The phrase “fusion cuisine” sends shivers down the spine of many diners—and rightfully so. Pijja Palace isn’t driven to transform the term from the butt of a joke into a badge of honor, although it would succeed if it was.
The restaurant is often described as an Indian sports bar, a moniker that doesn’t quite fit even if the small, always-packed spot has enough beers on tap and televisions to qualify. It’s too low-key, too idiosyncratic, and too personal.
Instead, the menu offers a note-perfect mash-up of Indian and Italian cooking. Under the creative eye of owner Avish Naran, Pijja Palace earned a mention in Michelin’s Bib Gourmand barely 6 months after opening.
The amalgamation of cuisines is best expressed in the malai rigatoni, a bowl of noodles in a creamy tomato- and coriander-based sauce.
Do not miss the onion rings. Coated in a thick batter that remains crisp thanks to a combination of fermented lentil and rice flours, they’re perfect with a dab of sweet-hot mango chutney.
Pijja Palace has 4 kinds of wings, coded by color. The green ones—a sharp, tart blaze of jalapeño, cilantro, mint, and chives—are the standout. Pizzas come with a choice of 3 sauces and medium-crisp, medium-chewy crusts that don’t fall within a specific genre.
Standard desserts are soft-serve ice cream fancified with cardamom or chai. If specials like banoffee pie or jaggery trifle with mango are available, snap them up to ease the pain of a mandatory 19% service charge (which is shared among the entire staff).
Best dishes at Pijja Palace
Dosa onion rings, green wings, malai rigatoni
Starters, $7–$15; entrées, $14–$25; desserts, $8
2711 W. Sunset Boulevard. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.