Before they opened Jai Ho in the spring of 2010, Sathya and Sujatha Narayan had never owned a restaurant. But they noticed a gap in this city's Indian offerings and decided to fill it — triumphantly. Jai Ho features a massive, mind-addling list of dishes rooted in the southern portion of the subcontinent, with specialties from Kerala, Hyderabad and Tamil Nadu that highlight such ingredients as coconut, pickled gongura (a native sorrel leaf) and mango, all stewed and combined with lentils, chicken, mutton or fish and packed with enough heat to make you break into a sweat. Those are supplemented by a handful of northern Indian preparations — paneers, samosas and tandoori chicken — as well as a few Indochinese offerings. One of those, the chili gobi, a fiery dish made with cauliflower florets, could be our very favorite food from any country.
Readers' Choice: Little India