Gate of India ~ Rita’s Indian Cuisine

(EXPERIENCE MAGAZINE) — Santa Monica, CA — Tuesday, April 24, 2018 — This casual handmade Indian restaurant is in the heart of downtown Santa Monica. Run by proprietor Rita and her husband, this is some of the best Indian food that I’ve ever had in Los Angeles. Located on 5th Street near the Third Street Promenade, the restaurant serves dinners from 11:30-10:00 PM. When we arrived at Rita’s, the dinner crowd was just finishing up for the night. We got a chance to speak with Rita and come up with a sampling from the menu. Rita recommended the samosa. Samosa is an Indian fried dish that usually combines a savory mix of potatoes, onions and peas. Rita’s samosa is simply fantastic. With just a hint of chutney, her homemade recipe from Bengal, India is delicious and tastes like something that your Indian mother would make you at home.

The Samosa at Gate of India. Photo by Dustin Brown

Before we could start our Indian culinary feast, Rita suggested we start with a snack of Bhelpuri. This is a rare treat to get Bhelpuri. Nobody has bhelpuri in Los Angeles. Usually eaten as a street food in India, Rita uses garbanzo beans to make a crispy fried snack. Topped with tomatoes and onions, Its hard to stop eating this dish once you start. Rita makes a sweet and tangy sauce. All the spices are prepared in house.

The hummus is so tasty! You must try it!

We also tries some hummus that was a unique creation. Gate of India serves a hummus that’s different than Lebanese hummus. I thought Rita’s hummus had a very homemade taste. It was elegantly displayed. We dipped our cheer and garlic naan in the hummus. Rita makes delicious naan. So fresh with just a little crispy flavor.

Bhelpuri is a popular street food in India. This Bhelpuri is crispy and delicious

We also got to try the sag paneer. This is one of my favorite Indian dishes. Spinach with cheese melted in to it. Gate of India does sag paneer just right.
Another dish we were lucky to try was the Achaar Chicken. Made with onions, garlic and chili, this Northern Indian dish is a a rare treat. Rita really prepared us something special.

The Chicken Tikka Masala. It’s simply the best curry

The main dish I wanted to try at Gate of India was the curry. The word “curry” is a British term that was used to describe a dish that featured meat or vegetables with a Western style sauce that was spiced with curry powder. This first curry recipe in England was in a book called “The Art of Cookery” by Hannah Glasse in 1747. The word “curry” comes from the Tamil word “kari” which means spiced sauce.

Rita (L) with Publisher Erwin Glaub (R). Photo by Dustin Brown

The curry at Gate of India is simply amazing. How can I describe how good this curry is? It has a light flavor. Not too heavy. The spices too, are mixed at just the right proportions. The rice was served with glazed onions on top. The taste of the rice mixed with the curry flavor was just amazing. You must try the Chicken Tikka Masala. This is the best Chicken Tikka Masala that I’ve ever had.
We didn’t have room for anything sweet at the end of our meal. We were so full. The Experience Magazine recommends Gate Of India Rita’s Indian Cuisine. Stop by today for a delicious meal!

About Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown is a writer and editor for the Experience at

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