Bayleaf Indian Cuisine's menu marries traditional dishes from both North and South India to populate gleaming, white tablecloths with plates of marinated lamb and seafood, each sizzling from the tandoor and slathered in spices such as ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. After clinking glasses of wine or imported beer, patrons sop up sauces spuming from curry dishes with morsels of warm naan before crowning the overseas adventure with crisp, honey-laden bites from gulab jamun dumplings. Meanwhile, groups can commandeer the executive room to furnish dinner celebrations for parties of 50 or boring musical-chair games for parties of one.
Head Chef Cristina Trinh of Sara's Bistro honors the traditions of New Orleans with her menu of seasonal and local products, but not in the way one might think. While the menu does include staples, such as crab salads and pork chops with praline pecan sauce, the chef gets a kick out of throwing in a few twists—dishes like coconut curry tofu with homemade tofu, braised curry-spiced lamb shanks "Osso Bucco", or crawfish spring rolls with sweet chili oyster sauce. It’s this inventiveness that defines Sara’s Bistro, which seeks to honor not only New Orleans’ Creole heritage but also its history as a port city for international travelers and their travel sporks.
Good Karma Cafe?located on the first floor of Swan River Yoga?was founded by lifelong vegetarians with a passion for sharing conscientious, healthful, homemade cooking with the community. Using organic ingredients and local produce in every dish, the cooks prepare mostly South Asian-inspired dishes brimming with vibrant flavors. Fresh cucumber and ground peanuts lend a toothsome crunch to the Malaysian-style coconut curry and the Indian-style upma arrives loaded with vegetables. Diners can also get their hands on fair-trade coffees and smoothies, as well as vegan desserts such as double-chocolate cake and zucchini, carrot, and banana muffins.
Worlds End Cafe’s chef Jessie W. Craig combines local ingredients with global culinary traditions to create an eclectic menu of contemporary pub fare. The curry chicken wrap encases yellow and red peppers, chicken tenders, and curry mayonnaise in a flour tortilla ($6.99), while the southwestern salad bears a mélange of black beans, fried tortilla chips, and jalapenos ($6.99). Like a Choose Your Own Adventure tax return, the Catfish Your Way lets diners determine their own happy endings by opting to fry, broil, or sauté a duo of fillets ($8.99). Meanwhile, the all-beef Worlds End hot dog ($4.99) can arrive naked or clothed in diners' choice of dressings. Stationed amid décor paying homage to English pubs and works of literature, visitors can show off their literary knowledge or stage Pride and Prejudice adaptations with an all-condiment cast.
Crisp green cucumbers, creamy hummus, and splashes of bright red paprika LaShish Greek & Lebanese Restaurant’s colorful displays of falafel and lamb. Each dish is carefully prepared by experienced chefs, from Lebanese labneh yogurt dip seasoned with mint and olive oil to mousaka made with layers of potato, eggplant, and ground beef. The chefs also take a traditional approach in the kitchen by marinating gyros and shawarma meats with authentic Mediterranean spices and spearing lamb and kafta kebabs with Orion’s arrows.
Cooking has always been a family affair for chef Mohammed Hanif. His childhood days were spent in Old Delhi, India, learning the ways of the kitchen from his grandfather. His young adulthood was spent working by his father's side in a New York restaurant.
Today at Al-Noor Indian Cuisine, chef Hanif is joined by his wife and daughter, who take care of the front of the house and day-to-day operations as he plates up authentic Indian dishes in the kitchen. He cooks in the Mughlai style, which includes rice biryani dishes, clay-oven-cooked meats, and curry-like baltis. Diners use warm pieces of freshly baked naan bread to mop up their entrees or as tiny toasty blankets during mid-meal naps.