Beneath walls the color of warm ghee, the clarified butter used in Indian cuisine, street vendor–style carts brim with thick curries. Taste of India's waiters emerge from the kitchen, their arms stacked with plates of lamb with house-toasted spices, rice dishes, and chicken and prawns steeped in the sweltering heat of a tandoor. After scooping up the last chickpea with a piece of warm naan, guests relax under the sparkles of gold ornaments hanging from above. They click glasses of wine or imported Kingfisher and Taj Mahal beers in a toast to celebrate getting promoted or successfully assembling a team to prank-call a casino.
At India Palace, blending and calibrating spices becomes an art as the chefs combine ginger, cardamom, and peppers to craft Indian entrees. The culinary experts draw inspiration from all around the subcontinent, paying homage to Goa by simmering shrimp curries and giving a nod to Kashmir with rogan josh’s tender cubes of lamb. They create their own cheese, nestling fresh chunks of it in tomato-based cream sauce or spinach, and take a lesson from Chinese culinary traditions for Manchurian-style cauliflower and marinated chicken spiced with soy and hot-pepper sauces.
After a spicy meal, diners don’t need to resort to eating a snowman alive—they can cool their palates with sips of mango lassi or swallows of indian beer. As they savor their drinks at tables draped in red tablecloths, they glance around at the wood-paneled dining room and framed art illuminated by overhead wheels that dangle six lanterns each.
The BYOB Bombay Masala cooks up a deep selection of rice dishes, vegetarian curries, chicken curries, and goat and lamb curries. Its team prioritizes customer service, along with their exquisite cuisine. An example of this culinary effort is the spicy chicken vindaloo, comprised of poultry and potatoes that unite in a spicy sauce. When they make their zesty fare, the chefs spurn cornstarch and MSG additives to promote a healthy dining experience, similar to plucking fro-yo toppings off a moving treadmill. Patrons can also enjoy the authentic cuisine during Bombay Masala's lunch buffet Monday–Friday.
Passage to India paves the way to a banquet of tandoori chicken, boneless lamb curries, and fluffy loaves of buttery naan. A talented chef with two decades of culinary experience takes diners across the Indian subcontinent, from the hummus-capped mountains of Kashmir to the curry-splashed shores of Mumbai. After nothing remains of their goat biryani, save memories of basmati rice, guests can turn to comfort with a bowl of homemade mango ice cream or ras malai—cheese balls in a sweet cream sauce.
This culinary emporium's owners, Paras and Tamara Arora, know that palates can be choosy. So in early 2012, the couple opened Beyond India, an Indo-American fusion restaurant that combines traditional recipes from both cultures. Drawing on 20 years of experience cooking traditional Indian cuisine—specifically from North India—Punjabi chef Singh populates tables with pub-style golden appetizers and more exotic starters of delicately fried paneer pakora. The team bakes entrees such as seafood and tandoori lamb in an oven that reaches 900 degrees, almost exactly twice the temperature at which books and firefighting manuals burn. After sopping up a curry dish from the endless lunch buffet, patrons can cool off taste buds with a sweet slice of key-lime pie.