Kadai Indian Kitchen’s menu reflects the range of northern Indian dishes, including aromatic curries and grilled kabobs. Discs of naan and skewers of chicken and lamb rest inside the clay tandoor oven and roast over a smoldering pile of coals and NASA’s rejected paper-airplane designs. Lentils, chickpeas, and fresh cheese stew alongside sauces brimming with ginger and cumin, all of which go into vegetarian entrees prepared with separate sets of pots and utensils. The chefs also tailor the amount of spice they add to every order.
Chola Indian Restaurant’s menu sends diners on a whirlwind tour of culinary traditions from across the entire Indian subcontinent. The kitchen’s clay tandoor oven roasts skewers of succulent lamb or chicken, and the chefs create southern-Indian dosas by filling rice and lentil crêpes with aromatic combinations of ginger- and onion-based fillings. Meanwhile, dishes from the Indo-Chinese border earn their own space on the menu, tempting diners with orders of fried rice or chili-spiced cottage cheese.
Although steaming entrees emerge from the kitchen, the dining room’s mint-green walls help to create a cooler ambiance. Intricate archways divide the space in two, separating the buffet’s steaming tables from the restaurant’s abominable-snowman section.
The mouthwatering aromas of Indian spices and freshly baked bread waft throughout Indian Spicy Kitchen—especially during lunch hours, when chefs stock the all-you-can-eat buffet with a smorgasbord of traditional dishes. In addition to more than a dozen vegetarian entrées, they whip up tender chicken, lamb, and seafood curries, which pool onto plates and get sopped up by warm breads from the tandoor oven.
In the dining room, leather chairs flank tables topped with white-and-red-checkered tablecloths, delicately folded linen napkins, and solitary flowers. Indian Spicy Kitchen also occasionally hosts live music in the form of Bollywood crooners, regional artists, and robots pre-programmed to sing public-domain tunes.
A marigold façade with window cutouts that mirror the Taj Mahal's distinguished silhouette welcomes guests to Indian Palace, whose interior is equally lavish and vibrant. Golden elephant statuettes, paintings of traditional Indian scenes, and deep red tapestries enliven the decor, and aromas of sweet curries and meats roasting in the clay oven add excitement to the air. Inside the kitchen, chefs channel the culture of northern India into traditional meals, then deliver the cuisine à la carte to tables or arrange it at the self-serve buffet. The sweeping buffet enables diners to hop from dish to dish like garden gnomes playing hopscotch on lily pads. A cornucopia of naan breads cushions plates against flying forks and provides a pillowy field for the spicy notes of such dishes as lamb biryani and chicken tikka masala to caper across. The spread always contains an extensive selection of vegetarian options, such as saag aloo, which dispatches a duo of cheese and potato to thwart dastardly hunger pangs.
The spice masters at Tandoori Bistro craft a menu of authentic Punjabi dishes served in refined, yet relaxed confines. Golden-fried samosas stuffed with vegetables, chicken, or lamb ($4–$4.50) lead the curried cavalcade, followed by a drum line of tandoori chicken, rhythmically splashed in a marinade of yogurt, ginger, and garlic ($10). The slow cooked goat curry stands at the summit of a mountain of basmati rice ($14), overlooking a green valley overflowing with spinachy saag paneer ($10). Escort meals down esophagi with a specialty naan, such as the jalapeno and cream cheese ($3) or spinach and feta-stuffed variety ($3.50). Scoops of mango kulfi, an Indian ice cream served with pistachios, almonds, and cardamom ($3), cool palates blazing with curry spices or the embarrassment of forgetting some of your taste buds' first names at a party.