In Indian culture, Moksha signifies the release from transmigration, or the endless cycle of death and rebirth. It's fitting that Moksha Restaurant Bar & Lounge bears the name, as it has reinvented and added to its menu of traditional Indian cuisine numerous times to critical acclaim. It recently won America's Best Food Award in the Los Angeles Times. Moksha's clay ovens steam with tandoori chicken and chicken tikka, while pots of curries bubble with seasoning and assorted vegetables. Indo-Chinese dishes such as lettuce wraps, fried wontons, and General Tsao's chicken give the menu pan-asian flare. Vegetarian dishes populate every page of the menu, from curries overflowing with veggies to tofu masala.
The chefs at Saffron Indian Cuisine & Bar believe Indian cooking is built around three main factors: ingredients, proportions, and timing. It’s a blueprint they've based on generations of family recipes, with which they never stop experimenting. Thus, like a crash-test dummy with a love for avant-garde fashion, the restaurant does not shy away from taking risks. Diners reap the benefits when they savor such house specialties as sutra lamb, which features boneless pieces of lamb cooked with ginger, onion, garlic, and yogurt.
Trial and error aside, Saffron's kitchen staff does abide to many traditional forms of Indian cooking as well. It uses tandoori ovens, for instance, to prepare dishes such as mirchi tikka, a spicy combination of chicken, cayenne, and lime. Fourteen vegetarian entrees, nine of which are vegan, and build-your-own curry dishes arrive atop tables bedecked with tangerine-hued cloths. Rich, fringed red curtains surround the dining area and capture the light flickering from tabletop lanterns.
The brown aromas of sizzling meats beckon guests into Taj Mahal's robin-egg-blue-emblazoned dining room, where servers carry colorful dishes that honor both Northern and Southern Indian cuisine. Inside the kitchen, chefs man the up-to-800-degree flames of a traditional tandoor oven, grilling spiced chicken, marinated fish kebabs, and succulent lamb. Thirteen types of leavened bread, including Taj Special naan stuffed with tender chicken and nuts, allow incisors to practice before the meaty main meals. Outside of the standard menu, the kitchen serves up all-you-can eat lunch buffets and Sunday brunches. They can also tailor the amount of spices in each meal, preparing entrees that range from mild to extra hot.
At Streets of India Caf?, savory South Indian snacks tickle tongues before chicken, lamb, or vegan substitutes leap from lakes of curry onto awaiting taste buds. Patrons lounging amid sage-green and orange d?cor or sitting outside beneath green umbrellas can nibble on South Indian dosas, idlis, and vadas while measuring the hypotenuse on triangular samosas. Vegan palates can swap in meat substitutes for lamb vindaloo or savor masala dishes packed with okra or jackfruit, and midday diners feast at an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet.
Inspired by the traditional handmade clay oven, or tandoor, that roasts many of its signature dishes and breads, Tandoori Grill specializes in slow-cooked Indian recipes. White-meat chicken marinates overnight in a special house sauce before joining herb-steeped lamb and fish in the oven. Curries and kormas flavor lamb, chicken, prawns, and vegetables ready to be scooped up with 11 varieties of naan and other flatbreads. In the dining rom, paintings of the Taj Mahal and other Indian scenes dot burgundy-colored walls that match the tablecloths and clash terribly with redheads.
In simplified fashion, karma is illustrated in the dining room of Karma Restaurant Bar & Lounge each day. Polite waiters are rewarded for their work with tips, and diners reap the benefits of their past acts of kindness while enjoying meals with good friends. The menu offers a full spectrum of traditional Indian dishes, from rich lamb-coconut curry to vegan-friendly plates of yellow daal, all perfectly scooped up with soft pieces of plain, garlic, or olive naan. To bolster the dining experience, the staff surrounds guests with Indian artwork and pairs dishes with classic beverages such as masala-infused chai tea or mango lassi.