Kinara dishes up an authentic Indian menu in a casual, BYOB restaurant. Pre-meal nibblers such as the chicken and coconut mulligatawny soup ($4.25) pair well with tandoor-oven–baked traditional naan ($2) or a chicken-tikka-stuffed variation ($4). Like a DeLorean hot-rodded with a flux capacitor, Kinara’s entree selections span various meat and veggie dimensions. The rice casserole vegetable biryani ($13.95) and the spicy hara bhara kabab ($13.95) cater to herbivore diets, and almond curry-infused chicken korma ($14.95), lamb curry delicacy roghan josh ($15.95), and spicy crustacean classic shrimp vindaloo ($16) please meat eaters of all stripes.
Gateway of India's authentic ambiance houses fragrant aromas from a wide selection of classic Indian cuisine. Tantalizing appetizers such as the vegetable pakora summon appetites with veggies battered in lightly seasoned lentil flour, and the kebab sampler dispenses spears of chicken, lamb, and fish—provided they're not touring as an alternative-country trio. Delicious flats of naan bread sop up sauces and act as makeshift bibs bursting with flavors of garlic, coconut and cherries, or unleavened whole-wheat grains. Gnaw on entrees such as the lamb korma—decadent pieces of spiced lamb swimming in onion, cashew, and almond cream sauce—or nibble the palak paneer, a dish of homemade Indian cheese and spinach. A selection of classic dishes such as chicken tikka masala and goat biryani with rice challenge exotic combinations such as lobster curry to freestyle Bollywood dance-offs.
Tandoori Chef's tangerine walls and vibrant paintings warm diners ensconced at red-linen-topped tables, where they await steaming platters of the aromatic Indian cuisine from the bustling kitchen. Inside, chefs whip up a diverse repertoire of Northern Indian curry, tandoori, and rice dishes brimming with spice-laden veggies, chicken, shrimp, and lamb. A private dining area fills up to 30 bellies, and catering services bring the kitchen's nourishing warmth to party-goers or ravenous sasquatches grown too tall to fit through the front door.
Aromatic herbs and spices, such as ginger, garlic, and saffron, are the foundation of Indian cuisine. Chef Mathew of Amla roasts and grinds these and other spices every day to season a South Indian menu of dishes such as yogurt-marinated basil chicken, lamb boti kebabs, and seasonal achari mushrooms, which simmer in a mélange of turmeric, coriander, and cumin. No matter what they order, diners are likely to find it accompanied by an unusual amuse-bouche: a preparation of amalaki, the Indian gooseberry plant from which the restaurant takes its name. Depending on the season, Chef Mathew may incorporate the flowers, fruit, leaves, or root into a complimentary treat, inspired by the plant’s many uses in Ayurvedic herbology. Born in Mumbai, the chef studied for more than a decade in high-end kitchens in India before arriving at Amla’s brick-walled, white-tableclothed storefront, where he’ll gladly take requests to make dishes extra spicy for a chili lover or extra-salty for a chili lover’s arch nemesis.
Traditional Indian meals served on gilded-edge plates infuse Maharaja Palace with a bouquet of curry, mustard seed, and mint. Crisp pani poori puff appetizers give a satisfying crackle as teeth break through to their chickpea-and-potato-filled cores, and drifts of basmati rice arrive tossed with green peas or beefed up with saffron and chicken. A simmering array of vegetable, seafood, chicken, and tandoori entrees emerge from pots or a clay oven, helping owners of factory-defect atlases experience the world's other side. Garlic naan or pudina paratha wipe plates clean of sauce, and glasses brimming with wine, beer, or sweet lassi clink occasionally, like the world’s laziest steel-drum player.