Venice Boulevard is, seemingly even more so than other streets in LA, and particularly around Culver City, basically a string of nondescript strip malls of various shapes and sizes. These are often filled with the kinds of quotidian businesses with bright signs that somehow blend into invisibility in the mundane cityscape. But sometimes, they are also home to some of the best places to eat in the city. Case in point: Mayura. A family-owned, no frills, almost nostalgic-feeling restaurant in the corner of a small strip mall on a drive-by strip of Venice, specializing in south Indian food and boasting the ultimate LA praise of Jonathan Gold.
There’s something about the choice purple chairs and the overly bright fluorescent lights that make you know this place is legit. Well, that and the proudly posted, framed LA Times 101 annual list clippings. Mayura has been around since 2006, a consistent presence in a rapidly changing neighborhood, and growing in fame with each year. The menu is filled with south Indian classics, with somewhat helpful descriptions for those less familiar with the regional cuisine. But no matter, as soon as the towering cones of dosa start coming out you know you’re in for a good time.
Go here for: a hearty, casual, family-style meal
Order this: thali, dosas and uthappams, fish curry
Amount of time to spend: an hour or more if you over order
When to come: lunch for the buffet, otherwise any time honestly – come on the early (or late) side of dinner to avoid a wait
Parking: if their teeny lot is full (it likely is), your best bet is to park on Motor.
Other things to note: They do accept reservations, just call them. But generally it isn’t too difficult to get a table most days.
Last visited: September 2021
Last updated: May 2022