So two weekends ago was my first in a month where I didn’t have a midterm to study or prepare for in the coming week. Accordingly, I decided to be proactive and complete most of my Monday work on Saturday.That left Sunday open for fun times. Accordingly, my roommate Amber and I decided to to have some bonding time together. We made the decision to spend to the day in Artesia, which is a city in Los Angeles County near Cerritos with its own “Little India” of sorts. Indian groceries, restaurants, clothing, and beauty. You name it, they got it! As an international or Indian-American student missing home, this is definitely the place to be! Amber and I decided to hit all our regular spots for the ultimate, fabulously Indian day. Below I will outline my typical day in Artesia, and how to maximize a few hours in a glorious Indian haven. Enjoy these tips from a seasoned pro!
Step 1: Secure parking! Go on a Sunday when Firestone Tires on Pioneer Blvd. is closed. This will put you in a great location and keep neighborhood people from giving you dirty looks for parking in front of their homes.
Step 2: Get your eyebrows on (ladies). Head to either Beauty Palace or Sona Chaandi for $6 eyebrow threading. This will have you looking fabulous for school the next day. Threading gets your eyebrows shaped in a very attractive way other mediums cannot, and Artesia has the best threaders at the best prices.
Step 3: Now that you are looking all good, get your shop on! Take time to explore shops like Poshaak which will be right in front of where you parked. If you are a broke college student and just want to try clothes you can’t afford (and that most regular people probably can’t afford either), head over to one of my favorite stores, Frontier Heritage. This store’s collection is absolutely gorgeous. They have bridal sarees, gagras, and lengha cholis. This past weekend when I was there, I was shocked to learn that the garment I asked to try on from a mannequin display was a casual $10,000. Instead, I pretended to be shopping for a party, and my “pretend budget” was 700-800 dollars. Amber and I had fun in our extravagant outfits. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures in the store. But here is an idea of the quality and beauty in their clothing. Have fun exploring the site!
Step 4: Now that you have yourself looking good, it’s time to take care of all food-related activities. First and foremost, you need to hit up Cash and Carry for all your Indian Grocery needs. Do not be discouraged by the massive lines and general lack of personal space. Get in and get out with what you need. The lines move fast and people are pretty good at moving around one another. The prices and selection are awesome, so stock up! I personally bought ingredients to prepare a North-Indian feast of Palak Paneer and Malai Kofta. I made sure to get some frozen naan to warm up and consume with this meal too.
Step 5: Put your groceries in the car and get your actual eat on. I personally recommend Ashoka The Great, for either a delish, reasonably priced lunch buffet or the most amazing a la carte dinner. I personally recommend the fried vegetable pakoras and samosas as awesome appetizers. Everything is very delicious, but my personal favorite items are the palak paneer, navratan korma, and matter paneer. Aside from the usual types of naan for bread, be sure to try some kulchas too. Aloo and onion kulchas go great with any meal! Order extra. Ashoka leftovers are the best:)
Step 6: Hit up Standard Sweets and Snacks and get the homies a pound of Indian sweets. They will appreciate the gesture and noms. Even though your day will be so much better than everyone else’s, you will be able to bring home a little piece of Indian heaven to make your friends’ day.
Step 7: Somehow try to walk back to your car in your stuffed state, and transition back to real life and tasks.
These are my protips for a day in Little India. Enjoy them, and feel free to hit me up with any other questions/pro-tips in the comment section:)