Sunday, September 9, 2012

Little Bangladesh: Swadesh

Over the last fifteen years, an immigrant Bangladeshi community has taken root in the northern corner of Koreatown that I inhabit. Bangladeshi markets have sprung up next to Korean barbecues in local stripmalls and it's not uncommon to see women in saris outside of the local elementary schools.

I haven't found much in the way of formal sit-down Bangladeshi restaurants, but there are a number of Bangladeshi markets that offer take out from steam tables, one of my favorites is Swadesh at Third and Harvard.

Swadesh has been there for years. It's probably one of the oldest Bangladeshi shops in the neighborhood. The market is sort of a jumble of canned goods, a meat counter full of various cuts of goat and a few boxes of produce, including several large durian. There are a few tables inside, squished up against the canned goods, but it's still mostly a take-out joint.

For years, the food at Swadesh was inedibly greasy, but a few years ago they closed down the whole place and remodeled it, and the food has improved dramatically since then and seems to keep getting better. The highlight for me is the stewed goat which is fall-off-the-bone tender and is served in a wonderfully spiced curry sauce that mops up well with their excellent, made to order naan (definitely get the naan). The veggie dishes are nice and spicy, I like the cabbage in particular, and the samosas, meat pies and other fried and baked goodies make a great snack on the go. Add great prices to all of this and it's the whole package next time you need some good take out.

4153 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 386-7799


Xander said...

I started following your blog a few months ago. About three days ago I walked past Swadesh and thought, "Hey, that looks interesting". And now this post.

Serendipity: it's awesome.

I'll definitely be trying this place. Thanks!

mongo said...

unlikely to be durian in a bangladeshi store; probably jackfruit.

and try aladin on vermont between 2nd and 1st. it's the granddaddy of bangladeshi restaurant/stores in the area, and still the undisputed champion. perhaps the best parathas in the u.s.

sku said...

Mongo, you're absolutely right, most likely jackfruit. I will definitely try Aladdin as I don't think I've been there before, strangely enough since it's right in my stomping ground.