Behind a fa?ade of yellow bricks and twinkling string lights is Citrus Indian Fusion, a hub for North and South Indian dishes. Through the restaurant's glass doors, aromas of ginger, garlic, and Andhra spice waft through first?indication that morsels of marinated lamb, chicken, and fish are cooking in a tandoor oven. Next, guests smell the warm, savory scent of dosas?South Indian-style crepes?crisping on a flat grill.
Dishes to Discover
Citrus Indian Fusion's chefs have mastered familiar dishes such as butter chicken and samosas, but they also work to expand palates with recipes from across the Indian subcontinent. Below, we list a few favorites (plus recommendations for who should order them).
This Indo-Chinese appetizer is a favorite among diners who enjoy a bit of heat on the tongue. Chefs dip jalapeno peppers in chickpea batter, deep-fry them, and serve them with a coconut chutney.
If you're not sure what to order, thali?which is served throughout India?is a safe bet. That's because each platter presents a wide assortment of of curries, pickles, chutneys, and other diverse components.
Even curled in a roll, the South Indian-style 70mm dosa is visually impressive?each of the warm, paper-thin crepes is roughly the length of a newspaper. Unrolled, the dosas are large enough to share, or to repurpose as an edible blanket during tabletop naps.
Above all else, the menu at Mezbaan Bar & Indian Cuisine strives to highlight the distinctive and varied flavors of South Asian cuisine. When diners step inside, they’re first greeted by aromas of ginger, saffron, fenugreek, and spicy curry sauce—a fitting preview of what’s to come at the dinner table. These distinctive flavors and spices appear throughout the restaurant’s regionally inspired Indian cuisine, including marinated skewers of chicken, lamb, and seafood that roast inside a traditional tandoor clay oven. But that doesn’t mean the chefs only stick to the standards. In addition to favorites such as saag paneer, they also forge a number of Indo-Chinese entrees and vegetarian dishes that embrace the same bold flavors as the rest of the menu. Draped with sky-blue and cloud-white linens, the tables at Mezbaan spread across two levels of seating. An elegant crystal chandelier helps light the spacious, high-ceilinged lower section and the second floor offers a bit more privacy for events or for licking plates clean without judgment.
Chemmeen's chefs remain true to the spice-laden essence of southern Indian cuisine by faithfully re-creating some of the region's most iconic dishes. In addition to crisping dosas on the griddle and roasting skewered chicken in the kitchen's tandoor, the chefs incorporate familiar flavors by adding liberal doses of dried red chilies, coconut, and native vegetables to the entrees. The menu also acknowledges Indian cuisine's international influences by featuring a selection of Indo-Chinese fried rice and noodle dishes, which combine ingredients from both countries.
Clad in revealing outfits, Tokyo Playground's beautiful waitresses don't adhere to the quiet formalness normally associated with Japanese dining. Then again, at Tokyo Playground, neither does anything else. Helped by its scantily clad waitstaff, the restaurant instead throws on the mantle of a rowdy American sports bar, pairing Japanese cuisine with upbeat music and sports broadcast on HDTVs. Like a dolphin's toy box, the menu is predominantly filled with sushi—36 specialty rolls include the Fiesta roll with spicy tuna, sweet fried tofu, and avocado. Forgoing the roll, the nigiri and sashimi selection includes live giant clams and spanish mackerel. Bento boxes pair sushi or teriyaki entrees with rice and salad, and a chef's-choice sushi combo gives the chef license to pair rolls thought up on the spot. Of course, pockets of the menu highlight the sports-bar angle with snacks such as the japanese nachos covered in spicy ground tuna. To wash it all down, the bar slings sake bombs made from hot sake and Sapporo.
Although it now has more than 430 locations in 28 countries, Hooters wasn?t always welcomed by the public. In fact, when it opened in October 1983 in Clearwater, Florida, the founders of the restaurant were ?quickly detained for impersonating restaurateurs,? according to the company's website. But the restaurant was able to prove it was more than just a pretty face?that it was serious about serving tasty American food and frosty brews?and its popularity exploded in the decades to follow.
Amid its beach-themed vibe and flat-screen TVs, Hooters still fuels appetites with original chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Of course, nobody carries those casual eats and icy pitchers better than the Hooters girls. To complement their friendly smiles, their uniforms harken back to the ones the original waitresses wore in 1983: orange hot shorts and white tank tops with the emblematic owl on the front?though that owl has lost its Lionel Richie perm.
Through a window into the kitchen, patrons watch a pantomime of chefs battering fried chicken and drizzling truffle oil over bowls of mac 'n' cheese. To prepare the upscale, southern-inspired comfort fare at Cellar 9 Restaurant & Bar, its executive chef visits farmers' markets every week. He brings back local and seasonal produce to accompany plates of demi-glazed short ribs and crispy flatbreads. Housemade desserts include cinnamon doughnuts and lemon-blueberry bread pudding. While the food menu is streamlined, one might need the assistance of a waiter or grizzled sea captain to navigate the expansive wine list, a well-rounded collection of red, white, sparkling, and port wines.