Serious Eats: Talk

Trying new cuisines for the first time

I'm ready to go from Taco Bell to taqueria, from spaghettios to authentic Italian, from sweet-n-sour chicken to whatever is on that menu they never give me at the Chinese restaurant...
I felt like an idiot the first time I went into an Indian restaurant. How do you know what to pick?
What would you recommend a first-timer to try in your favorite cuisine? Assume I'm genuinely open to new tastes.

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