Do you like boring or bland food? Well then, this post isn’t for you. But if you like explosion of Indian flavors with a play on California cuisine, DO come to the Spice Affair in Beverly Hills on La Cienega Blvd. The Spice Affair gets their name from using non-traditional spices in traditional Indian food as well as using Indian spices on California cuisine. This intentional spices-swapping thus leads to the the name Spice Affair. Sounds adventurous? I was excited to taste these exotic flavors from the same culinary team as its sister restaurant, Broadway Masala, which garnered a Michelin recommended rating!
Upon entering, there is a modern bar / lounge area. The saffron, gold, and cinnamon color delicately floats all around restaurant. I love the rotating seats that can both accommodate as seats and as tables. Perfect if you wanted to eat at the lounge or if you just wanted to get drinks at the full bar. Some of the notable drinks here are: The Golden Elixir-a premium cocktail made with 12 ingredients including saffron infused vodka, and a blend of spices and floral essences. Buddha Bliss-a Bombay Sapphire martini with hints of ginger and cilantro. Violet Dusk-a floral cocktail with Spring44 gin, lychee juice and a mystical violet-blue-hazed finish. For the gentleman, they bar offers beers such as Singha, Kingfisher Lager, Lagunitas IPA, and Mumbai Mule -Moscow Mule variation with Belvedere, lime, cardamom honey and ginger. A vast wine collection is also available as well as non-alcoholic favorites like Mango Lassi.
At the bar, you can see a California interpretation when a taco and a chicken tikka masala are combined as one. Chicken Tikka Phulka Tacos are a refreshing take on a Indian favorite with a California flair. Other must order appetizers from the restaurant menu are Duck and Date Mélange, dates and duck breast served over crisp Papdi bread. Artichoke Hearts from Tandoor, a marinated artichoke hearts in a proprietary sauce and then tandoor grilled, a Spice Affair restaurant exclusive!
The Indian dishes here have characteristics of North Indian cuisine. Northern India, known for hot summer nights and cold winter months are typically focused on vegetables and heavier curries. If you want a litmus test on their take of Tandoori chicken, you should order from their menu: Butter Chicken Loaded with Love, shredded tandoori chicken with their signature tomato sauce. Super delicious, super flavorful. But if you want to order the traditional Tandoori Chicken, well they have that too. Shrimp and Scallop Moilee a Kerala style coconut curry tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Dum Chicken Biryani with boneless chicken, basmati rice, magical whiffs and broiled saffron strands. This dum chicken biryani dish smells A-mazing and far from “dum!” When presented next to your table, it’s like table side Guacamole but Indian style! It’s presented like a BIG pot pie dish. Once you cut into it, all the steam comes out since the baking process keeps the moisture and the flavors in on the Biryani. Highly recommended! I also really enjoyed the light and airy Onion & Gorgonzola Kulcha. Kulcha which is traditionally eaten with chole, is served here to accompany your dishes.
The Spice Affair can also accommodate large parties as they have an elegant banquet room with it’s own very own menu. Their ballroom can accommodate up to 260 of your closest friends with its very own bar area which is great for weddings and family reunions. If you are looking for a more intimate space, they also have a private room that can hold up to 40 people for dinner along with adjustable lighting and projector.
If you are local and want to come with the lunch crowd, The Spice Affair has its very own lunch menu called the “Lunch Affair”. For lunch, all items comes with rice, accompaniments such as Kali Daal or Vegetables of the day and Naan, Kulcha, or Whole Wheat Roti. Of course, vegetarian options are always available here.
I know I have tons of friends who don’t know where a good Indian restaurant is near the Mid-Wilshire/ Hollywood area. Well, now they do and so do you! And being situated conveniently on restaurant row, there is no excuse of not coming here! From the beautiful setting inside the restaurant to the flavorful cuisine, be ready to have your senses awakened when you step inside the Spice Affair!