With recipes that call to mind the towering spires of the Khmer Empire’s antique capital, the chef at Angkor Restaurant recreates modern Cambodia’s favorite dishes. Nam yaa, the restaurant's most popular dish, is also known as medicine soup for the restorative qualities of its lemongrass, ginger, and garlic and the tradition of serving it in a tiny childproof bottle. Distinct Cambodian sauces, such as tamarind and spicy garlic, douse crispy fish, and peanut sauce tops banh hoi, whose steamed noodles are accompanied by lettuce and mint.
Red curry, green curry, mango curry?at Pakarang Restaurant, who's celebrating their 20th anniversary this year? the kitchen crafts nine different fragrant curries in varying levels of heat, in which chicken, beef, or seafood simmer. Specialty dishes include the bangkok beef and crispy duck. All the cuisine is artfully made, matching the casual yet modern, underwater-themed decor that includes dark-stained wood floors and mottled walls.
When The Melting Pot originally opened in 1975 just outside Orlando, diners had just three options: swiss-cheese fondue, beef fondue, or chocolate fondue. The restaurant first expanded four years later, when an enterprising waiter at the initial location opened up a new outpost in Tallahassee. Today, the company?now owned by that original waiter, Mark Johnston, and his brothers Mike and Bob?reigns as the premier fondue, wine, and drink restaurant, stretching across the U.S., Mexico, and Canada with more than 140 restaurants and plans to expand to Saudi Arabia and Dubai. The restaurant's menu has also expanded, and patrons can now select from six varieties of hot dipping cheese fondues paired with salads, entrees, and their signature chocolate fondue.
On a given night, groups of viscous-dip-loving foodies gather around tables to nosh on cheese-fondue appetizers and various salads while cooking a variety of steaks and seafood in a choice of one of three flavored broth or traditional oil styles. Birthday revelers and romance seekers cap decadent evenings sharing the chocolate desserts that have defined The Melting Pot for decades.
Though there’s a colorful mural running the length of the booths on one of Oasis Market & Grill’s walls, it’s probably not the widest thing in the restaurant. That honor goes to the menu, whose blend of American and Middle Eastern food doesn’t skimp on either culinary tradition. From the appetizer selection encapsulating wings, hummus, fried kibbeh, and much more to the lunch portion of the menu that situates pizzas and calzones right next to beef gyros and hummus tabbouleh sandwiches, the menu boldly brings together dishes from all over. Even the individual selections might blend different culinary influences. Take the Istanbuli pizza; it features soujok, peppers, and onions and a national identity that has to be triangulated between Turkey, the United States, and Italy. There are also the menu’s pasta dishes, which meld chicken kebabs and noodles or feature zesty Cajun shrimp and noodles. Conveniently, the bold and expansive menu still has room for younger palates with its equally diverse, if shorter, kids’ menu.
Unknowing passersby often overlook the inconspicuous entrance to Vanity due to its clever—albeit anachronistic—disguise as a telephone booth. A tribute to the profusion of speakeasy clubs that popped up in the Prohibition era, Vanity decorates its posh interior with black-and-white photos, vintage-inspired décor, and coat racks that look suspiciously like undercover cops.
However backwards-looking the décor, the menu reflects ultra-contemporary tastes with its mix of New American and Italian flavors. A selection of starters—aptly named "temptations"—include Italian eggrolls stuffed with shaved cold cuts, and "Vanity plates" include such colorful dishes as the Double Cross Delmonico rib-eye steak. Like any respectable speakeasy, Vanity features a lengthy drink menu with elderflower-flavored cocktails, sugar-rimmed martinis, and gin and tonics garnished with fresh eviction notices.