Royal Kabob

As the name implies,
there are kabobs here. But it’s with the first
bite of vibrant free-range tandoori chicken ($9.99) that the virtues of Hawthorne’s Royal Kabob emerge. Pakistani co-owner Tariq Amin served as the food and beverage manager for a number of Hyatt hotels before opening this tidy spot. The top-
notch halal chickens come from Pitman Farms near Fresno. A citrus marinade deftly banishes the gaminess of both goat and New Zealand lamb (two giant tandoori-baked racks can
be had for $17.99). Paki-
stani classics—such as tandoori chicken salad with mint-pomegranate chutney
($7.99)—have been touched up just enough to border
on sophisticated. Good neighbors: It can be hard to tell
the difference between the cuisines of Pakistan and
northern India. “Pakistani food emphasizes more meat
and uses fewer spices but has more heat,” Amin explains.