Byline: Elaine Glusac
As in fashion, an Eastern wind is orienting Chicago’s latest entertainment crop to all things Indian.
Hindu dieties deign to dance at Karma, a new nightclub at 318 West Grand Avenue. The multilimbed god of dance, Nataraja, presides over the dance floor, and a collage of Indian-gods-meet-Western-pop-icons sprawls over the lower-level bar in the three-story club. Though some in the Indian community consider the decor sacrilegious, club partner Rakesh Thakkar claims, “It’s not intended to shock. I’m proud of my gods and my culture. I think it’s beautiful.”
Indeed, Karma is posited on the premise of beauty, both personal and artistic, creating a non-industrial-themed dance club that manages to be cool (Wesley Snipes and Billy Corgan were frequent visitors this summer) and friendly.
“We give good karma,” says managing partner Carson, who goes by only one name. “It comes back at you.”
The reshmi kebab at Indian Garden, 247 East Ontario Street, will start your evening appropriately. Creativity and color distinguish this second-story restaurant from the ethnic pack. Gravies comprising vegetables and spices rather than the traditional fat of Indian cooking make for flavorful and unusual dishes.