The talented chefs at New Delhi Palace dish up an eclectic menu of authentic North Indian cuisine crafted with fresh, natural ingredients. Diners can prep globetrotting palates by diving face first into homemade paneer pakora ($6) or delving tiny shovels into a kachumber salad with a blend of onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes ($5). A crisp array of vegetarian dishes bedecks empty stomach space with decorative greenery ($10–$11), and curry connoisseurs can fix fangs into a savory chicken masala ($13)––the owner’s favorite dish and least favorite hat. Prepared in an authentic clay oven, New Delhi’s tasty tandoori dishes include a tikka kebab with boneless chicken cubes ($14) and an Australian charbroiled rack of lamb ($20).
Festooned in red and green and warmed by heat lamps, The Great Onion cultivates a festive atmosphere on its covered patio that is only elevated by the sizzling dishes served to smiling patrons anxious to dive into the fresh food. To customize their dining experience, patrons can build their own combo, which may include enchiladas, hard or soft tacos, or taquitos and is always served with rice, beans, and guacamole. The chefs specialize in seafood dishes and also whip up specialties such as steak fajitas or chicken molcajete and the aptly named Great Onion Delight burrito, stuffed with steak picado and chile rellenos and served wet with red or green salsa. And to keep the festive atmosphere going, The Great Onion offers a happy hour everyday and a lunch buffet that entices large groups to come in for a meal and stay for a group hug.
Authentic Nepalese cuisine can be found at Tara’s Himalayan Cuisine, a cozy, hole-in-the-wall restaurant on Venice Boulevard in Palms. Tara’s stands out with its thatched “hut” roof over its porch, and though the space inside can feel a bit cramped, the large outdoor patio is heated and comfortable. Tara uses fresh ingredients and light seasonings to create Indian-influenced dishes, mostly with a vegetarian lean. There’s the garlic tofu and vegetable momo, tiny steamed or pan-fried dumplings filled with mushrooms and served with a sweet tomato coulis known as achaar. Menu items are reasonably priced, especially at lunchtime, when you can order a thali, a combination plate with an entrée, mustard greens, basmati, daal, raita and naan. Other staples like chicken masala or vindaloo are found on the menu, along with more unusual items like the Sherpa Stew, vegetables simmered in a hearty broth with spices, and served with noodles.
Jaipur Cuisine of India shares more than its name with the bustling city of northern India: it celebrates the region’s culinary heritage. To create its menu of authentic tandoori treats and chicken, lamb, and vegetarian dishes, the owner dutifully shops for fresh ingredients and spices himself, choosing components that are free of artificial flavoring, colors, or bionic implants. What results is a smattering of curries, vindaloo, biryani, and house-made desserts that speak to both authentic Indian tastes and the Californian palate. The soft pinks and golds of Jaipur’s décor encourage relaxation as guests munch on piquant masalas, creamy paneer, and fresh bread from its toasty clay oven.