Nayyar: geek with a side of foodie

'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.”

More TV

  • Pussy Riot protesters invade the pitch

    Pussy Riot Members Given Brief Jail Sentences for World Cup Protest

    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 […]

  • Amazon, TF1 Go Behind the Scenes

    Amazon, TF1 Go Behind the Scenes With French World Cup Team (EXCLUSIVE)

    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 […]

  • 'The Bachelorette' Week 8 Recap: Becca

    'The Bachelorette' Recap: Becca Kufrin Meets the Families on Hometown Dates

    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 […]

  • Will Catlett

    'Love Is___' Star William Catlett Signs With CAA (EXCLUSIVE)

    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 […]

  • Nick Cannon King of the Dancehall

    TV News Roundup: Nick Cannon to Host 2018 Teen Choice Awards

    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 […]

  • Rugrats. Nickeoldeon Animation Studios

    'Rugrats' Relaunch Set With Nickelodeon Series, Paramount Movie

    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 […]

  • Sacha Baron Cohen

    Showtime Counters Sacha Baron Cohen 'Stolen Valor' Claims

    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 […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content