The chef at Talisman Restaurant prepares dishes the same way she does for her family at home, drawing on recipes and secrets from Russia and the Ukraine. She crafts Russian specialties such as beef stroganoff, as well as chicken tabaka from Georgia and chicken kiev from the Ukraine. Talisman also specializes in nalistnik—crepes stuffed with chicken and topped with mushroom sauce and mozzarella cheese, as well as Uzbek dishes such as chicken kebabs, samsa, manti, and shurpa.
For nearly a quarter-century, the chefs at Golden China Restaurant have filled bellies with authentic Chinese food, including nine varieties of dim sum. The bite-size snacks vary from sticky rice in lotus leafs to sesame-rice dumplings to barbecue-pork buns. To complement the mini morsels, the lengthy menu includes Chinese food standards, such as orange chicken and kung-pao shrimp. Three gourmet dinners facilitate full-on feasting, each served with tea, cookies, appetizers, and entrees to share with another diner or friendly shadow person. The hearty meals pair with beer and wine, along with sweet treats, such as lychee nuts and coconut tarts.
At Handy J Car Wash, newly gleaming rides slip back out into traffic. Their windows take on the cold shimmer of a mountain lake, and bodies undergo a beautiful transformation like a butterfly becoming a proper gentleman. The technicians watch the cars leave, returning tire dressing, yellow carnauba wax, and Scotchguard to their storage places.
Seasoned by 39 years of sea cookery, Oyster House Saloon's chefs summon the fruits of the ocean into a menu of saltwater treasures. Slurp down the briny juices of four oyster shooters, not to be confused with the ammo-slinging shooter oyster. Seafood-stuffed calamari steak entrees ride waves of pasta, and fryer-kissed frog legs simmer in garlicky linguini. House wines crushed from grapes such as chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot harmonize with entree flavors, performing sea-shanty covers of "Hotel California."
At Streets of India Caf?, savory South Indian snacks tickle tongues before chicken, lamb, or vegan substitutes leap from lakes of curry onto awaiting taste buds. Patrons lounging amid sage-green and orange d?cor or sitting outside beneath green umbrellas can nibble on South Indian dosas, idlis, and vadas while measuring the hypotenuse on triangular samosas. Vegan palates can swap in meat substitutes for lamb vindaloo or savor masala dishes packed with okra or jackfruit, and midday diners feast at an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet.
Le Chine Wok sizzles up an MSG-free spread crowded with spicy Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes. Fresh and natural ingredients pepper the menu, turning taste bud against taste bud in intense palatal debates between sea-centric plates such as the candied walnut shrimp or spicy soft-shell crab with serrano peppers ($15.95 each). Dishes, such as the basil eggplant chicken ($12.95), send sweet aromas drifting through the dining room, and the boneless smoked duck is prepared over burning tea green-tea leaves to absorb complex flavors and fortune-telling abilities ($16.95).