Ravi and Sunitha Koneru don't much care for limitations. Not in their food, their decor, or their vision. When designing the menu for Chakra Cuisine they saw the entirety of India as a source of inspiration, from the tandoori of the North and the curries of the South to the street food of Bombay and the recipes of their native Hyderbad. And then they looked even further. What they found were ingredients such as banana leaves, scallops, and caramelized pineapples—ingredients rarely used in Indian cuisine that expertly matched the flavor profiles they dreamed up. The result is a blend of traditional and modern, where classic dishes such as chicken tikka masala segue into spicy reinventions, including a vegetable masala quiche.
The dining space is likewise a mix of old and new. Indian accents anchor the sleek, contemporary aesthetic of the dining room and private lounge, while colors drawn from the dishes themselves combine to create a cohesive backdrop. Red and gold dominate the interior, but brighter colors surround the bar, notably inside its seven specialty martinis. As for the outdoor patios, their tables center around a circular fire pit, whose flames tempt guests to sit amid the mandarin-orange trees and tell scary stories about hitchhikers with samosas for hands.
The decor of Habiba Abdi’s restaurant, Gendershe Cuisine, is not ostentatious—she tries to impress the four senses besides sight. The aroma of all-halal meats marinating in signature spices tints the air, heralding Somali entrees such as the hilib ari, a goat dish that OC Weekly deemed "gamy and glorious." Mango lassis cool the tongue with a mix of almond milk, fruit pulp, orange juice, and vanilla. Pieces of bur—somali fry bread baked onsite—engage the hands, encouraging patrons to soak up lingering sauces with their dough instead of a friend's shirtsleeve. All the while, guests absorb the sizzling sounds of salmon and tilapia being sautéed in the kitchen's special "mother sauce."
Named after the Somalian city where Abdi’s father grew up, Gendershe Cuisine is an outpost of a kind of cooking rarely found in the United States, much less Orange County. Even so, Somalia’s rich culinary tradition—influenced over the years by Italy, India, and surrounding East African cultures—means that many dishes may look familiar even to the uninitiated. Crispy, triangular sambusas are relatives to indian samosas, ethiopian injera pops up beneath stews of beef, chicken, goat, or fish, and spaghetti and lasagna lie under sauces subtly spiked with Somali herbs and spices.
Traditional Indian cuisine can be found at Gandhi Palace. The menu at Gandhi Palace does not include any low-fat options, so come ready to indulge. Drinks here are readily available, so you can enjoy a glass of red or try something new.
Put the suit away when heading to Gandhi Palace — dress is casual, as are the vibes. Hosting a swanky shindig? Call up Gandhi Palace for their catering services. For those in a hurry, the restaurant lets you take your meal or snack to go.
Avoid parallel parking and slide into a spot free of charge — the restaurant offers free parking next door.
Your bill at Gandhi Palace will typically run less than $30 per person, so bring the whole gang! Early risers and night owls alike can enjoy Gandhi Palace since it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Don't feel like cooking? Pull up a seat at Punjabi Tandoor and treat yourself to a taste of India. Low-fat eaters will need to take care, however, since the menu does not feature any skimmed down fare. Families will feel right at home at Punjabi Tandoor with its kid-friendly menu and atmosphere. At Punjabi Tandoor, there's no need to confine your meal to a traditional dining room — outdoor seating is available when the weather is warm.
Throwing a big party? Count on Punjabi Tandoor to provide top-notch catering with the same great dishes you love. If you need to get somewhere fast, the restaurant also serves up grub to go.
You can eat for next to nothing at Punjabi Tandoor, where a typical meal will cost you less than $15.
Haveli Fine Indian Cuisine Of India charms visitors with tender morsels of chicken tikka, spiced and marinated lamb, and appetizers of paneer, papads, and mashed potato. The d?cor imbues a familiar, yet exotic atmosphere, with its sunny, golden walls, booth benches, and Oriental rug patterns on floors and chairs. After guests have settled into these environs, they feast on kewered shish kebab and garlicky shrimp tandoori, ending meals with honeyed gulab jamun, and pistachio-flecked matka kulfi ice cream.
Lacing its authentic home-style cooking with natural spices and ingredients, Dosa Express specializes in South Indian cuisine, particularly its delectable dosas—thin pancakes filled with potatoes and vegetables that can be dipped in a variety of sauces. After priming your palate with an opener of mouthwatering medhu vada, golden-fried lentil flour doughnuts ($5.50), dive into the eatery’s 20 kinds of dosas, served crispy or soft upon request. The rava masala dosa stuffs a piquant potato masala curry inside a mildly-spiced, cashew-tinged blanket ($8.95), and the onion and chili uthappam cranks up your body’s internal temperature with a mélange of onion, chili, ginger, and cilantro inside a lentil and rice wrapping ($8.50). Dosa Express' popular lunch ($7.95–$8.95) and dinner ($8.95) buffets, meanwhile, give the indecisive a chance to sample a little bit of everything—or competitive eaters a chance to determine once and for all who has the bigger gaping hole in their abdomen. Whether diners order à la carte or all you can eat, each scrumptious, sinus-clearing delight at Dosa Express can be complemented with a refreshing Indian beer ($4–$6.95) or a chilled, fresh mango lassi ($2.95)—a smooth, sweet yogurt drink.