Success of Spice Bazaar leads to opening of La’Vash


Photo La’Vash

La’Vash Mediterranean Grill located on Quimby Street

You can smell it before you can see it. Hints of cumin, cloves, coriander and cardamom create an aroma around one of Downtown Westfield’s hottest restaurants. Originally opened about two years ago by married couple Simran and Kanika Bakshi on Quimby Street, Spice Bazaar quickly made its name as one of the many fine dining experiences in town. At the end of this year, yet another Westfield dining spot is hoping to make its mark on the town under the same ownership.

After growing up in the restaurant business and always wanting to open one of her own, Kanika decided that it was time for a change. She quit her full-time job and took on a new career in the competitive restaurant industry along with her husband who previously owned a restaurant in Englewood, NJ.

The husband-and-wife duo immediately fell in love with Westfield when they visited and thought that it was a perfect place to open their new restaurant. “We saw that [Westfield] was a big foodie town, but they were lacking different cuisines,” Kanika Bakshi said. “We saw that a lot of people that live in Westfield are well-traveled and familiar with Indian food, so we gave Westfield a shot.”

That shot certainly turned out to be a successful one. After two months of renovations and construction, the Bakshis opened Spice Bazaar in November 2017. The progressive Indian restaurant took off immediately after opening. It became so popular that they just couldn’t meet the demands of their customers with the small storefront that they had.

When Ambeli, another restaurant in Westfield on Elm Street closed, the owner came to the Bakshis and asked them if they wanted to lease the now empty storefront after knowing that they were looking to expand to a bigger space.

Simran and Kanika accepted the offer and relocated Spice Bazaar to a location nearly twice the size of their old restaurant. The music, decor and overall atmosphere at the larger location allowed the Bakshis to provide a fine dining experience that they had always wanted to give to their customers.

The couple continued their success in their new location, but they still had their old location and wanted to do something with that space. Simran and Kanika also noticed that Westfield was missing a Mediterranean restaurant, and they wanted to change that, so they began renovating their old location to open La’Vash. Expected to open before the end of the year, La’Vash is going to offer high-quality Mediterranean food, while providing a more casual, café atmosphere that is different than the fine dining experience offered at Spice Bazaar.

The couple has been busy creating menu items that will be offered at La’Vash. As part of their grand opening, they will be offering 100 free meals to customers on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Bakshis hope to have the same success as they had with Spice Bazaar. “Westfield has been really great to us,” Kanika Bakshi said. “Everyone has been really supportive, and we are so happy to be in a great town where we can cater to everyone with great food.”