Ha Nam Ninh is best known for its “#25 Dry”—also known as the hu tieu nam vang. It's a bowl of shrimp, calamari, fish balls, ground pork, shredded chicken, and noodles accompanied by separate bowls of broth and sauce and a plate of bean sprouts.
Though the admission process is decidedly less complicated than during its Prohibition-era days as a “cigar shop”, Bourbon & Branch still operates under a set of house rules designed to maintain its subdued atmosphere. Named after the old-fashioned term for bourbon and water, this modern-day speakeasy serves up small-batch liquors poured from hand-numbered bottles of Noah’s Mill and a handful of the only 1,200 bottles of Glenmorangie Margaux Finish in the country. The speakeasy's ability to conjure evasive spirits surely helped land them on Esquire’s list of Best Bars in America; the magazine said their cocktails “would have made a pre-Prohibition Broadway dandy nod in approval.” Despite the bar’s clandestine setup, the staff is far from secretive about their approach to mixing cocktails. The on-site Beverage Academy hosts an all-encompassing Cocktails 101 course, as well as sessions devoted to single liquors. In these classes, students can study gin’s escalation up the social ladder or examine how rum helped the cocktail become what it is today.
The Vibe: The restaurant has a no-frills atmosphere. But people don’t come here for the decor, they come here for the food.
Inside Tip: There’s a particular order to ordering at Shalimar. Take a menu, claim a table, and only then proceed to the counter—your food will appear either there or at your table. While you’re at the counter grab some hot chai from the dispenser. Pay afterward.
Awards and Accolades
Peter Morrison is the consummate performer. He's charismatic and charming, and his witty, but clean comedy makes his magic show something the whole family can enjoy. Peter's passion for magic shines through during his 75-minute shows, where, donned in a tuxedo, he performs everything from sleight-of-hand card tricks to cutting-edge illusions that leave viewers scratching their heads.
The doors to Marrakech Magic Theater open one hour prior to every show. During this time, guests are invited to gather for cocktails and appetizers inside the Moroccan-style Sultan's Oasis lounge. But this isn't just any pre-show gathering—Peter visits with every group, getting to know his guests by name and performing magic tricks up-close-and-personal. It's a rare case of a performer doubling as his opening act, and it starts the evening on a friendly note.
The theater’s intimate 45-person setup means there's not a bad seat in the house, placing all attendees mere feet from the stage. Subtle touches throughout make visits all the more enjoyable, starting with a candlelit entryway and continuing into the ornate, red-colored lounge. The elegant design might have you assuming the theater has been that way for decades, but think again: Peter did it all himself, right down to the chandeliers.
While curry may bring to mind spicy Indian dishes, the Japanese variety is only tangentially related to that country. Curry in its Japanese form came to exist through a game of culinary telephone. In the 1800s, Britons brought back curry powder from India, but they failed to bring along any native recipes. Instead, British chefs turned to French techniques, making a thick roux with flour and butter before adding curry spices.
The Japanese became enthralled with the dish when a craze for Western culture hit the country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and now this simple entree is considered a national dish. In Japan, the curry sauce is mixed with potatoes, carrots, onions, and most often beef (but sometimes tofu or other meat or seafood) and served with sticky white rice. The delicious end result is sweeter and milder than Indian curry.