Spicy delights at Chargha House

(Brett Callwood)

Chargha House, located on Sepulveda, makes the ordering process as easy and uncomplicated as possible. There are big computer screens on the counter, so you can peruse and order at your leisure (McDonald’s style). Meanwhile, there are friendly staff on hand that will answer any and all of your questions. Once you have ordered (assuming you didn’t order in advance by phone or online), they’ll bring you a drink while you wait. Alternatively, Big Lots is a couple of doors away and that’s always good for a bargain hunt to kill 20 minutes.

They describe themselves online as a, “Family own and run Pak Indian Halal restaurant with 25 years experience in cooking. Everything prepared with high quality, rich taste and made fresh on order. Healthy, delicious and made very special, to steal all your hearts. Our experienced chefs ensure to give you the best and make your every order with us, the memorable moment. We are now online to serve you more.”

That “we’ll go the extra mile” attitude is clear when setting foot into the building. Meanwhile, the food is spectacular. We’ve long maintained that Indian food is the best for vegetarians and vegans. Approximately 30 percent of Indians identify as vegetarian, so it’s cultural to know how to best prepare vegetables. No steamed broccoli here – the vegetables are always going to be cooked in a delicious sauce.

We went for the Bindhi Masala, which is okra in a tomato and onion based sauce. Spicy but not overwhelmingly hot (for these taste buds), the dish is a huge hit. Okra doesn’t have a powerfully strong flavor, and it would be easy to make the sauce so flavorful that you can’t taste the vegetable at all. Not so – the spices, onion and tomato only serve to enhance the flavor of the vegetable. It all works wonderfully well, the spices bouncing from your tongue to the roof of your mouth. 

We also had the Garlic Shrimp Masala, another tomato-based sauce but this time poured over plump shrimp. This one is far saucier than the Bindhi – the vegetales thicken up the dish more than the seafood can. But still, the flavors balance each other out, and it works beautifully with some rice or naan bread to soak up that sauce.

Chargha House is located at 5571 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City 90230. Call 424-228-4623 or visit charghahousecc.com.