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The first Indian dish Akasha Richmond, owner and chef at Akasha in Culver City, ever tried was Sambar, a lentil-based vegetable stew with tamarind, spices, onions and toor dal, popular in South Indian and Sri Lankan Tamil cuisines. The dish stuck with her and her love for Indian food developed over the years as this self-taught chef worked as a personal chef for Michael Jackson and other celebrities and opened Akasha seven years ago. So, when she opened her newest restaurant in Culver City, it was only natural to call it Sambar. Sambar The space is open, modern and bright with white walls and a multi-color glass light fixture hanging in the center, adding lots of color. The open kitchen, which has a counter for patrons in front of it, has a large wood-fire burning oven.