The complexity of Indian spices can be intimidating at first. Curries explode in a huge range of colors, bestowed by ginger, coriander, basil, and peppers. Cardamom pods, cloves, and bean-like tamarind look alien at first glance. Arun Puri, head chef at Royal Khyber, harnesses that intricacy, artfully folding more than 38 different herbs and spices into innovative north Indian dishes with healthy twists.
The chef, who has been lauded by publications including the Daily Pilot, uses cream, butter, and oils sparingly, instead whipping up lighter sauces and tandoori breads fortified with protein powder. As he works, mesquite charcoals blaze within an imported tandoori clay oven, grilling meat, seafood, and poultry dishes at temperatures of up to 450 degrees, hot enough to melt diamonds back into delicious carbon. Out in the dining hall, the dishes pair with fine wines and cocktails among cushy silk pillows and intricate Indian artwork.
The Dinner Detective eschews campy costumes and plots for an exciting evening of food-accompanied mystery and paranoia, where actors hide among the diners, playing innocent and making everyone a potential suspect. To solve the crime, guests freely interrogate one another, chivvying out clues about the murderer and determining who has a bloodthirsty look in their eyes. Between dramatic deaths and simulated police involvement, guests dig into three-course meals, washed down with bottomless iced tea, coffee, and drinks from the cash bar. The diner who comes closest to solving the mystery through their snooping goes home with a prize basket to show off to their friends or split with the murderer as per their shadowy conspiracy. Prop guns and gunshot sound effects may be used during the performance.
After the popularity of Anabella and Salvador Corona?s first El Pollo Norteno restaurant in Santa Ana, they began to expand to more locations, each of which serves healthy, homestyle Mexican food. Mesquite charcoal heightens the flavors of charbroiled-chicken dishes, and catering trays liven up parties otherwise filled with awkward silences. Family packs of dinners, along with tacos, burritos, and quesadillas a la carte, feed the entire family.
At first glance, South Coast Pizza Parlors might look like an ordinary family pizza joint. The requisite video and redemption games chirp and ring near the entrance. Six big-screen televisions flicker with sporting events. But the difference is in the pizza--the kitchen crew crafts dough and sauce fresh every single day, drizzling pies with classic toppings such as green peppers and pepperoni, as well as more non-traditional options including vegan cheese and soy chorizo.
Euro Caffe's intimate space abounds with European atmosphere, thanks to touches such as tile floors and outdoor patio umbrellas adorned with lights. This European sensibility also extends to the kitchen, which serves up simple eats such as grilled Italian-style paninis, waffles, and its main offering—savory and sweet crepes.
Savory options arrive tableside stuffed with smoked bacon and avocado or housemade pesto and prosciutto. Sweet ones ooze with Nutella and peaches or melted brownies and vanilla ice cream. Everything is made in-house daily using ingredients from local suppliers or the refrigerator of a neighbor. And like any good European cafe, Euro Caffe plies patrons with organic Italian Illy coffee, espresso drinks, and fine teas.
Settle into the capacious dining area and notice how the colors on the walls perfectly match the salsa, likely meaning it's possible to dip chips in the walls. Snap back to reality and get to appetizing with a pair chicken or steak flautas with chipotle dipping sauce ($6.35) or some carnitas nachos ($4.95). Big burritos comprise the core of the menu—nab the steak species to taste queso fresco and grilled bell pepper ($7.95), the fish to taste chimayo tartar and mahimahi ($7.95), or the California veggie with zucchini and avocado to keep it strictly unmeaty ($5.70). If you prefer unwrapped eats, opt for a shrimp taco ($3.50), the cheese enchiladas ($5.95), or a combination of entrees ($8.99+). Those dining during dinner will receive a free flan for dessert.