The Wooden Shoe prided itself on referring to itself as a “Redondo Beach landmark.” And indeed it was, with a history dating back to the days when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president. But when it comes to restaurants, milestone status comes with an expiration date; nothing lasts forever.
And not so long ago, old Zapato shuffled away into the sunset, taking his iconic Baked Meatloaf, Fried Chicken Steak, Cobb Salad, and Moussaka, along with a variety of world-class waitresses who at They actually referred to the diners as “hun” AND “honey.” It was a wonderful place.
Over time, the old Shoe was replaced by a variety of short-lived restaurants: memorably, The Redondo Beach Café, Hawaiian Shaka, and the generic 1511, which tried to bring back a bit of the old Wooden Shoe magic by serving both Americans like the Greeks. plates. Nice try, but only the Shoe was the Shoe.
Clearly it was time to move on. What has been done, and something else, with the opening in that same space of Copper Pot Indian Grill & Café – maybe the only restaurant I’ve been to that serves onion and spinach pakoras and murgh malal tika. Here’s a cultural collision that’s a wonder to behold.
The Copper Pot is not intended to be an outpost of the Taj Mahal in SoCal. There is a lack of Indian ornamentation and froufrou. The space in 1511 seems that the space in 1511 has always been seen. There are cabins. There is a spacious dining room. There is a counter, where the locals have consumed countless burgers, fries, and smoothies over the years.
The closest thing the Coper Pot is to a hamburger is aloo paratha – Indian flatbread stuffed with potato. In terms of fried, well, samosas and pakoras can be quite crunchy. The closest thing to a smoothie is mango lassi. And very good too.
After dealing with the mini-explosions of trendy steakhouses and tacos in the South Bay, it’s a pleasure to find something… different. The menu seems downright alternative. As for Indian restaurants, Copper Pot is almost encyclopedic, with a variety of foods that covers the subcontinent quite well; there is something everywhere and something for everyone.
Assuming everyone likes a pinch of spice; I don’t think there is a bland dish prepared in the Copper Pot kitchen. Perhaps simple wheat naan bread is closer. And even the naan is served with a variety of dipping sauces.
More typical are the garlic naan and the chili naan, which have taken a dough cooked in tandoor and have turned it into a dish that you will remember as the closest side of … perfect.
This is also one of the few restaurants that combines the vegetarian cuisine of the South, with chicken, lamb, mutton and fish from the rest of the country. It has been said that the culinary palette (and palate) of India transcends that of any other nation. I’m not sure about that, the diversity of China is amazing. But as we found on the Copper Pot menu, this is a food that is anything but beige. “Colorful” would be an understatement.
So we’ve got a menu that wanders like a drunken sailor, from the classic Anglo-Indian lentil and yogurt soup called Mulligatawny (a word that manages to sound both Irish and Indian!), To crispy fried cauliflower dusted with mango powder, in the wonders of a chettinad pepper fried chicken (a traditional country dish not often found on local menus) and most of all, a masala omelette, which I would have for breakfast with chocolate chip pancakes any morning.
The grilled tandoori dishes are many, the biryani rice dishes are even more so, and above all, there is curries, both stuffed and without meat. But the real fascination for me came under the title “Tiffin”, a light snack before dinner of, in this case, those southern vegetarian dishes (dosas and idlys, uthappam and poori). (I’m intrigued to find the word “Tiffin” on a menu anywhere these days. I thought it was a term that disappeared in the 19th century.)
There is a dosa (a kind of crepe) four feet long and speckled with ghee, clarified butter. And when you get to the bottom, there are desserts that are pure Indian indulgence: rose-flavored ice cream and frozen kulfi, a banana split topped with sweet date sauce, and the wonderful creation called phirni (the best rice pudding, flavored with cardamom, saffron). and walnuts). Or how about that caramel ice cream?
This may be the most exotic food you will ever eat at a one-time dinner. The wooden shoe has been turned into a copper pot. A transformation work that begs the imagination.
Merrill Shindler is an independent food critic based in Los Angeles. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copper Pot Indian Grill & Cafe
- Classification: 3 star
- Speak to: 1511 Pacific Coast Hwy., Redondo Beach
- Information: 310-504-0777; www.copperpotla.com
- Kitchen: Classic Indian served at a long-time Central American dinner
- When: Lunch and dinner, from Wednesday to Monday.
- Details: After decades of waffles and eggs for breakfast, and burgers later, this iconic space is where we’re now going to eat tandoori and curries, samosas and pakoras – a cultural shift that may leave you reeling as it looks exactly the same as before!
- Prices: Approximately $ 18 per person
- Suggested dishes: 3 Soups ($ 4.99- $ 8.99), 15 Small Plates ($ 4.99- $ 12.99), 7 Tandoori Grills ($ 13.99- $ 29.99), 12 Biryani Plates ($ 13 , 99- $ 18.99), 10 vegetarian curries ($ 11.99- $ 14.99), 18 non-vegetarian curries ($ 14.99- $ 24.99), 19 “Tiffins” light meals ($ 8.99- $ 19.99), 8 breads ($ 2.99- $ 6.99), 11 desserts ($ 3.99- $ 7.99)
- Credit cards: MC, V
- What the stars mean: 4 (World-class! Worth a trip from anywhere!), 3 (Most excellent, even exceptional. Worth a trip from anywhere in Southern California), 2 (A good place to eat neighborhood.) 1 (If you’re hungry and it’s close, but don’t get stuck in traffic) 0 (Honestly, it’s not worth writing about).