Upon walking into Prince Hookah Lounge, patrons are enveloped in hues of crimson that set off a sinuous forest of hookah pipes. Merlot-hued curtains draped across the ceiling and walls filter light from hanging globe lambs, casting shifting light across the lounge and through veils of scented smoke. Once visitors settle onto long benches or cushioned banquettes, they pop open BYOB beers or wine and pass around a hookah pipe's mouthpiece. The cool smoke from flavored tobacco rises past mounted TV screens, and hands snag bites from shareable plates of hummus or potatoes sautéed with roasted chili and lemon. In the kitchen, tzatziki sauce brims with cool yogurt and cucumbers near grape leaves stuffed with extra-virgin olive oil, mint, rice, and tomatoes like the backpack of a child who is not prepared for first grade.
Spicy traditional sauces and exotic ingredients such as yak meat accent the authentic dishes on the Tibetan menu at Shangrila Bistro. According to AccessAtlanta, Shangrila's owners fly the yak meat—which tastes "like beef but generally leaner"—directly from China, and they also use it for the yak's-milk butter needed to brew the Tibetan butter tea on their beverage menu. A separate Chinese menu stakes a competing claim on eaters' attention with inventive dishes such as hot and spicy tangerine beef and pineapple-seafood fried rice.
Curry Curry Thai wraps snouts in an aromatic spread of handpicked spices and pleases bellies with market-fresh vegetables and proteins served in traditional Thai style. Both the Smyrna and Marietta menus kick-start meals with appetizers including satay chicken, skewers of grilled, marinated chicken buttressed by peanut sauce and cucumber salad ($5.95 for five), and fresh-basil rolls, rice paper wrappers filled with shrimp and veggies ($3.95 for two). Curries, noodles, and fried rice dishes make filling entree options for vacant stomachs or empty fanny packs. Scoop up a bundle of pineapple fried rice—a vibrant potpourri of pineapple, onion, beans, carrots, black pepper, and curry powder ($7.95 for lunch, $9.95 for dinner)—or lap up a bowl of red curry—a mixture of coconut milk, bamboo shoots, and red and green bell peppers ($6.95 for lunch, $8.95 for dinner)—in an effort to prove dominance over utensils.
Under the glow of lotus-shaped white chandeliers, plumes of steam ascend from aromatic Thai dishes laden with lemongrass, coconut milk, and tangy tamarind paste. The menu showcases a traditional spread of curries, noodle dishes, and grilled fish and meat entrees. The authenticity and tastiness of the recipes won praise in 2010 from the Cynical Cook, who called the thai beef jerky "addictive" and the chicken larb "everything you could want … Each bite was juicy, meaty, and a satisfying mixture of peppers, limes, and salt." Thai statues and artwork dot the dining room, which opens to a white-curtained patio available during warm months to feed hungry breezes.
Surrounded by bamboo shoots and polished wood tables, diners at New Saigon Vietnamese Bistro Restaurant bow their heads over steaming bowls of pho, traditional vietnamese noodle soup. The eatery offers pho varieties to suit any palate, including rare and well-done beef, chicken tenders, and assorted seafood. Once the bowls are served and diners put on their slurp-guard suits, they can customize their dishes with traditional accoutrements such as thai basil, bean sprouts, sriracha, and fresh lime wedges. The menu also includes other authentic Vietnamese dishes, such as dumplings filled with shrimp, braised duck, and rare beef mixed with egg noodles and flavorful greens, as well as manager’s favorites such as singapore curry noodles and seafood lo mein.
Since opening more than 22 years ago, Taste of Thai Halal has celebrated the traditional flavors of Thailand with a halal menu of curries, noodle dishes, and seafood. In addition to classic dishes such as pad thai and fried rice, adventurous palates can sample squid tossed in tamarind-spiced curry, or duck flavored with fresh ginger root and hot peppers. Dessert takes the soothing shape of coconut ice cream or bites of rasmalai, an Indian delicacy made with cheese dumplings and sweet cream.