The chefs at The Pita Pit stuff fresh white and wheat pitas with patrons' choice of more than a dozen toppings, 14 sauces, and four cheeses. Like placing sequins on a turtleneck, diners customize their pitas to taste, but the eatery's menu suggests premade configurations such as the spicy black-bean vegetarian pita with an array of garden greens and the prime-rib pita, which cossets taste buds with tender slices of beef. Sink herbivorous fangs into the falafel pita or give a coliseum-style thumbs-up to the chicken caesar pita filled with bacon and parmesan cheese. Any wrap can slip off its pita to seduce tongues in the form of a salad loaded with toppings such as hummus, cucumbers, and pineapple.
Though passed down through several generations, the family recipes that serve as the basis of Thai Chefs Restaurant’s menu retain the delicate balance of sweetness and spice that characterizes Thai cuisine. Other influences that span Southeast Asia also show up across the menu, whether in colorful curries or stir-fried noodle and rice dishes that blend vegetables with your choice of chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp. When they aren’t dousing short ribs in their house-made barbecue sauce, the restaurant’s chefs craft vegetarian entrees around strips of silky tofu or marinated animal crackers.
The casual dining room seemingly draws its inspiration from the profusion of steamy curries on its tables. Swathes of pale yellow and bright red enshroud the walls, which play host to stenciled artworks depicting tropical-island motifs. Helical sculptures dangle from the ceiling’s tiles, turning in the breeze that passes through the restaurant every time the door opens or the dragon napping in the air ducts sneezes.
Rated one of Los Angeles’s top restaurants in the categories of Italian food, outdoor dining, wine list, and pizza by CitySearch.com, the family-owned and operated Bella Cucina has flourished behind classic and signature dishes. Its penne alla vodka rouses taste buds with a tequila-lime cream sauce, and its Quattro Formaggi pizza packs a punch with four different cheeses—more cheese than Neil Armstrong had stuffed in his pockets upon returning to Earth. Bella Cucina accompanies its entrees with an extensive wine list, and on Mondays, patrons can bring in their own bottles and enjoy free corkage.
Inspired by the traditional handmade clay oven, or tandoor, that roasts many of its signature dishes and breads, Tandoori Grill specializes in slow-cooked Indian recipes. White-meat chicken marinates overnight in a special house sauce before joining herb-steeped lamb and fish in the oven. Curries and kormas flavor lamb, chicken, prawns, and vegetables ready to be scooped up with 11 varieties of naan and other flatbreads. In the dining rom, paintings of the Taj Mahal and other Indian scenes dot burgundy-colored walls that match the tablecloths and clash terribly with redheads.
Since 1992, Potato Corner has fascinated international crowds with its wholly customizable menu of crispy french fries, though franchises only broke ground in America during February of 2010. The new U.S. shops cropped up in places with lots of foot traffic, entrancing people with the scent of fresh-fried potatoes in malls, airports, theme parks, and at marathon starting lines. Potato Corner’s straight-, loopy-, and criss-cut fries come unadorned in their lightly salted glory, or they can be tossed in gourmet flavorings such as barbecue, cheddar, chili, and sour cream and onion. The shop has also expanded its repertoire to include baked potatoes, chicken tenders, and a butler who tucks cloth napkins into collars in order to sate customers in search of a full meal.
In simplified fashion, karma is illustrated in the dining room of Karma Restaurant Bar & Lounge each day. Polite waiters are rewarded for their work with tips, and diners reap the benefits of their past acts of kindness while enjoying meals with good friends. The menu offers a full spectrum of traditional Indian dishes, from rich lamb-coconut curry to vegan-friendly plates of yellow daal, all perfectly scooped up with soft pieces of plain, garlic, or olive naan. To bolster the dining experience, the staff surrounds guests with Indian artwork and pairs dishes with classic beverages such as masala-infused chai tea or mango lassi.