Chefs at Little India's four locations infuse authentic Indian dishes with fresh and exotic ingredients, earning Top of the Town awards from 5280 magazine for "a decade running." The culinary creatives concoct a taste-bud-tempting lot of specialty dishes, from the butter chicken to the super-hot lamb madras, which makes taste buds sweat with scantily clad seasonings. Vegetarians can spoon a kaleidoscope of meat-free dishes, including the dahl makhani, lentils cooked with tomato and savory spices. Guests sip mood-enhancing beverages from the bar, and the friendly wait staff places plated Indian delicacies and unplated charades suggestions at their fingertips.:m]]
Saucy Bombay solves cravings for Indian food, fast. While at the eatery's food-court location, guests pick out their favorites cafeteria-style, starting with chicken, steak, lamb, vegetables, or garbanzo, then picking a sauce. The flavorful concoction might be a mild yellow lentil or a spicy tikka masala, guaranteed to make one roar cartoon flames. Diners can keep their plates traditional with a bed of basmati rice, or get everything rolled into a grilled wrap.
Aromatic herbs weasel their way into almost every dish at Real Thai, where chefs add a liberal sprinkling of chilies, basil, lemongrass, galangal, and lime leaf to create their signature dishes. These can take the form of entrees such as green curry that's infused with coconut milk or drunken noodles that are free of inhibition. However, not every dish is built upon a foundation of noodles or rice. They also whip up specialties such as eggplant stuffed with ground chicken and shrimp and drizzled in eel sauce.
Bombay Bowl's owner, Amar, says he "grew up in an East Indian kitchen," where he attentively learned his family's generations-old knowledge of the region's aromatic and salutary spices. Although his menu features the familiar combinations of turmeric, ginger, and coriander, he set out to infuse his Indian cuisine with a home-style casual, health-conscious environment. The cooks eschew trans fats and artificial flavorings, seeking out all-natural beef and chicken, chopping vibrant vegetables, and baking fresh naan in their kitchen instead. With these ingredients, diners can choose a bowl of long-grain basmati rice topped with meaty or vegetarian proteins, sauces, and chutneys. The chefs also whip up gluten-free and vegan options, accommodating virtually any diet.
With a menu that's earned the restaurant four wins for Best Indian on CityVoter's A-List since 2007, Little India is the product of Simeran Baidwan's passion for native cooking. At the original outpost on Sixth Avenue and a newer location on Downing Street, fresh ingredients and scratch-made sauces combine to form house favorites such as lamb korma, chicken tikka masala, and shrimp vindaloo. A roster of tandoor-fired meats take on the smoky flavor of the oven's mesquite charcoal, and sides of fresh-baked naan arrive unadorned, sprinkled with garlic, or stuffed with onions and spices. Meals unfold in dining rooms adorned with sleek seating arrangements, festive Indian artwork, and illuminated bar displays that depict the ancient creation myth of the gin and tonic.