Rang Indian Bistro is an authentic Indian restaurant serving specialties from Northern and Southern India in a romantic, cozy environment. The menu of curry crusaders and veggie vigilantes includes a multitude of meat, seafood, vegetarian, and rice options. Garlic steals the show using a large sack and getaway car in the garlic naan, baked Indian flatbread speckled with giblets of garlic ($3.95). Once primed, sample the appetizing angularity of vegetable samosas ($2.95), crispy triangular turnovers overloaded with spiced potatoes and peas and perfect for games of samosa table football. Entrees get a luxurious start with the chicken tikka masala, charbroiled chicken tandoori lounging with an entourage of spices in a spa of creamy tomato sauce ($13.95). Curry-crazy feasters can get their fix with the lamb korma, which is doused with fresh cream and tantalizingly texturized with a conga line of nuts and raisins ($14.95).
Before diners even glance at OM’s menu, their eyes feast upon a banquet of Asian art. Colorful Thangka paintings and Buddhist statues handcrafted by more than 50 Nepalese, Tibetan, and Thai artists color the space, and intricate Newar carvings frame the walls and doorways. Upon sitting at one of the bare, rectangular tables, patrons exchange pleasantries with their chairs and read through a menu reflective of the art that surrounds them. For instance, small plates of spicy edamame and veggie spring rolls join full entrees of shrimp pad thai or salmon wrapped in tempura nori. An intricate drink list includes the mandarin kaze (orange vodka spiked with sichuan peppercorn) and the Bangkok julep (a blend of bourbon, elderflower, and mint).
Beneath the dining room, a downstairs lounge hosts a diverse lineup of events. Salsa lessons make use of the dance floor, and vinyl parties enable attendees to trade, sell, or just play their records. DJs take over the turntables on Saturday nights, and a cover band re-creates classic R & B tunes every Tuesday.
In India, the word ghazal refers to love that persists through the pain of loss or separation. The owners of Ghazal Indian Cuisine chose their restaurant’s name to reflect their deep love for Indian food. To this end, they offer patrons authentic biryanis, tandoori dishes, and Punjabi-style sandwiches—sometimes with an unexpected, modern twist. Sparkling chandeliers gently illuminate the dining room as patrons dine at half-booths or tables.
Cooks at Gourmet India sling health-conscious, regional Indian recipes that have garnered praise from the Boston Globe. The casual eatery packs its menu with North Indian fare and serves South Indian specials on weekends, representing the subcontinent better than one grain of rice from each state. Each combo meal rounds up two to three servings from a rotating list of entrees, flanking the savory morsels with basmati rice or naan. Combo meals always include at least one vegetarian entree so diners can pick between vegetable-based gobhi aloo, a dish of cauliflower cooked with ginger; the palak paneer, a blend of spinach and homemade cheese; or a platter of cumin seeds arranged into a pleasing, vegetable shape. Meatier fare includes chicken tikka masala, tender poultry cooked in a tomato-cream sauce, and lamb korma with cashews and raisins. Dishes emerge steaming from the kitchen with fresh-cooked flavor, unlike entrees at other eateries that import their fare from India so it typically arrives cold. Combo meal 2 includes one appetizer, which could include either potato-filled samosas or aromatic onion bhaju.
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Mehak serves halal food, meaning its dishes are prepared in accordance with Islamic law. Look for both Pakistani and Indian dishes, from slow-cooked beef nehari to ground chicken meatballs known as kofta. Just don't expect a lot of space to spread out; the modest dining room houses fewer than 10 tables.