Royal Taj

The best Indian restaurants not only serve fantastic Indian cuisine, but they transport you for an hour or two to some mythical Delhi or Bombay that you may otherwise only experience in films or picture books. Royal Taj facilitates this flight of fancy for us with its elegant furnishings, its tchotchkes from the Subcontinent, and its Saturday nights featuring live Indian music and dance. Indian patrons often arrive in colorful saris, adding an additional touch of authenticity. And then there's the food itself, which is nothing less than excellent: crispy samosas filled with veggies or meat; mulligatawny soup, that fave of the Anglo-Indian upper class; a tandoori mixed grill, or any number of curries and masalas available; spicy kormas and vindaloos with lamb, chicken or both; and those splendid biryanis, the Indian equivalent of fried rice, with a mixture of lamb, chicken, nuts and raisins. Royal Taj offers a full bar, and doting service from its personnel. It's been in that same far corner of that same little shopping center since 1992, but new ownership has reinvigorated this establishment and made it shine like a pearl from the Bay of Bengal. Readers' Choice: Indian Delhi Palace

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