The fragrant aroma of freshly ground ginger and cinnamon wafts from Akbar’s Restaurant’s kitchen, mingling with the smoky scent of meats simmering in a traditional tandoori oven. Rife with spices, buttery marinades, and cream-based sauces, the eatery's Northern Indian cuisine nabbed the title of Best Indian Restaurant from City Paper’s Best of Baltimore 2010. In the dining room, romance sparks amid classical Indian music and walls laden with traditional art and lists of pun-free pickup lines.
Plates at Kabab Hut brim with traditional Bangladeshi dishes including curries, tandoori chicken, and skewered kebabs. A selection of 27 combo meals load these spicy, simmering entrees onto beds of rice along with sides such as fries or naan. The eatery also welcomes families with a kids' menu that reduces each dish to smaller portions without the need to root around for the shrink ray Mom keeps in her purse.
Mirch Masala's dishes of chicken and lamb kabobs, fluffy naan loaves, and creamy paneer honor the ancient flavors of the Indian subcontinent. Savory tomato sauce and dustings of ginger and cumin coat chickpeas, lamb, and poultry, while mango lassi and tamarind chutney add touches of sweetness to meals. Like the series of pneumatic tubes that ran under the Silk Road, the selection of Indo-Chinese dishes unite the produce and customs of India and China, fashioning inventive feasts such as ginger-cooked chili chicken entangled by hearty lo-mein noodles.
Angeethi blends Indian spices and ingredients in order to serve fresh, piquant entrees brimming with flavors straight out of Calcutta. Start by appointing one of Angeethi's appetizers as ambassador to your mouth, with options like deep-fried vegetable samosa ($4, two per order), and barbecued reshmi-kebab chicken ($6). From there, the restaurant's mammoth menu offers a long list of seafood, lamb, tandoori, and vegetarian entrees. The succulent goan white fish ($18) comes sautéed in delectable coconut curry, and the bakri balti ($16) is marinated goat, cooked in an herbed balti sauce with a pinch of wine. Awaken the senses with the murg tandoori¬ ($13), which consists of chicken that's marinated overnight in yogurt, told a rousing bedtime story around 2 a.m., then meticulously barbequed in a clay oven. Vegetarian entrees include palak paneer ($12), homemade cheese cubes and spinach made zesty with herbaceous spices. Wash down any spicy residue with a glass of vino from the beverage menu, offering wine from Washington, California, Italy, New Zealand, and other locales.
You could say that Shamim and Riffat Rana are passionate about Asian cuisine. So passionate, in fact, that they have overcome great odds to become—and remain—a local go-to dining establishment. The duo founded the original O's Place in Woodlawn in 2002, growing their cozy eatery through hard work, dedication, and support from the community. By 2005, their success necessitated a move to a larger space on Security Boulevard. But three years later, it looked as though their good fortune might come to an end: that’s when the thriving eatery burned down in an electrical fire.
Somehow, Shamim and Riffat never lost hope. Instead, they found a new culinary home on the second floor of Seoul Plaza, where patrons now sit in the food court outside or within the eatery’s charming dining room decorated with Asian-inspired artwork and flowers. Using the same culinary formula that gained the restaurant its initial popularity, the family-friendly eatery boasts a large assortment of Chinese and South Asian buffet dishes, kept warm and working on their tans under heat lamps. For specific cravings, diners may also order from lunch and dinner menus full of Pakistani and Indian specialties, including tandoori chicken and beef nihari.