The sound of water burbling in a fountain greets patrons as they enter North India Bar & Grill. Further in, ornate chandeliers dangle from the ceiling, illuminating rows of plush, copper-colored banquettes. On select nights, part of this dining room transforms into a nightclub, where your can down an extra-spicy indian mary or spin around and around in circles before anybody notices you literally have two left feet.
As visitors let loose a few yards away, chefs buzz about the kitchen, pouring honey-cashew cream sauce over tender morsels of lamb and marinating chicken in authentic spices before roasting it in a 900-degree oven. They also concoct a selection of Indian-American fusion recipes including a flatbread wrap loaded with cream cheese and lamb and a tandoori-chicken pizza.
The aromas of South Asian spices lure passersby into Royal Taj Fine Indian Cuisine, where heat emanates from the kitchen's clay tandoor oven and plates laden with marinated lamb and chicken. Four varieties of pakora—fish, chicken, vegetable, and paneer—don coats of spice and marinade before hopping into the deep fryer and emerging with a crispy veneer. Traditional Indian entrees include lamb tikka masala and tandoori shrimp, and a daily lunch buffet appeases tigers growling in bellies with more than 15 dishes to choose from. The restaurant's catering services accommodate a multitude of occasions, from small get-togethers to massive Bollywood dance rehearsals.
Mehek Punjab De's flavor slingers delicately craft a meatless menu brimming with an array of authentic Northern Indian dishes diverse enough to sate herbivores and omnivores alike. Embark down the path of epicurean enlightenment with a starter of samosa channa masala, featuring two vegetable patties primed for dipping in provided dunk tanks of chutney and chickpea curry ($3.49). Then tongue trek toward one of the various veggie-centric or curry spreads, such as the vegetable-coconut curry ($7.99) or the daal makhni, a helping of curried lentils butterfly stroking in a sea of homemade butter ($6.99). The masala dosa swaddles potatoes and vegetable curry masala within a south indian crepe for a culinary construction tastier than France's famed waffle tower ($6.99). Bolster feasts with a side of tandoor-baked naan bread ($1.25+), and cool down spice-licked tongues with a chalice of mango lassi, a traditional fruit-infused yogurt drink ($2.99). A dessert of rasmalai—two dumplings sporting a frock of sweet cream and milk sauce—acts as a coda to a meal fit for a traditional Indian ninja ($2.99).
Samba Global Cuisine's menu spans continents, uniting dishes toasted over the leaping flames of a Brazilian grill with those cooked in the heated clay interior of a tandoor oven. Samba's signature rodizio dinners deliver skewered meats to tables, where they are carved by servers directly onto diners' plates. Picanha, a cut of beef, is a popular choice. For those who would rather not indulge in the all-you-can-eat option, the picanha burger—covered in mozzarella, grilled mushrooms, and peppers—offers a taste of the Brazilian beef.
Indian offerings include seven types of naan bread, chicken tikka masala, and biryani rice entrees. Samba serves Mediterranean as well, from falafel appetizers to shish kebab lunches and pizzas dotted with feta cheese.
Though the food comes from various regions, the venue positions diners under the same sky—or at least, a ceiling charmingly painted to mimic the clouds. Samba also celebrates birthdays with above-average fanfare: drums, tambourines, and song, instead of the traditional treat of fine-dining establishments, a lobster clutching candles in its claws.
India's Oven chefs knows their aesthetic well—they specialize in North Indian cuisine inspired by the state of Punjab, and forge a menu's worth of thick, flavorful curries, vegan options, and dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese. Punjab is also home to the tandoor style, and India's Oven pays homage to this with its crispy roti and oven-baked naan, ideal for sopping up morsels of lamb or seafood or for wearing to work. This distinctive cuisine is showcased in the restaurant's lunch buffet and in its lavish banquet hall, filled with crisp white drapes that tie close to chairs, sheer ribbons, and satin tablecloths. A selection of beer imported from India and traditional Indian cocktails complement the spicy food.
Taj Palace dishes up flavorful Indian fare born from 30 years of culinary experience and homemade recipes. During dinner hours (5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.), the slow-cooked, quickly consumed chicken tikka masala graces plate space with a savory mix of tomato sauce, cream, garlic, and herbs ($9.99). Gently simmered curry with chicken ($8.99) or vegetables ($6.99) hits high notes of garlic and ginger, whereas fish or shrimp tandoori stew stoically in a clay charcoal oven ($12.99). The meat-free vegetable methi, doused in thick onion gravy and methi leaves ($7.99), and the vegetable vindaloo, which is paired with zesty vinegar and potatoes, enable vegetarians to get their fill without gnawing on a ficus ($6.99). Indecisive appetites can sample a little bit of everything during a daily lunch buffet (served 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) that includes complimentary naan and a sweet finish with dessert.