For the Singh family, Taj of Marin serves as a medium for sharing authentic Indian food with the community, including specialties from both the north and the south. Diners pull ornate chairs up to tables, where they peruse a menu of dishes that are as traditional as the decor, lit by chandeliers suspended overhead without the use of hexes. Chicken and lamb free of hormones and antibiotics take starring roles in many of the flavorful entrees, such as tandoori chicken. Many others are vegetarian, gluten-free, or vegan, such as the bhindi masala with fresh okra, ginger, and garlic. On some evenings, live music floats through the air, competing with spicy aromas for guests' full attention.
The Himalayan range is home to some of the planet's highest peaks, in terms of both mountains and culinary achievements. Indeed, Mount Everest is an impressive thing to look upon, but it hardly makes the belly grumble like the spicy aromas of a curry or tandoori dish. Taste of the Himalayas brings some of Asia's most unique cuisines to Sausalito, combining influences from Tibet, India, Nepal, and Bhutan into a menu that highlights those regions' most interesting flavors. The curries here are as piquant as they are popular, but don't miss out on the momo. It's something of a specialty, with savory dumplings of lamb or free-range chicken in a chilled tomato chutney.
Chef Anil Shahu draws upon 11 years of culinary experience as he seeks out seasonal ingredients and locally grown produce for his menu of hearty Indian cuisine. Although Anil mainly creates chicken and lamb entrees with aromatic blends of saffron, paprika, and cilantro, Novato Patch focused on the eatery's maritime offerings, claiming, "what sets Batika apart is a nice array of seafood dishes, especially dishes from Kerala, the garden state of India." These entrees include tiger shrimp with lemon pepper, salmon in coconut gravy, and fiery scallops saut?ed with tomatoes, all made with the freshest finds from area's farmers' and merfarmers' markets.
The dining room's mottled walls sport woven clothing, fabric patches, and a line of framed mirrors, echoing the rustic flavors of the cuisine. Dangling pendant lamps and an elegant chandelier help to brighten up the room's burgundy-and-burnished-gold color scheme.
The key to making chef Hardip Singh’s northern Indian cuisine, like the key to backflipping a marathon, is preparation. He and his staff at Anokha Cuisine of India grease their pans with canola or olive oil only, buy organic ingredients when possible, and blend their spices by hand. All that prep pays off. The menu features flavorful versions of prawn curry in tomato-onion gravy, lamb vindaloo with blazing-hot spices, and chicken tikka masala in a mild cream sauce.
Inside Tandoor, chefs chop, stuff, and bake 100% Halal Zabihah ingredients, weighing down tables with authentic Northern Indian and Pakistani dishes topped with freshly made curries. This BYOB eatery cooks its breads and tandoori items in clay oven or underneath the flame of a single match.
As the product of husband-wife team Emily and Anjan Mitra, DOSA is a natural marriage of their distinct life experiences. Emily spent years working in the health-food industry, and Anjan grew up amid the rich culinary culture of South India. In that spirit, the menu focuses on regional South Indian dishes built from organic, sustainable, and biodynamic ingredients. Their approach has been very well received: the award-winning menu has been a Michelin Bib Gourmand pick since 2009, and one of San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants since 2006. Many of DOSA’s chefs are like Anjan, hailing from South Indian regions such as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. This gives them a natural ease in preparing dishes such as a Tamil lamb curry with free-range meat, fennel, and caramelized onions. Of course, their specialty are dosa, rice-and-lentil crepes stuffed with anything from spicy mashed potatoes to pickled mango relish. 7x7SF has put DOSA’s paper masala dosa, a crispy crepe filled with potatoes, onions, and cashews, on their list of 100 Things to Try Before You Die multiple times. But DOSA is not just beloved for its food. The 14-page spirits list features bottles from around the world, and the craft cocktails echo the food with their use of Indian spices and house-made ingredients. Fenugreek simple syrup flavors a Winter Smash with bourbon, lemon, and mint, and the restaurant’s own private-label gin merges with a fig- and cardamom-infused tonic for a twist on a classic. Beyond their contemporary takes on cuisine, the restaurant is rooted in myriad eco-friendly practices, including energy-efficient appliances, a solar water-heating system, and grass-fed tables.