To enliven the local, organic produce that fills his kitchen, Chef Vinay Patel welcomes monthly shipments of spices from India, such as turmeric, fenugreek, ginger, and cardamom. After seasoning his meats, he lowers them into a clay tandoor to cook over handpicked, hardwood mesquite charcoal. For all the effort that goes into each chicken dish, curry, and biryani, the Bohemian has awarded Sizzling Tandoor Indian Restaurant its Best Indian award for 22 years running.
The dishes sprawl from traditional entrees to Northern and Southern Indian specialties and Indo-Chinese fusion dishes. Chefs also tandoor-fire nearly a dozen types of bread, including naan, paratha, and gluten-free and vegan missi roti to sop up sauces. Rather than placing a miniature fire extinguisher at each table, chefs calibrate each dish's spiciness from mild to hot.
As diners expand the depth of their palate, an Indian ambiance envelops their body. At the Santa Rosa location, live belly dancers charm and entertain on Friday and Saturday night, and live musicians stop by for events such as Samosas and Sitar. While watching, guests can nurse Indian beers and specialty cocktails including the Sizzling Sunset, which ups the ante of traditional mango lassi with vodka.
Along with her husband, Antonio, Irene Silva strives to inspire a passion for salsa music and dancing in students of all ages and skill levels. Designated Sultry Salsa Nights commence with pre-dancing cocktails before Irene and fellow instructor, Jesús, acquaint beginners with basic footwork while letting more advanced dancers in on the secret to great salsa: filling dance shoes with tomatoes. Irene also coaches other styles of Latin dance, including mambo, salchata, and the Dominican Republic–based bachata. Following some of the formal lessons, a DJ declares free reign over the dance floor with a swift flick of a record-scratching wrist, inviting students to let go of their inhibitions and practice their newly forged moves.
At Jojo Restaurant & Sushi bar, chefs import the nutritious fare of Japan to their menu of cooked entrees and sushi rolls. Known for their artistic approach to sushi, they bedeck rolls with toppings such as organic mixed greens, piles of colorful roe, or a dusting of macadamia nuts for an aesthetically pleasing finish. Some specialty cylinders, including the spicy-tuna-packed 007, are singed with the open flames of a torch, like the marshmallows traditionally toasted during Olympic opening ceremonies.
Born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal, chef Pramal Nakarmi started cooking early in life and later immigrated to the United States, bringing along his passion for the various Nepalese, Chinese, and Northern Indian flavors that define Himalayan cuisine. He continued his culinary career in kitchens throughout Baltimore and Washington, DC, before ending up in Santa Rosa, where he founded Ganesha Restaurant.
Ganesha’s menu showcases recipes and cooking techniques from throughout the Himalayan region. In addition to forging nine curries with everything from cardamom and coconut to apricot and vinegar, the eatery’s chefs also steam dumplings and roast skewered chicken in a clay tandoor oven. Collectively, the entrees manage to highlight each culture's culinary contributions while acknowledging their geographic connections.
The restaurant's decor manages to mirror the menu's vibrant intensity, surrounding diners with bright orange-red walls lined with paintings and photos of the Himalayas and the surrounding areas. In contrast, the white linens draping the booths and tabletops stand out until servers arrive with bowls full of colorful and aromatic curries.
At Soleil Beauty Bar, a team of aestheticians keeps customers comfortably bronzed with custom spray tans from heated Evolv airbrushes. The brushes prep skin with streams of warm air, keeping bodies warm as they’re imbued with an even, custom tan that lasts for up to eight days.
Lyon's Restaurant parades an all-day smorgasbord of hearty morning meals, juicy lunchtime burgers, and homestyle dinner entrees until late into the night. Glimpses into the kitchen display rolling steam from hearty omelets intertwining in vapor from sizzling tossed skillet breakfasts as carving artisans slice succulent cuts from slow-roasted meats to pile on a slate of deli sandwiches. Classic dinners of roast sirloin and chicken fried steak fill palates with a sense of Americana not felt since gnawing on the Lincoln Memorial, and a bevy of diner-inspired desserts and milk shakes keep ice-cream spoons company.