Director David Kaplan trades the Cinderella story of 2007's Year of the Fish for the formulaic but still tasty recipe behind his screen adaptation of The Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi's Obie-winning play, Sakina's Restaurant. Moving from New York's Chinatown to Queens, Kaplan gathers the perfect performers to spice up his comic, food-themed delight. After he's passed over for promotion, hardworking sous chef Samir (Mandvi) quits his job at a chic Manhattan restaurant. Told he lacks a certain "magic" that makes a great cook, he finds inspiration where he least expects it: in the rundown Indian eatery owned by his disapproving dad, Hakim (Harish Patel), who's just suffered a mild heart attack. Under the Obi-Wan–like tutelage of charismatic cab driver/mealtime magician Akbar (easygoing enchanter Naseeruddin Shah), Samir discovers that though making good tandoori might not require sleight of hand, a little optimism provides its own alchemy.