Artesia is a small town about 15 miles southeast of Los Angeles, also known as "Little India" as it's home to the second largest ethnic Indian population in the country, just behind New York City.
There's a similar (lack of) atmosphere to neighboring Norwalk and Cerritos, but it's a great place to pick up an embroidered sari, woof down a tasty malasa dosa, buy the latest pirated "Best of Kareena Kapoor" compilation and catch a recent Bollywood flick on the large screen.
The 605 Freeway runs through Artesia and connects to the 5, 91, and 105 freeways. South St is the Artesia exit.
The Little India stretch of Pioneer Blvd only runs for a couple blocks and is easily walkable. If you're varying off of Pioneer Blvd, you'll probably want a car, or catch an occasional bus.
- Naz 8 Cinemas, 6440 E. South Street, . Box office opens at 3:30PM M-F, Sa-Su 12PM. An 8-screen cinema complex showing predominately Indian films with English subtitles, and the occasional film from other parts of the sub-continent and East Asia. $8, Tu $5.
- Artesia Historical Museum, 18644 Alburtis Ave., ☎ +1 562 865-1503. 2nd Sa of each month: 1PM-3PM.
- East West Ice Palace, 11446 Artesia Blvd., ☎ +1 562 809-6200, . Open to public M-Th 2PM-5PM, F 2PM-5:30PM, Sa 1PM-4:45PM and 7PM-midnight, Su - check website for hours. Ice skating rink best known for being co-owned by Olympic medal figure skater Michelle Kwan. $9, 10 and under - $8, Skate rental $3.
- Rasa Indian Grocery. A pretty standard and well-stocked Indian grocery store.
- House of Spices. They carry every imaginable Indian spice.
- Bollywood Music & Video. Well stocked with Bollywood dvds and videos, soundtracks and a small selection of Hindustani cd's.
- Bombay Sweets & Snacks, 18526 Pioneer Blvd. Large selection of sweets and savories. They will customize a gift box of your choices.
- Dirksen's Appliance, 18725 Pioneer Blvd, ☎ (562). Mon - Fri 9am - 5:30 Sat 9am - 4:30 Closed Sun. Located in "Little India", Dirksen's Appliance has been selling and servicing major home appliances for 75 years. Competitive.
While Indian food dominates, there are also several Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian and Bangladeshi restaurants scattered around off the main parts of Pioneer Blvd and South St.
- Jay Bharat Restaurant, 18701 Pioneer Blvd, ☎ +1 (562) 924-3310 (toll free: 1 (866) JayBharat), . A relatively small but tasty menu of snacks and South Indian specialties, including tasty dosas and uttapam. Snacks $2-5, dosas $4-7, thalis $10.
- Ambala Sweets & Snacks, 18433 Pioneer Blvd, ☎ +1 (562) 402-0006. A selection of good dosas and snacks, very popular.
- Ambala Express Sweets & Snacks, 18413 Pioneer Blvd, ☎ +1 (562) 402-7979. It wouldn't quite qualify as "Little India" if there weren't two near-identically named restaurants on the same block. This one serves typical North Indian snacks and Punjabi staples including a mediocre but cheap thali. The icy mango lassi nearly makes up for the boring food, which is served on styrofoam plates. $5.
- Rajdhani, 18525 Pioneer Blvd, ☎ +1 (562) 402-9102. One of the finest vegetarian restaurants in the area. Specialty is Rajashthani/Gujarati style lunch and dinners.
- Udupi Palace, 18635 Pioneer Blvd, ☎ +1 (562) 860-1950.
- Bombay Sweets & Snacks, 18526 Pioneer Blvd, ☎ +1 (562) 809-4229.
- Ashoka Cuisine of India, 18614 Pioneer Blvd, ☎ +1 (562) 809-4229, . Great Northern Indian and Punjabi food.
- Little Dhaka, 18159 Pioneer Blvd, ☎ +1 (562) 865-5230. 10AM-10PM daily. Tucked away in a minimall, this is the place to pick up some halal meat, or have a quick bite to eat, Bangladeshi style. There's a small selection of authentic fish and vegetable curries and biryani. $4-8.
- Rodeway Inn, 11854 Artesia Blvd, ☎ +1 (562) 402-0070.