Address: 231 Galle Rd., Colombo 4
HVN's extravagant settingnineteenth-century Italian floor mosaics, ornate metallic ceiling, an intricate fresco of bejeweled swamis floating on cloudsfeels a bit unreal given Colombo's tumultuous political climate. But then again, gastronomic escapism is nothing new, and the innovative menu at this restaurant inside the swank CASA Colombo offers plenty of distractions. Begin with the signature Ceylonese Triple Shot, made with indigenous ingredients such as kola kanda and rasam, and follow with clever variations on Western dishes such as spicy tuna pol sambal tortillas or jaggery-and-chili-rubbed pork tenderloin. Portions are generous, but it would be a shame to skip the baked chocolate-cappuccino mousse bombe (entrées, $9$28).