Fans of kebabs have the tandoor to thank for the taste of India Garden’s meat. The restaurant uses the earthen oven to cook marinated pieces of chicken and lamb, sealing in the flavor as the fat drains off. Along with kebabs, the restaurant features goat curry, seafood, and at least 14 different vegetarian options. A line of buffet trays filled with spiced delicacies is also available for those who wish to sample, indulge, or make it look like they have wads of cash in their pockets.
Renner Pizza & Grill specializes in dishes crafted from halal meats and pizzas infused with Indian and Pakistani flavors. Cooks layer pies with toppings such as butter chicken and paneer cheese and bake stuffed naan bread in a tandoor oven. Vegetarian options include spiced biryani, fried dahl, and sweet kheer pudding for dessert.
Cooks in the kitchen at Spice House of India marinate chicken in spice and yogurt before baking it in clay tandoori ovens, releasing bouquets of cumin, curry, and pepper. They cover shrimp vindaloo in spicy curry with fresh green chilies and craft paneer cheese, which grows tender beneath creamy sauces. Indian music fills the dining area where patrons sip mango lassis made with fresh fruit and yogurt, like the least-durable buildings. Sound carries into a pub area with flat-screen TVs and a menu of Indian-influenced pub food including chicken wings tossed in masala sauce or mango and chili.
Punjabi cuisine brings the heat, both literally and figuratively: most of its signature curry-laden dishes are cooked inside of a tandoor, a traditional clay oven fired by wood or charcoal. The chefs at Mumtaz Indian Restaurant specialize in this Northern Indian fare, churning out freshly baked naan, homemade cheese, and spicy curries that reflect the flavors of this region. Though much of their menu is vegetarian- or vegan-friendly, they also whip up several plates that feature beef, chicken, lamb, goat, and seafood, which are often soaked overnight in a marinade of yogurt, garlic, and ginger before being fired in the tandoor. To polish off meals, the staff has classic Indian desserts covered—the pista kulfi, for example, is an Indian ice cream laden with pistachios, saffron, and cardamom.
The chefs at Kinoko reach for organic, local ingredients when preparing their menu of light Japanese fare. Dishes include pork dumplings, onigiri--rice balls laden with fillings such as tofu, salmon, or ground chicken--and a trio of fresh salads filled with veggies and optional proteins and dressings. An environmentally-aware eatery, Kinoko uses compostable and recyclable take-out packaging.
The chefs at Madras Pavilion hail from several different regions of India, and each adds their own regional specialties to the menu. The result is a large and diverse collection of dishes that reads more like a collage than a themed catalogue. However, despite the varied flavors and styles of cooking, the cuisine is united by a few commonalities: all-natural, kosher ingredients, fresh preparation, and an absence of meat. Those accustomed to samosas brimming with beef can branch out to try appetizers like lentil donuts or iddlies—steamed rice and lentil patties. For dinner, wrap some potatoes, onions, and hot chutney in a dosa, a light crepe that's a staple in southern India. Or, opt for one of 17 vegetarian curries like the paneer butter masala––homemade cottage cheese croquettes topped with a rich cream sauce, and prepared according to your preferred level of spiciness and proximity to the nearest fire extinguisher. But to really cool down, look no further than the list of desserts, which features exotic sweet treats like rose-flavored milk with homemade ice cream, and fried cheese balls dipped in cinnamon syrup.