BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — The newest arrival on Southern California’s highly touted Restaurant Row officially announced itself as a go-to Indian eatery with its grand opening soiree held May 7 and standup comedy show May 8, featuring Indian American actor Omi Vaidya, at Spice Affair in Beverly Hills.

Most recently known as Tanzore and originally Gaylord’s, Spice Affair has maintained an Indian presence on Restaurant Row, which already features high-end Italian, Japanese and Brazilian dining options.

The first night of the two-night series of events was dubbed “Spring Solstice” and featured a food and fashion show pairing. A moderate indoor red carpet within Spice Affair’s banquet hall was followed by a fashion show highlighting the latest Indian fashions and a taste of the restaurant’s menu, including peas and potato samosas, chicken tikka and spinach paneer.

Several celebrities, actors and Hollywood personalities were in attendance during the soiree, including actress Pooja Batra, celebrity photographer Ash Gupta, author Ghalib Shiraz Dhalia, and comedian Joey Medina, among others.

Charmaine Public Relations and Cosmo City Public Relations put the soiree together.

May 8 was highlighted by a special appearance by Bollywood actor Omi Vaidya, the actor of “3 Idiots” fame. Vaidya hosted a show highlighting a quartet of up-and-coming and popular names on the Indian American standup comedy circuit.

Billed as “The 4th Idiot … and Four More,” Vaidya’s comedy show was headlined by Monrok, Abhay Nadkarni, Rajan Dharni and Kiran Deol.

Vaidya shared several comedic stories to highlight his many experiences as an Indian American actor in Bollywood, including tales of how he landed his role in “3 Idiots” opposite Aamir Khan and once had dinner at the Bachchan residence in Mumbai. His stories were interlaced by 15-minute sets by a quartet of comedians with varied styles.

Restaurant owner Puneet Chandak, an entrepreneur and physician from the San Francisco Bay Area, said he wanted to launch Spice Affair’s presence in Beverly Hills with glamour and laughter.

“We wanted to start out on a happy note, and offer the gift of laughter. So we approached one of the finest current day comedians of Indian cinema to offer an exclusive performance at our event center,” Chandak said.

Vaidya added the comedy show aimed to showcase rising stars in the standup space.

“I felt the need to get back in touch with the audience and to bring to them a platform of clean comedy. So I brought together some very talented comedians from across the country and [used] shared experiences as second generation Indians in the U.S. to bring up some laughs,” Vaidya said.

Indeed, the four comedic artists shared a series of comical experiences about being a second generation Indian American.

Beyond the soiree and comedy show, Spice Affair’s main highlight, of course, is its cuisine. At a separate dinner, India-West sampled Spice Affair’s dinner menu. Diners, who should make a reservation to avoid a long wait for a table, have a myriad of options within several sections playing on the word “affair” – Vegetable Affair, The Curry and Masala Affair, etc.

Some recommended items off the dinner menu include Cholley Masala, Trio of Mushroom, Nawabi Chicken, Kadai Ocean Prawns, Flash Grilled Sea Bass, Cottage Cheese Tikkas, and Mix Mix Bhel of Micro Greens.

Spice Affair is located at 50 N. La Cienega Blvd. in Beverly Hills; its phone number for reservations is (310) 400-6800; visit www.spice-affair.com for information about the restaurant, including its menu. The restaurant has an event and banquet hall for private affairs.

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