At each of Tandoori Times Indian Bistro’s three locations—including one nestled inside a Holiday Inn—crimson and cream walls surround tables weighed down with indian curry, rice, and tandoori dishes. While morsels of lamb, seafood, and chicken prepare for supper by bathing in aromatic indian spices, soft naan bread keeps diners entertained by diving into appetizers of mango chutney.
Patrons can let the wind sweep through their eyelashes on one of the outdoor patios or form their own sweet breezes by puffing out fruity plumes of a hookah smoke on the weekends. Belly dancers weave their way across dining rooms on select nights, which contributes to each location's traditional atmosphere and each diner's desire to enroll in belly-dancing lessons.
Chandelier lamps with domed shades float below Tandoori Village's high ceilings, casting a buttery light on tables strewn with yogurt-marinated chicken, lamb chops, and tender fish steak. These succulent tandoori dishes cure in a clay oven, then arrive at purple-accented booths beside dishes such as rice biryani and amply stuffed tandoori wraps. In the natural light from picture windows, freshly baked naan sops up veggie and fish curries in ginger, garlic, and coconut. After meals, the sugar syrup on sweet gulab jamun dumplings can cleanse the palate or disable the gas tank of a ride reluctant to stay for dessert.
There’s no shortage of things to try at Star of India. The robust menu, after all, showcases more than 60 entrees, including half a dozen curry dishes, nine tandoori specialties, and plenty of masalas in chicken, lamb, and vegetarian varieties. Beyond the traditional staples, flavorful Indian spices and tender cuts of meat and vegetables play their part in inventive chef's specialties served in Indian skillets. Dessert offerings include several exotic sweets, including kulfi, or Indian-style ice cream that dons pistachios, mango, or The Mahabharata written in syrup.
The scent of curry, chilies, and rose wafts from New India Bazaar's kitchen, where chefs roast yogurt-marinated meats in tandoori ovens and prepare other classic Indian cuisine. In addition to traditional dishes such as lamb vindaloo and palak paneer with homemade cheese, the cooks also create East-meets-West dishes, such as chicken tikka pizzas with spicy sauce, tandoori chicken, and replicas of Magellan's map baked beneath mozzarella cheese.
The bar’s hanging lights glow like down-turned tulips against cobalt walls. A plush corner nook invites lingering with low-slung tables and vibrant throw pillows. Peeking through the lattice of Guru Palace’s decorative blue dividers, patrons can catch an eyeful of the restaurant’s centerpiece, a sprawling wall mural of the Taj Mahal.
Surrounded by decor that the Phoenix New Times called “a deliberate antidote to the sameness that sometimes pervades local retail complexes,” patrons tuck into a menu of traditional Indian dishes. The paper also named Guru Palace Best Indian Restaurant of 2010, lauding foods baked in a traditional tandoori oven and a wide range of vegetarian options. The chefs at the eatery specialize in Mughlai cooking, and the dining room’s burgundy tablecloths crowd daily with fish and lamb entrees infused with ginger, cumin, and red chili. Warm], baked naan breads and samosas sop up sauce, and bottles of wine can raise spirits after the realization that a vehicle’s owner’s manual says nothing about driving underwater.