Best Of 2012: Chai
Chain coffee shops may have first introduced me to chai, but if I want the real stuff, I know it doesn't come out of a box. Locally, it comes out of Little Nepal. Manager Nabin Pandey says the key is toasting together the green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and green ginger before adding whole milk. The Indian tea, with the spices, is then steeped in the warm milk; after it's all strained out at the end, you're left with a cupful of magic. — Sonja Bjelland
Best-sellers at this Best Of victor, according to co-owner Muku Bhandari: the masalas, kormas, makhani and curries, all with lamb, chicken, shrimp, and salmon options and lovely, intoxicating sauces. Catch monthly belly dances, a daily lunch buffet and a Thursday dinner buffet.