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Every time I walk down Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood, I can’t help but think, “This is nice, but it’d be so much better if the LGBT community took over.”

Instead of endless Brazilian and Venezuelan restaurants, there are tons of gay bars and cute shops and restaurants. One restaurant that would make it no matter who’s in charge of that area is Sajna. 

It's not that Sajna offers anything inventive on its menu. It’s pretty much classic Indian standards, it’s that each dish is flawlessly executed and that the menu selection is so vast. When there’s an entire section devoted to goat dishes, you know you’ve got a chef who knows what they are doing. Goat is the most common protein ingredient around the world. It’s a bit gamier than lamb and not to everyone’s taste. However, if a place can cook goat well, anything else is bound to be good. 

Indian meals aren’t traditionally broken down into courses the way western cuisine is. Everything is generally brought out as it is prepared and enjoyed family style, but to accommodate American and English palates, some foods are traditionally now served first, as appetizers and Sajna has a wide variety. Samosas are pyramid-shaped pastries encasing a filling and Sajna offers three variations, vegetable or vegetable filled, and prepared chat style, meaning smaller, bite-sized versions. Other popular appetizers are bhajiya, also known as pakora; batter-fried veggies. Gobi Manchurian is cauliflower prepared similarly to General Tso’s chicken, battered and covered in a sweet and spicy sauce. Prawns, chicken kebabs, and chole bhature, chickpeas served with a fluffy bread, round out the hand-held treats. For those that prefer to start with soup, the options range from tomato, chicken, yellow lentil, and coconut, to the classic Mulligatawny soup.   

As with most Indian restaurants, there are many vegetarian options, and Sajna places them all together in a special menu section. Among the vast array of dishes are bhindi masala with okra, onions, tomatoes, and green pepper, and paneer tikka masala, a combo of Indian cheese cubes, tikka sauce, and butter. Other dishes showcase mixed vegetables, chickpeas, green peas in a creamy sauce, spinach gravy, eggplant in onion curry sauce, yellow lentils, potatoes with cashews, cauliflower, and a stir-fry. There is also an entire menu for vegans. 

Meat eaters can enjoy chicken, lamb, and goat in a variety of preparations from simple lamb chops to butter chicken. Fish lovers can enjoy shrimp, salmon, mahi, and tilapia. Certainly, not traditional Indian menu items, but all prepared beautifully. 

One of my favorite Indian dishes is biryani, a kind of fried rice mixed with tiny pieces of angel hair pasta. Sajna offers nearly a dozen versions from those showcasing vegetables or chicken to the Sajna special which includes chicken, goat, lamb, shrimp, and egg. 

Of course, when enjoying Indian dining one of the special treats are the various chutney, ranging from sweet to spicy. To sop up all those wonderful sauces, you’ll want to order some bread, and there’s a vast variety on Sajna’s menu. There are also the traditional desserts of Kulfi, Indian ice cream, and gulab jamun, little fried dough balls soaked in rosewater-scented honey. Service is friendly and able to explain dishes to those unfamiliar with Indian cuisine. Sajna is the perfect place to learn about it, one dish at a time.

Sajna Indian Cuisine 

1933 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood 


There’s no reason to go to Taco Joint along Hollywood’s Broadwalk. Unless that is, you want some terrific food at reasonable prices. We stopped in by chance, one day while out for a walk. And, while the service won’t win any points for being polished, it is friendly as all get out and eager to please, and what more could you ask for in a charming little spot like this? 

How about killer tacos at bargain prices? Start with some kick-ass house-made guac and chips for just $6. If you’re a fan of lobster, the seafood in the lobster taco won’t disappoint. It’s perfectly prepared and has more meaty flesh than you’d think you’d get for $5 and a half bucks. Another good bet is the short rib and kimchi taco for half a buck less. If you’re going to order two tacos, make it a platter ($15 for lobster, $14 for kimchi), and you get really good beans, rice, and a side of the corn elote-style, which is enough for a visit on its own. Drinks are equally reasonably priced and potent.

Taco Joint

1000 Hollywood Broadwalk, Hollywood 


Rick Karlin is SFGN's food editor. Visit to read his previous reviews. Have a culinary tip to share? Email Rick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..