Indian cuisine is famously complex, but diners at Koyla Indian Restaurant get at least a peek at how it's prepared. The restaurant's signature cooking method is right in the name—koyla means "coal"—and chefs use its heat in full view within an open kitchen. Cinnamon and cloves, garlic and saffron fill the air as marinated chicken, shrimp, and goat simmer and sizzle. Although grounded in the cuisine of Northern India, founder Deep Singh and his chefs demonstrate a strong taste for experimentation. That's evident in the large menu's Indo-Chinese section, which holds hybrids such as chili paneer—the traditional Indian cheese spiked with house-made chili sauce. Pesto chicken and calamari masala reflect Singh's time as the proprietor of a small Italian cafe.
A mural of an especially cuddly-looking Taj Mahal brightens one wall of Koyla's softly-lit dining room. The motif continues as painted chili peppers wind around the room behind an ample buffet, served alongside champagne on the weekends.
The Far East and the Southwest converge behind the glass walls of Dragon Loco Chinese Food, where inventive cooks fuse traditional Chinese and Mexican flavors. The menu teems with tacos, burritos, and quesadillas, which can be stuffed with globally inspired fillings such as carne asada, spicy orange chicken, and Chinese barbecued pork. The burrito loco, a house specialty, pairs bacon’s salty crunch with grilled onions as hot and sweet as a greeting card from the equator. In addition to preparing in-house meals, the kitchen caters parties and meetings with trays of hearty tacos.
In the late 19th century, immigrant steel and coal workers from Italy would enjoy quick pizza lunches, baked in trays and sold by the square. Many things have changed since then, but the pizza hasn't. The cooks at Carlo's Italian Bakery Pizza keep the tradition of bakery-style pizza alive, making fresh dough and sauce in-house each morning. The pizzas are baked until the crust is slightly crunchy and the sauce is piping hot. The grated provolone and toppings are only added once the pie comes out of the oven, cultivating a unique flavor and preventing the discomfort caused by pizza toppings screaming in the oven.
The Dinner Detectives's cast of sleuths and servers dish up a four-course meal along with a heaping helping of mystery spiced with impromptu humor. Guests arrive to mingle, sample hors d'oeuvres, and begin questioning their fellow diners as the dressed-down cast circulates freely in the crowd.
Guests enter the luxurious dining room and revel in the aroma of grilled steaks and lamb chops. After sidling into a comfy chair at a table decked in a white tablecloth, they peruse the menus dotted with juicy cuts of black Angus beef and king crab legs. Diners welcome steaming plates of food to share table real estate with glasses of wine, consulting the hospitable staff for pairing recommendations and advice on which wines are the best conversationalists. If not partaking in a full meal, guests can recline in the lounge and sip cold beer while watching sports on the plasma TVs. Larger parties commune in the expansive banquet hall, munching on customized menus built to accommodate parties of 20–140.
Behind a glass partition, The Sand Witch’s cooks drape colorful ingredients across sourdough, wheat, and white bread. Paninis slip with a sharp hiss onto a grill, melting pepper jack across fistfuls of jalapeños, or causing chipotle pesto to ooze warmly around red peppers. Staff add and remove ingredients such as pepperoncini peppers and sun-dried tomatoes as desired, leaving patrons to make leisurely decisions without anyone yelling about which wire to cut.