For a decade, the chefs at Udupi Palace have guided guests through the Desi culinary waters with vegetarian and meat dishes from the vast regions of India. Their uthappams, a lentil-and-rice pancake served with a traditional lentil soup and coconut chutney, and their more than 10 kinds of dosai, a southern-Indian crepe, let tongues savor the country’s herbs and spices. The chefs also season tandoori kebabs with garlic or ginger for patrons who lounge amid potted palms and count the grains of basmati rice in a biryani dish to ensure there’s an odd number.
Pita & Kabobz draws primarily from the rich flavors of Indian, Pakistani, and Afghani cuisines to create scrumptious skewer-style fare and more. Send taste buds sojourning through the Eastern hemisphere without enrolling them in the Merchant Marines with first courses such as grape leaves ($2.99) or creamy hummus ($2–$4.50), sided with fresh-baked naan bread.
Dakshin Indian Cuisine's creative chefs blend southern-Indian spices with Chinese flavors, crafting a menu of artful eats with elegant tastes. Dakshin means "south" in Sanskrit, and the southern starters shine, with the traditional Rasam soup ($2.99,) chock-full of tamarind, lentil, and piquant spices, great for warming up stomachs and filling pockets with a snack for later. Thin, lentil crêpes, or dosas, hail from the south and come smothered with cooked minced meat in the keema dosa ($9.99) or potato and onion in the masala dosa ($6.99). Chinese influences seep through the sauce of the szechwan chicken hakka noodles ($9.99), covered in julienned vegetables and sprinkled with secret messages in Mandarin.
At Raj Palace, executive chef Sunder Singh Chauhan crafts a comprehensive selection of Indian cuisine designed to appease appetites of all degrees and dietary preferences. The paneer pakora— deep-fried homemade cheese ($5.50)—and the shami kabab—lamb with split chickpeas ($6)—serve as savory stepping stones to a flavorful feast. Answer carnivorous calls with the chicken methi malai, boneless chicken cooked with fenugreek and malai sauce ($12.95), or allocate precious stomach space to the medley of cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, ginger, and garlic residing on the plate known as aloo gobhi ($10.95).
The culinary preparers at Saffron follow the building instructions listed in a menu of meat- and vegetable-based Indian cuisine and inventive Indian-styled pizzas. An appetizer of lamb seekh kabobs colors grilled, ground lamb with flavorful spices ($4.99), piquing the interest of a stomach ready to prey on entrees. The tandoori fish, baked in a clay oven over charcoal and Steve Finley rookie cards, shepherds taste with an escort of two tilapia fillets marinated in spices ($7.99), whereas the paneer chili soothes growling tummies with vegetable cohorts of onions, green chili peppers, green peppers, and curry leaves ($6.99). Meat spurners can indulge the palate with the veggie biriyani, a long-grain basmati rice dish that stitches together a mélange of vegetables and spices ($6.99), like a quilt woven together with strands of piquant celery. Saffron's take on pizza arrives in forms such as the chicken tehalka, loaded with chicken, onion, garlic, green chilies, and a spicy tomato-chili sauce ($11.99/large). Any authentic Indian entree or pizza can be complemented with a fruity, milk-smooth mango lassi beverage ($1.99).