'Big Bang' star craves cultural connections in food

Like his “The Big Bang Theory” alter ego Raj Koothrapalli, thesp Kunal Nayyar likes to play vidgames, but he doesn’t hang out in comicbook shops.

Nayyar prefers frequenting neighborhood bars like the Village Idiot on Melrose Avenue and Jones in West Hollywood, often with actor pals that include Danny Pudi, from NBC’s “Community,” and Parvesh Cheena, who stars in the Peacock’s upcoming laffer “Outsourced.”

“They’re like the guys — solid people,” Nayyar says.

The lazy days of summer are coming to an end for Nayyar this week as production begins on the fourth season of his CBS laffer. He’s also been drafted — in a stroke of host-casting genius — to host the Primetime Emmy Engineering Awards on Aug. 14 with his co-star (and fellow TV engineer) Simon Helberg.

Nayyar was born in London but grew up in Delhi, where his family still lives. One of the pluses of living in L.A. for him is the diversity of dining options.

“I’m a big foodie,” he says. “I like Italian food. I’m a huge sushi fan.”

For a taste of home he often heads to India Sweets and Spices in Glendale, which is part of a chain of Indian grocery stores. “I have two plain dosas with sambar,” he says, referring to rice and lentil pancakes and an accompanying soup dish from South India.

In his downtime, Nayyar takes in the latest Bollywood videos, as well as typically American pursuits.

“I’m a huge videogame geek,” he says. “In my other life I’m an athlete.”

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