True to its name, many of the dishes at Clay Oven Grill & Bar are cooked inside a tandoor. Within the oven's heated clay depths, slabs of goat, lamb, chicken, and seafood sizzle, sending their aromas throughout the dining room. As the meats cook, chefs marinate them in a range of Indian sauces, from the salmon and jumbo shrimp's blend of yogurt and spices to the lamb's coconut-based curry. The tandoor isn't just for meat, however. The oven also fires up up naan stuffed with dried fruit, nuts, and cheeses, as well as vegetarian specialties such as the mushroom masala. Servers whisk each of these platters to guests seated at cushy booths in the dining room. During meals, the restaurant's walls glow with warm tones of saffron yellow and ruby red, offset by metal lanterns that glow when their genies are at home.
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.
Namaste Nepal takes its name and warm ambiance from the reverent Indian greeting, "Namaste," but the piping-hot helpings on each plate transcend cultural and geographic labels. Chinese, Indian, Tibetan, and Nepalese recipes contribute to the menu, filling a flavor spectrum that runs from pleasantly tangy to sizzling hot. Each dish is prepped to order using natural ingredients and often prompts speculation as to the size of the kitchen's spice cabinet. Notes of cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and saffron tantalize the nose, underlined with the scent of charcoal-roasted meat—chicken, lamb, fish, and shrimp—cooked in the tandoor and marinated in creamy yogurt sauce.
Careful combinations of these herbs and entrees lead to staples such as chicken tikka masala, as well as specialties such as boneless lamb with red chili sauce and tamarind. One of several vegetarian offerings, muttar paneer pairs housemade cheese with green peas, and four types of samosas entice diners to start meals by biting into crispy shells instead of by inconspicuously gnawing the tablecloth. Guests also can peruse well-stocked buffets at lunchtime and order group platters for catered events.