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.
Taste of the Himalayas' chefs combine the international zest of Nepalese, Indian, and Tibetan spices with the homey flavors of locally sourced ingredients. They use free-range chicken or wild salmon to forge aromatic curries and tandoori-roasted entrees, as well as a selection of organic vegetables that rotates seasonally. In addition to praising the accessibility of the menu's southern Asian comfort foods, the Pacific Sun applauded the servers' dedication to creating a welcoming ambience, claiming, "it's as if you've come into their home for a meal."
This hominess lends warmth to the dining room's decidedly modern aesthetic, which includes large, oblong pendant lamps, dark-tile flooring, and burnt-orange walls with displays of unframed artwork. The open kitchen sits within full view of the main seating area, allowing diners to watch as the chefs plate orders and reenact the best scenes from Julia Child's autobiography.
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.
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 sautéed 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.
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.
Kennedy's Irish Pub & Indian Curry House is equal parts traditional Celtic watering hole and Indian restaurant. Chefs whip up a full menu of Indian specialties such as deep-fried pakoras and succulent tandoori meats until 1 a.m., when the kitchen appliances come to life. A hefty selection of domestic and imported brews flows from the taps, waiting to be soaked up by bar snacks including fries anointed with the pub's signature curry sauce. Ten televisions line the dining room, broadcasting high-definition sporting events to round out entertainment offerings of foosball, pool, and air hockey, in which flying hockey players slap at a winged puck.