The Poncey-Highland tapas spot that has grown steadily in popularity since its opening a few years back is a true neighborhood restaurant, chef-owned and community-based. The food is made with a measure of soul that is impossible to fake. Chef Hector Santiago infuses his menu with Spanish flavors that have been filtered through the culture of South America, bringing a brightness and a tropical edge that warms the cuisine.
You won't notice the dodgy decor when eating at this Punjabi Indian eatery. No oil-laden dishes or one-curry-fits-all spicing here, just simply great Indian food. Be sure to try the meltingly tender lamb tikka and the phenomenal naan bread.
The new location is relatively larger than their old shack that made them so famous. There still isn't much in the way of decor, but the ambiance is inviting. Their menu has grown to a full four pages of specialties built on a foundation of core dishes that made the former location a hot spot. The delicate skins of the soup dumplings that they are best known for bulge with juices, tender pork and subtle hints of green onion. A splash of tangy soy dipping sauce counteracts the inherent richness of the dish. They are better than they've ever been.
Lunch features delicious sandwiches, soups and quiches; evenings offer a tapas menu that is the best in town. Little Spanish-style marinated ribs, grilled octopus, skewered prawns and luscious Manilla clams are among the offerings.
If you've never ventured into a Korean barbecue restaurant but have an inkling that tons of grilled meat cooked in front of you might be fun, then get thee to Honey Pig. It's about the most delicious, least intimidating Korean restaurant imaginable. This isn't to say that Honey Pig is inauthentic or watered down. On the contrary, the samgyeopsal jip is a specialized Korean barbecue house that deals in pork belly. There are numerous pork belly options, including a number of marinated versions, but the house specialty--the honey pig--is the way to go. Winner of Best Korean 2009.
A clever, classy take on the crossroads cuisine of Malaysia, one of Asia's sleeping tigers. Whole fish with Thai sauce, pancakes with chicken curry, satays, noodles and crisp vegetables -- all with a moderately spicy kick -- are authentic, approachable and well-prepared. The setting, a bamboo summerhouse with all the latest conveniences, matches the upbeat, sunny ambiance.
You can easily go overboard at Mezza ordering lots of the Middle Eastern appetizers for which the restaurant is named. If you come with a group of three or more, try the family meal option.