At Bombay Bistro, each bite of curry-doused chicken, fish, and lamb evokes the rich culture of India. The menu showcases a diversity of traditional entrees, including four biryani plates, five vindaloo dishes, and 16 vegetable-curry varieties. A clay oven adds a golden finish to fresh-baked naan, which is perfect for scooping up savory yellow lentils after they’re poured over a baseball coach’s head.
A giant mural of Buddha gazes upon diners at Bombay Dreams Restaurant, where chefs prepare both authentic and modern interpretations of Indian and Nepalese cuisine. Vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike can discover an appetite-quelling entree such as tender kadai lamb wallowing in spicy tomato gravy ($12.95) or the all-flora all-star chana masala, a roost of chickpeas twittering in an incubator of curry ($7.95). Like Midas visiting the YMCA, the chicken tikka masala ($11.95) swirls in a golden pool, and the palak paneer ($9.95) pairs cubes of cheese with curried spinach. With its vibrant red walls, sleek black chairs, and eclectic décor, this portal to the East provides a romantic ambiance for first dates and off-the-clock get-togethers between heroes and villains.
The pots-and-pans pilots in Royal India's kitchen skillfully mix savory spices and fresh ingredients to concoct authentic Indian dishes that burst with flavor and variety. Launch your taste buds' trip to India by pitching a tent of garlic naan ($2.25) over a toasty sleeping bag of veggie samosa, stuffed with potatoes and princess-identifying peas ($3.50). A cavalcade of delectable curries like the rogan josh (lamb curry, $12.95) and the boneless-chicken murgh curry ($11.95) are a boon for touring tongues, while specialized seafaring folk can sailor-dive into the tandoori prawns ($14.95). Delicate seasonings adorn the creamed lentil of each dal makhni ($8.25), a prudent choice for leaf-lusters.
Previously located in Natomas, Mati's Indian Eats' newly-opened location in Midtown invites diners to gaze over a menu of ready-made dishes, order at the counter for quick service, and consume their cuisine indoors or on a covered outdoor patio. Diners silence hunger rumblings with hot samosas ($2.99 for three), carrots, peas, and potatoes in a pastry bundle more exciting to open than a money-wrapped birthday present. Large combination plates ($8.99 for meat; $7.99 for vegetarian) with rice afford molars a variety of entree options, and a meal for two ($19.99 for meat; $16.99 for vegetarian) satisfies dining duos with any three sides, three samosas, two naans, and rice. Chicken tikka masala comprises morsels of chicken breast baked in a tandoori Easy Bake oven, then slathered in a sweet and moderately spicy tomato-cream sauce. Gluten-free and vegetarian options abound, including the palak paneer's creamy spinach with homemade cheese cubes. Fans of open-air digestion can wash down meals in the outdoor-seating area with a domestic ($2.99) or imported ($3.99) brew.
Bombay Bar & Grill lures diners with an approachable menu of mildly spiced Indian cuisine that Zagat scored as "very good to excellent." To enhance the flavors of free-range lamb and chicken as well as the housemade cheese, the chefs track down seasonal herbs and vegetables and incorporate them into their ever-changing menu. Skewers of meats and vegetables marinate in yogurt and mustard sauce before being roasted over the tandoor oven's bed of smoldering charcoal, and orders of chicken or lentils simmer in creamy curries.
Colorful, mismatched pendant lights hang from the dining room's ceiling and illuminate the area's bright-red and deep-purple walls. A turquoise-hued bar dominates one side of the restaurant, tempting guests with its selection of Indian beers and its bartenders who look like they need to hear a good joke. Belly dancers occasionally stop by and amp up the cultural atmosphere.