individual bowls with a separate bowl of basmati rice. The vindaloo was good and filling, but nothing spectacular. I chose the mint curry with lamb because of how well the flavors of mint compliment lamb, but the dish did not fully utilize this herb. The mint was more of an afterthought, resulting in a tasty, but unimaginative dish.

Recommended: Boon for you unfortunate looking people, this place is so dark inside that you'll have to make out your date's features by candlelight.

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