Zeno's—positioned in the heart of Victorian Village—fosters its lighthearted atmosphere with pool, darts, and other diversions alongside an extensive menu of bar fare and drinks. Scale the Nacho Zeno, which sports a scenic mountain range of tortilla chips draped in cheese, chili, black olives, and fried carabiners ($6). Meanwhile, the oven-toasted italian sub brims with ham, salami, veggies, and italian dressing ($6.50), and the petite rib eye sidekicks its 6 ounces of seasoned steak with fries and coleslaw ($7.25).
Momo2 encourages friends and families to pummel bowling pins, execute pool-trick shots, and belt out classic karaoke tunes. Patrons can quell belly rumblings with selections from Momo2's expansive menu of pub fare and drinks while comrades compete for lane supremacy on one of four bowling lanes ($2.50–$4.50/person). Brush up on geometry at the alley's twin pool tables ($2–$3.50 for an hour/person) and wear bowling shoes ($3/person) while tapping the eight ball in accordance with new regulations from the U.S. Department of Billiards. Aspiring singers can perform renditions of more than 90,000 songs in 10 different karaoke rooms of varying sizes ($25/hour for a medium room). Each karaoke room delights visitors with unique decor, such as a wall-mounted black hole that occasionally summons the specter of Elvis for a duet.
Unlike a pirate-ship kitchen, The Shrunken Head lets its visitors munch on a variety of veggie-friendly, locally sourced, and organic items that aren’t served with a side of gunpowder. Breakfast is served on weekdays until 11 a.m. and until 3 p.m. on weekends. Start the day off with an organic cappuccino ($3.25, $3.75) and The Big Lebowski's platter of two buttermilk pancakes topped with eggs ($5.50), which provides much more energy than you'd get sucking on a D-cell battery. The lunch and dinner menu features local farm meats, organic milk, local bread, and space spices that are delivered daily via teleportation. Try a fiery volcano burger with jalapeños and Montezuma chipotle-barbecue sauce ($8.75), a French-brie bagel sandwich ($6.50), or a hummus plate with olive oil and pitas ($6.25). Patrons can also soak in The Shrunken Head's tiki-bar vibe and kick back on a scenic outdoor deck that doesn’t encroach on the borders of any local jungle tribes.
Uninitiated Indian foodies can enter the chambers of Taj Mahal's bountiful menu of flavorful fare with a safe yet savory sampling of garlic naan ($3.50) paired with a plate of deep-fried cutlets packed with mashed potatoes and veggies peppered in spicy herbs ($5). Main plates will satisfy carnivores and vegetarians alike, with options ranging from boldly spiced chicken vindaloo pinched with lemon and vinegar ($15) to navrattan curry, which features nine garden-fresh friends hanging out in a simmering pool of yogurt, cashews, cream, and butter ($13). No matter the dish, you get to choose how much you'd like the chef to spice it up; specify whether you'd like it mild, medium, sporty, spicy, really spicy, or "Shiva's sweat," which requires you to sign a waiver first.
As Basil’s doors flung open in 2009, the Columbus Dispatch reported on the owner's inspiration: his mother Judy Ruanphae’s string of successful Thai restaurants—beginning with Thai Village in Chicago’s Wicker Park—that she ran with her husband while her son Rhome was growing up. Rhome borrowed his mother’s culinary mastery for Basil, which teleports taste buds to Thailand with a menu of authentic southeast-Asian cuisine. Chefs gather rice or egg noodles to lay the foundation for many entrees, such as specialty kee mow, a soft or crispy maelstrom of rice noodles with thai basil, tomatoes, and bell peppers. The menu also features a rainbow of curry dishes, soups, done-up salads, and appetizers to keep ravenous diners from eating their napkins.
The seasoned confines of a former antique shop welcome diners to Basil, decked out with bare brick and a retro advertisement for ice painted on the back wall. As a glittering chandelier casts light on colorful curries, wine-dark panels of varnished wood gaze at diners from the wall, and exposed lengths of ductwork add a neoindustrial aesthetic without the overkill of steam-powered dessert trays or austere Orwellian maitre d's.
Deep-fried sweet potato, jalapeño aioli, honey-infused wasabi. These aren’t ingredients found on the traditional sushi menu, but the chefs at Red Bar & Sushi somehow incorporate them into their lengthy repertoire of specialty rolls. The team puts their imagination to good use, designing innovative maki such as the UFC roll—crab, eel, jalapeño, and cucumber rolled together and deep-fried in a tempura batter—or the simple, but sophisticated, Samba roll made from tuna, cilantro, and avocado. Red Bar’s chefs offer the classics as well, including fresh servings of salmon, yellowtail, and octopus sashimi, and what they call “standard” sushi rolls, like the california roll crammed with crab and avocado or the philadelphia roll made with cream cheese.