Tamarinds are large seed pods from a tropical tree, with big seeds and a sweet, acidic pulp. In Southeast Asia, they're eaten directly, but their big flavor goes into a lot of condiments for the rest of the world--most notably bottled steak sauces.
Tamarind is also the name of the all-day restaurant in the chic, newly-renovated Hotel Modern on Lee Circle. Like many hotels going after a hip, young clientele, the Modern required the services of a chef who would generate talk. Dominique Macquet, even during times when he disappeared from the local scene, has shown an ability to present an interesting story. This one is unique even for him.