Pretend youre on an exotic island vacation at this authentic Puerto Rican restaurant. Luna Rosa offers customers a combination of Spanish tapas and Puerto Rican favorites. Try the fried plantain strips as an appetizer and top that off with one of their signature paellas. Keep in mind that the paella can easily fill up two people. If you want something hand-held, they make a killer cubanito sandwich.
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La Marginal is another one of San Antonios Puerto Rican gems. Here you can try a little bit of everything as the food is served buffet style. A highlight of the menu is the pernil, or roast pork shoulder. And dont be fooled by the skimpy rice portions, because its flavor is spot on with what one would expect from genuine Puerto Rican rice.
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Kohinoors tight menu is made up of classic Pakistani grilled dishes, tawa (griddle dishes, chicken and vegetarian entrees, rice dishes, breads, wraps and desserts. Try the beef gravy nihari or the signature chicken tawa with a secret garam masala mix. Wash the spices down with a silky smooth lassi for dessert.
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In an elegant setting with traditional Indian music playing in the background, Simi's serves several selections prepared in an authentic tandoor oven, such as the tandoori shrimp or tandoori snapper. A lunch buffet lets you sample a few of the more popular dishes, and at night, you can choose from several combination dishes. The small bar pours a decent selection of beer and wine.
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Don't be fooled by the graffitied exterior; Thai Dee is a force to be reckoned with. According to my aunt who actually lived in Thailand, this scrappy little restaurant offers the most authentic take on Thai food in San Antonio. You can't go wrong with any of their deliciously spicy curries. Another highlight of the menu is the clay pot, which is a smorgasbord of different meats and veggies in a pot full of glass noodles. The food takes a bit long to make it out of the kitchen, but after one bite of your meal, you'll see that it is well worth the wait.
Photo via SA Current, Jessica Elizarraras
Thai food has exploded in San Antonio in a way we can all appreciate. Sarikas is another great place to try authentic Thai cuisine in the 210. The curries are a bit further on the sweet end of the spectrum than at other Thai restaurants, so if you want to try some curry without a complimentary running nose, this is the place to do so.
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The highlight of this menu is undoubtedly the red curry mussels. The knee-jerk Pad Thai also comes in for praise, but wed move on to more unique offerings such as spicy mango delight and chicken asparagus all topped off with sticky rice and more mango. Which is said by some to clear the skin, promote eye health and improve sex life.
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Named after a spice blend that contains chili peppers, garlic, ginger, basil, korarima, rue, ajwain or radhuni, nigella and fenugreek, Berbere Ethiopian recently launched a food truck now based at 4741 Fredericksburg Road. The menu packs in veggies and proteins so you'll find lentils, green beans, beets and stewed cabbage served alongside beef tibs, a dish of marinated beef. Dishes often include a spongy sourdough flatbread known as injera.
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Dont try finding a website for this jointyou wont. But you will find just about everything else inside the warehouse-like Seoul Oriental Food Market, and at bargain prices. Its selection of dried seaweed snacks is unparalleled, and youll find your fair share of instant ramen for under a buck, a bevy of frozen seafood and the freshest daikon radishes and napa cabbages money can buy (or gallons of ready-made spicy kimchi, if youre not up to fermenting your own batch). Better still is the café at the back right corner of the market, which cranks out wallet-friendly noodle soups, bulgogi and kimchi fried rice.
Photo via Yelp,Seoul Asian Food Market and Café
The notion that hole-in-the-wall, often unsightly joints make for some of the best food couldn't be more true for Niki's Tokyo Inn, an inconspicuous family-owned spot. Peruse the extensive menu for fresh, no-muss, no-fuss Japanese options, and trust the wait staff when they suggest going for a chef's choice of sushi. Pat has also been known to treat his loyal customers with little surprises here and there, from off-the-menu rolls to homegrown fruit.
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Jerusalem Grill serves an inviting blend of authentic Persian, Turkish, and Eastern Mediterranean fare. Try the pleasantly creamy hummus or babaganoush as an appetizer and you certainly wont be disappointed. All of the meat on the menu is fresh and prepared halal style, ensuring the highest quality. If you dont eat meat, the falafels are some of the best in the city. Jerusalem Grill has also scored 100% on all of its health inspections, which is always a huge plus.
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While Pasha Mediterranean Grill has gotten its share of culinary props from San Anto diners, local vegetarians know it for the generous no-meat plates they dish. Veggie items include standards like baba ghanouj, tabbouleh, and falafel, but also less frequently seen khiyar cucumber salad and signature potatoes.
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Sichuan House delivers regional favorites hailing from Sichuan, found in the southwest of China. It's easy enough to fill up on starters such as the Sichuan wontons or chao shou, made of ground pork wontons sitting in a savory broth with house-made chili oil on the side. Try to leave some room in your stomach for one of the many exquisite entrees, though. Menu highlights include the tea-smoked duck, dongpo braised pork belly and the han shao bai.
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This one's for the adventurous gourmands. As 2011 review from the Current puts it, "Sliced pig's ear in hot chili oil? Bring it on. Duck tongues showered in jalapenos? Can't get enough. Crispy pork intestine with dried pepper? Where have you been all my life?" Also available are delicious dim sum treats, most of which are under $5.
Photo via SA Current, Sarah Maspero