Before diners even glance at OM’s menu, their eyes feast upon a banquet of Asian art. Colorful Thangka paintings and Buddhist statues handcrafted by more than 50 Nepalese, Tibetan, and Thai artists color the space, and intricate Newar carvings frame the walls and doorways. Upon sitting at one of the bare, rectangular tables, patrons exchange pleasantries with their chairs and read through a menu reflective of the art that surrounds them. For instance, small plates of spicy edamame and veggie spring rolls join full entrees of shrimp pad thai or salmon wrapped in tempura nori. An intricate drink list includes the mandarin kaze (orange vodka spiked with sichuan peppercorn) and the Bangkok julep (a blend of bourbon, elderflower, and mint).
Beneath the dining room, a downstairs lounge hosts a diverse lineup of events. Salsa lessons make use of the dance floor, and vinyl parties enable attendees to trade, sell, or just play their records. DJs take over the turntables on Saturday nights, and a cover band re-creates classic R & B tunes every Tuesday.
Tantric India Bistro’s chefs take taste buds on a culinary tour of India’s diverse regions. They draw from the traditions of Goa, Delhi, Kerala, and other areas to create South Indian chicken curry, lamb sautéed with apricots, shrimp vindaloo, and dosa crepes. Their vegan menu delights with specialties from southern India, including tandoor-roasted eggplant puree.
In the dining room, statues of buddhas draped with flowers stand among warm yellow and purple walls, watching over customers while they devour these delicacies and ensuring the servers don't trip over any loose pennies.
In addition to taking care of customers’ bellies, Tantric takes care of customers’ minds. Its Passion Lounge hosts guest lectures from locals who come to discuss topics ranging from eco-friendly practices to art to high heels for dogs. The restaurant also hosts a calendar of events such as opera-lover socials and holiday happenings.
In India, the word ghazal refers to love that persists through the pain of loss or separation. The owners of Ghazal Indian Cuisine chose their restaurant’s name to reflect their deep love for Indian food. To this end, they offer patrons authentic biryanis, tandoori dishes, and Punjabi-style sandwiches—sometimes with an unexpected, modern twist. Sparkling chandeliers gently illuminate the dining room as patrons dine at half-booths or tables.
Situated at the core of Davis Square, Diva Indian Bistro brims with the aromas of a menu that borrows from the culinary traditions of regions from Bangalore to Bombay. Beneath a bubbly goldenrod ceiling that looks like a collection of soft-lit skylights, patrons settle onto plump black benches to munch samosas and peruse offerings of lamb, seafood, beef, and tandoori dishes soaked in the warmth of the traditional clay oven. Saffron- and cardamom-scented basmati rice stars in biryani dishes, and dosas, a type of crepe crafted from rice and lentils, enclose chicken or veggie fillings alongside coconut chutney and lentil soup. The wall behind Diva’s bar mimics the ceiling’s rectangular bubble pattern in white, with a long row of blue glass bottles bisecting the surface. High black and chrome chairs slide up to the brushed-silver bar, where patrons murmur over cocktails and ice clicks occasionally like a tap dancer having a nice dream.
Soft music fills Yak & Yeti's confines, where a design installation of white crisscrossing cords twists along the green ceiling, creating a gauzy canopy above tables. Within this artistic-leaning space, servers carry plates of India and Nepal's native cuisines, much of which are made with naturally low-fat ingredients such as chicken and vegetables. More than 120 culinary creations—from steamed chicken dumplings to boneless lamb—send their enticing aromas through the dining room and to waiting diners. In the kitchen, flames flicker in the clay tandoori oven as it bakes and crisps fish, naan, and kebabs. Complementing these main attractions are glassfuls of traditional beverages such as mango lassi or desserts of sweet milk balls, which chefs fry in a sugar syrup.
The chefs at Masala rain Indian and Nepali seasonings down upon succulent meats slow-cooked inside a tandoor clay oven and simmered veggies flooded with sauce. Divided into two, Masala’s menu features Indian favorites such as curries, skewered lamb cubes, and 13 types of Indian bread, including hand-stretched garlic naan, as well as Nepali dishes such as mo-mo cha steamed dumplings filled with veggies or chicken. Within the eatery’s yellow-hued walls, a full bar cohabitates with a daily lunch buffet, which arranges tasty eats in a row, like a police lineup of the California Raisins.