Little Shop of Horrors, Center Stage's latest production, revisits Alan Menken's famed dark comic musical about an insecure floral assistant forced to serve human lunches to a man-eating plant with a Juilliard-caliber singing voice. Bear witness to the expressive acting of Center Stage Theatre's best as actors bring to life the terrifyingly humorous story of love, desperation, and maniacal dentists. First-timers will discover the epic roots of the botanical horror-comedy genre, and longtime fans can return for a 20th viewing to rehear favorite notes of mind-sticking standards like "Skid Row (Downtown)."
Each Auld Dubliner location must meet the stringent level of authenticity required by co-owner and Gaelic strongdrinker David Copley. A native of Limerick, Ireland, Copley might share a dirty poem if you ask nicely, but he's more likely to tell you that every part of his pub's polished wood, brass décor, and menu of toothsome Erin edibles was designed and crafted in Ireland and transported piece by piece to its new American home. Tuck right into pub classics such as shepherd's pie with ground beef and lamb ($12.95) or the for-more-than-St.-Patty's-Day corned beef and cabbage ($12.95). Other fare that comes with a shamrock stamp of approval includes the traditional boxty (a potato pancake), stuffed with delights such as Irish bacon and melted cheddar ($13.95) or Atlantic salmon with shallots and tarragon ($15.95). For a finish as sweet as a "yes" from Molly Bloom, the Irish-whiskey crème brûlée adds a twist to the traditional dessert.
At Black Horse Tavern & Grill, the decor is not surprisingly centered around framed pictures of horses and horse head statues?all black, of course. The equine-heavy furnishings surround the eatery?s main star, the bar?also horseshoe shaped?which sits in the center of the room. There, bartenders pull from taps of Blue Moon, Stella Artois, and a handful of craft brews. Back in the kitchen, chefs celebrate all things American with large-portion entrees that include made-from-scratch fish and chips, potato croquettes, marinated hanger steak, and bacon wrapped meatloaf paired with mashed potatoes smothered in gravy. A number of flat-screen TVs are tuned to the day's big sporting events, and the bar supplies handheld electronic trivia games that can be played against strangers or your split personality.
Indian cuisine is famously complex, but diners at Koyla Indian Restaurant get at least a peek at how it's prepared. The restaurant's signature cooking method is right in the name—koyla means "coal"—and chefs use its heat in full view within an open kitchen. Cinnamon and cloves, garlic and saffron fill the air as marinated chicken, shrimp, and goat simmer and sizzle. Although grounded in the cuisine of Northern India, founder Deep Singh and his chefs demonstrate a strong taste for experimentation. That's evident in the large menu's Indo-Chinese section, which holds hybrids such as chili paneer—the traditional Indian cheese spiked with house-made chili sauce. Pesto chicken and calamari masala reflect Singh's time as the proprietor of a small Italian cafe.
A mural of an especially cuddly-looking Taj Mahal brightens one wall of Koyla's softly-lit dining room. The motif continues as painted chili peppers wind around the room behind an ample buffet, served alongside champagne on the weekends.
From the bustling streets of Times Square to the equally vivacious streets of Hong Kong, people walk around with smiles after enjoying the japanese barbecue cuisine at Gyu-Kaku. The restaurant has more than 700 locations worldwide, each rooted in the belief that some of the strongest bonds between friends are forged at the dinner table. Groups dine on a huge variety of Japanese dishes, from popular meat and veggie dishes such as Harami Skirt Steak, Kalbi Short Rib, and Mushroom Medley - to unique Japanese-American appetizers such as the Spicy Tuna Volcano, Pork Gyoza Dumplings, and Chicken Karaage. The real excitement takes place around individual grills, however, where diners can barbecue their own slabs of filet mignon, grilled ahi tuna, or chicken with basil sauce until they are ideally tender or encircled by on-duty firemen.
The resident chefs at McAlan's Pub & Grill channel Irish and American traditions to construct their menu of pub grub. Limber chomping muscles with starters of steamer clams ($10) whose fresh manila clams are set afloat in a pool of white-wine garlic broth. Buttermilk crackling chicken ($11) arrives accompanied by biscuits and country sausage gravy and Del Mar fish 'n' chips ($10) armor fresh cod in an exoskeleton of tempura ale batter to protect its flaky insides. All-you-can-eat brunch, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. on Sunday mornings, rewards early-rising appetites and provides late-rising roosters with a false sense of accomplishment. Stockpile offerings from the made-to-order omelet bar or pile plates high with french toast and buttermilk waffles.