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Leftovers: Wadiya

Anaheim’s Sri Lankan find for the LA Times:


PHOTO by CHRISTINE COTTER / LOS ANGELES TIMES

Wadiya turns tropical the second you pass through its doors. Consuming all of one wall is a multi-canvas mural depicting a neon beach scene. Stationed at the restaurant’s center is a cash register shaded by the thatched roof of a seaside shack. And creeping out from a corner is a fake, gangling tree, its limbs unnecessarily groping for some sun. Wadiya’s is a dedicated design — one that swaps the Anaheim restaurant’s strip mall surroundings for the paradise of Sri Lanka’s island style.

After Wadiya chef-owner Chintheka Ganasekera spent years behind the steam tables and hotel pans of the catering business, his utopian vision became a reality mere months ago. That Wadiya is Orange County’s sole Sri Lankan restaurant only seems to inspire the kitchen: It doesn’t filter or blunt its cooking, instead proudly presenting a cuisine that, even with its Indian and Indonesian influences, remains completely distinct.

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