Nothing can beat mom's cooking, but Naanfull Indian Grill stands a chance of matching it. That's because the restaurant was founded by an ambitious group of three—you guessed it—moms, who immediately make their guests feel at home with fresh batches of naan baked in-house. Over the course of a meal, that fluffy flatbread becomes a vehicle for wraps stuffed with lamb, chicken, or fresh vegetables. It also serves as the basis for the kid-friendly naanizza, the restaurant's Indian-inspired twist on pizza. Other traditional Indian dishes range from handi chicken biryani with basmati rice to the popular gulab jamun, which combines morsels of fried dough and sweet saffron syrup.
Start your tour of Texican's massive menu by slinging your jaw around spinach, mushroom, and onion quesadillas ($7.99) or clearing your taste buds of impurities with spicy cream-cheese-stuffed jalapenos ($5.49). The plentiful options let you supplicate at the altar of a traditional dish such as cabrito—a platter of tender goat roasted with mysterious spices and topped with tomato and bell pepper ($14.99)—or head straight for the grill with a 10 oz. rib-eye steak tampiqueña ($14.99). To enter the mythical realm of "New Mexico," head northwest of south of the border for some Santa Fe enchiladas in smoky red chile ($9.49), or fly straight up into space instead with a deadly delicious chile relleno plump with chicken, beef, shrimp, or cheese and legally drowned in red tomatillo sauce ($8.99).
Kadai Indian Kitchen’s menu reflects the range of northern Indian dishes, including aromatic curries and grilled kabobs. Discs of naan and skewers of chicken and lamb rest inside the clay tandoor oven and roast over a smoldering pile of coals and NASA’s rejected paper-airplane designs. Lentils, chickpeas, and fresh cheese stew alongside sauces brimming with ginger and cumin, all of which go into vegetarian entrees prepared with separate sets of pots and utensils. The chefs also tailor the amount of spice they add to every order.
As a clinical aromatherapy practitioner with more than nine years of professional experience, Amy Kreydin helps her clients at The Barefoot Dragonfly live more fulfilling lives by adopting a holistic approach to addressing well-being. This approach hinges upon the idea of finding balance between the mind, body, and spirit, and Amy utilizes therapies grounded in ancient as well as modern modalities to help find this balance. Clinical aromatherapy utilizes fragrant essential oils that work together on a chemical as well as an energetic level. A certified reflexologist, Kreydin also performs reflexology treatments that locate and relieve energy blockages throughout the body by applying deliberate pressure to key points on the feet, hands, and ears. When these energetic blockages are released, the body is able to function at peak efficiency and naturally heal itself, which can ease symptoms such as chronic pain or pent-up stress.
Inspired by the artists living around him in Laguna Beach, Sid Fanarof sought to do something creative in the kitchen. The result was zpizza, which now has locations across the globe, each filled with bustling chefs experimenting with ingredients traditionally associated with Indian, Californian, and Mexican cuisine. Pizzas use organic vegetables and skim-milk mozzarella, and their organic wheat flour bakes over an open flame to a crisp finish. “If you don’t hear the crunch, it’s not a zpizza,” Fanarof says of the crusts on his website. Chefs first slather the crusts with sweet basil pesto, roasted-garlic sauce, or organic tomato sauce. Their hands flutter across, sprinkling on fistfuls of toppings such as MSG-free pepperoni, additive-free sausage, three types of mushrooms, roasted eggplant, and pine nuts. Vegan cheese and gluten-free crusts allow everyone to enjoy the pizzas except for those trying to hide the fact that they superglued their mouths closed.
At Nopalitos Cantina & Grill, chefs prepare authentic Mexican eats, specializing in seafood. They whip up dishes such as fish tacos, crab chimichangas, and crab chile relleno—a Poblano pepper stuffed with crabmeat and cheese and topped with verde sauce. To augment the authenticity, the interior of the restaurant is designed to look like an outdoor Mexican plaza, with old-fashioned street lamps and brick-lined windows.