The "Desi" in Ellie's Desi Kitchen refers to the diaspora of people from South Asia settled in all parts of the world—a fact reflected in the diverse range of dishes in the restaurant's menu. Guests chow down on an eclectic spread of steaks, chicken po' boys, veggie stir-frys, fluffy naan bread, and spicy curries. The decor also reflects the cosmopolitan flavor of the bill of fare. Wall scrolls of flowers and birds hang over tables laden with American ketchup and mustard bottles, while a photomontage places Machu Picchu, the Roman Colosseum, and the Taj Mahal side by side—just like they are in real life.
To ensure the authenticity of their menu, Tandoor & Curry's proprietors hired a chef who draws upon more than 20 years of culinary experience, including many spent cooking at restaurants in Delhi, to infuse traditional Northern Indian flavors into each of Tandoor & Curry's dishes.
Before cooking skewered hunks of chicken and beef, the kitchen slathers cuts in a precise blend of Indian herbs and spices. They then slides them into a clay oven that reaches 500 degrees, the approximate temperature of the headband the sun uses to cool off. They can also cook chunks of chicken, goat, or lamb in creamy spinach, traditional curry, or creamy almond-cashew gravy. Along with meat-heavy portions, cooks produce housemade cottage cheese in creamy spinach sauce and simmers kidney beans in cream and butter.
The seasoned slicers at Bombay Sizzler plate up fresh, made-to-order Indian dishes alongside Pakistani specialties and Bombay-style Chinese cuisine. Housing a trove of nutrition-packed ingredients, the globetrotting menu transports tasters to exotic shores with a cavalcade of starters, including vegetable samosas ($3) and sultry thai soup ($6.99). Sure-handed chefs outfit the Arman steak sandwich ($6.99) with succulent cuts of seasoned beef and a cloak of melted cheese, and the Mongolian ($9.99+) keeps belly-balloons from floating away with anchors made of choice meat, onions, scallions, and a tangy pepper sauce. Awaken sleepy sniffers with the piquant wafts that emanate from the Karahi ($9.99), a spicy tomato curry fused with mutton, or nibble on the tender tenants of a chicken seekh kebab ($8.99) before using bare skewers to point out flaws in a friend's eating form.
Though Indonesian food is known for being far spicier than Thai, both cuisines share many ingredients in common, including coconut milk and galangal root. At Indo Quest Restaurant, these culinary traditions are paired on a menu that The Miami Herald hails as "diverse" and "complex." Specialties include fried sweet plantains and zesty coconut curries chockfull of proteins such as chicken or beef. Thai-wise, they toss fixings such as shrimp or tofu with pad see-ew noodles and spicy versions of Thai-style fried rice. These dishes are enjoyed in Indo Quest's cozy dining room, where feasts unfold amidst verdant plants and a mix of Indonesian and Thai art.
Aromas of ginger, saffron, cardamom, coriander, and cilantro linger in the air at Palace Indian Cuisine, wafting from the kitchens' clay tandoor oven. There, skewers of ground lamb and cubed chicken roast into tender, smoky morsels for northern Indian curries. Yet the intense flavors don't stop with the meat alone. Chefs demonstrate a similar commitment to their vegetarian dishes by whipping high-quality ingredients such as house-made cottage cheese into entrees of kahdi paneer or paneer makhani, which Misha Grosvenor from New Times Broward–Palm Beach placed on her list of 100 Favorite Dishes in 2011.
Palace Indian Cuisine’s décor echoes the warmth of its home-style menu. The sunset-orange walls carry everything from framed Indian artwork to gleaming swords and spearheads. Against one wall, yellow posts separate three covered booths, while the rest of the tables lie scattered across the dining room’s tiles, their tablecloths topped with glass to keep dinners refined and narcissists entranced with their reflection.
Inside Hop Won Dinner Club & Skinny Bar, tradition meets modern times in both decor and cuisine. Guests lounge on chic white couches or grab a table next to the chalkboard walls that announce the day's specials. From each vantage point, diners contemplate contemporary Chinese-American fusion dishes such as the duck wings alongside more traditional entrees such as miso salmon in a spicy glaze or braised frog casserole. Family-style plates are easy to share, or a round of appetizers and eclectic drinks spark easy chitchat. The cocktail menu ranges from mojitos and sake bombs to spiked energy drinks that can fuel a night of revelry or a day of uphill cartwheeling.