Chefs at Delhi Palace craft each piece of clay-oven-baked bread from scratch, evincing an attention to detail that helped earn them the title of Best Indian Restaurant 2010 from readers of the Free Times. Plain, topped with garlic, or stuffed with peppers or potatoes, this bread soaks up sauces from goat, lamb, and seafood dishes on the à la carte menu, and also pairs with vegetarian dishes formed from housemade cheese or roasted eggplants. In addition, lunch and dinner buffets lay out traditional dishes under the dark wood arches, ivory-painted columns, and Indian-style murals of the dining room.
The eclectic assortment of unique pizzas and salads at zpizza houses all manner of fresh, health-conscious ingredients. The Thai pie lets spicy chicken splash with carrots and bean sprouts in a pool of peanut sauce, and the Casablanca hosts a color-coordinated collection of artichoke hearts, ricotta, and mushrooms atop roasted garlic sauce. Wheat- or a dairy-free, certified organic crust waits eagerly to pinch hit for every pizza on the menu including the Berkeley Vegan topped with veggie burger crumbles, vegan cheese, and, like a farmer daughter’s tea parties, hosts five different vegetables.
At The British Bulldog Pub, British-born owners Mark Bowyer and Bill Quirk team up with the American-born Rob Sharpley to create a fun-for-all atmosphere that's enhanced by live music, televised games, and a profusion of frothy ales on tap. While English Premier League soccer games engage fans throughout the bar, patrons may peruse chef Damian Wanek's authentic pub menu, introduced by starters such as the scotch egg ($8), hard-boiled and hidden from pipe-smoking detectives under the disguise of breaded ground sausage. At dinner tables, traditional island favorites such as bangers and mash ($11) share space with more imperial international cuisine, such as the braised chicken curry ($13) backstroking in a creamy and tomato-y sauce. The beef-and-Guinness pie ($10) encapsulates braised beef, mushrooms, and vegetables under a baked, flaky crust and may be chased with bites of Guinness chocolate cake ($6) or Guinness-coated high-fives.
The culinary team at Tsunami fixes up a veritable feast for the eyes with artfully plated Japanese delicacies festooned with sprigs of herbs, splashes of sauce, and colorful garnishes. Flames rage as hibachi chefs blast rib-eye steaks, scallops, and vegetables on their sizzling grills, and the restaurant’s sushi-rolling savants coil specialty rolls such as the Emperor, which surprises tasters with hidden stashes of fried soft-shell crab, cucumber, eel, shrimp, and avocado. At Tsunami's four locations, diners polish off plates in a sleek, modern dining room with candles in faceted glass votives, a bar backlit with lights that slowly change colors, and waiters who can speak fluent binary code.
The straws are wide by design at Bubble Tea Cafe, where the staff cooks chewy balls of tapioca daily to plunk into their customers' cups. These "bobas" add an interactive element to the Taiwanese beverages. Available in more than 40 flavors, including blueberry, avocado, spiced chai, and peanut butter, the frosty drinks comprise the bulk of the cafe's menu, but share space with hot and iced tea variants such as mojito mint-lime. Guests can even mix their bubble tea types to create creamy combinations—the Bananas Foster mixes banana and caramel, whereas the Boba Loca blends honeydew and almond—and pair their personalized sips with one of many rotating desserts.
Tropical Smoothie Café's wholesome smoothies are filled to the gills with fresh fruit, juices, yogurt, chocolate, nuts, and healthful supplements, minimizing the guilt of dessert consumption to a soft heartbeat that emanates from the floorboards. Pomegranate Plunge (pomegranate, banana, strawberries, cranberry, $4.99) harnesses the nutritious hunger-fighting power of superfruit, and delectable low-fat elixirs such as Mango Magic (mango, pineapples, nonfat yogurt, $4.29) hoodwink gullible taste buds into believing they are traversing a candy factory full of whipped-cream lollipops.