India Oven Masala Bar & Grill
Mango Lassi – Housemade Yogurt, Mango Pulp
Pappadum – Tamarind Chutney, Mint Chutney
Chicken Samosa – Deep Fried Turnovers stuffed with spicy ground Chicken
Chili Paneer – Cottage Cheese, Bell Peppers and Onions in spicy tangy Sauce
Lamb Vindaloo – Lamb Cubes and Potatoes in Spicy Curry Sauce
Chicken Tikka Masala – Tandoor broiled Boneless Chicken in Tomato, Onion and Butter Sauce
Mixed Vegetable Curry – Eggplant, Peppers, Potatoes, Onions and Cauliflower in Spicy Curry Sauce
Boiled Basmati Rice
Garlic Naan – White Bread baked in Tandoor and topped with Garlic
Masala Dosa – Crèpe stuffed with spiced Potato served with Tomato Chutney, Coconut Chutney and Sambar
Kabuli Naan – White Bread baked in Tandoor filled with Nuts, Raisins and Cherries
Kheer – Cardamom Rice Pudding
Cassata Ice Cream Cake – Strawberry, Vanilla, Pistachio, toasted Pecans, Chocolate Chips and Orange Sponge Cake
Located on East Flamingo near Maryland Parkway, an area that apparently has ten Indian Restaurants within a one-mile radius, India Oven Masala Bar & Grill represents the union of prior occupant Indian Oven and the Strip’s India Masala, owner Ulzan Mehta recently taking over the elegantly decorated space and sprucing up the menu with specialty dishes from both the South and North of India.
An accountant by trade and restaurant owner by choice, a self-proclaimed love of food from his homeland seeing Mr. Mehta enter the ever-competitive industry later than many with a collection of old family recipes and regional influences, guests entering India Oven Masala will likely first be struck by both how well-lit and eye-catching the décor is, everything from the lobby featuring a gold statue of Ganesha to the bathrooms spotless, as too is the kitchen and bar.
Featuring a seven-page dinner menu in addition to a lunch buffet like almost every other Indian Restaurant in town, though several differences in each look to set India Oven Masala apart from the pack, the first of these is immediately evident on viewing the right side of the buffet-line where a live-kitchen producing both Naan and Dosa is located, one of only two of its kind in Las Vegas operating both afternoon and evening to produce fresh bread filled or topped with a bounty of unique ingredients.
Charging prices comparable to other such spots in town, the Buffet just $11.99 seven days a week including bottomless Mango Lassi, it was while tablemates enjoyed White Wine and Indian Beer that a glass of the thick Yogurt drink was enjoyed alongside appetizers including crispy Pappadum and piping hot Chicken Samosa, the latter far better than anything fried at Mt. Everest, Delhi or Urban Turban thanks to the lightness of the Batter, not to mention the finely ground Chicken teaming with aromatic spices.
Further impressed by Chili Paneer, the squeaky cubes of Cheese in a fiery red Sauce featuring Bell Peppers and Onions immediately bringing beads of sweat to the brow of one at the table, it was with the first of two sizable servings of Jasmine Rice that three entrees were presented, the ubiquitous Chicken Tikka Masala offering far more Meat than many while the cubed Lamb Vindaloo was served medium-spicy and delicious, though one diner felt the Protein was sort of dry while no one complained about Mixed Vegetable Curry that featured at least five different Ingredients all cooked to appropriate consistencies, a difficult task considering the fact that Eggplant is almost always rendered mushy in such cases.
Invited to take a short break from dining to visit the side-kitchen, a virtually spotless station where the ingredients and tradition of Dosa were explained by one of Ulzan’s employees, it was upon return to the table that two types of Naan including a unique version stuffed with Fruit and Nuts were presented along with a forearm sized Dosa, the crispy Pancake stuffed with fragrant Mashed Potatoes delicious on its own and even better with housemade Coconut or Tomato Chutney that is traditionally served as part of Breakfast in Southern India.
Rounding out the meal with two Desserts, a bit of disappointment here as neither the Gajar Halwa nor Gulab Jamun listed on the menu were available, it was instead a small bowl of creamy Kheer and the previously unknown dish called Cassata that were served, the latter taking its name from an Italian Cake traditionally featuring Strawberries despite actually being quite similar to Spumoni topped with Dark Chocolate Chips and crumbled Pecans.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Very good right up to the end, running out of a standard menu item without a doubt one of the cardinal sins of Restaurant ownership, it seems safe to say that India Oven Masala one-ups the competition by way of both its décor and cuisine, the latter offering far more to be explored at future visits and Mr. Mehta clearly committed to offering something a little different than the typical Las Vegas Indian dining experience.
RECOMMENDED: Chicken Samosa, Mixed Vegetable Curry, Masala Dosa, Kabuli Naan, Chili Paneer.
AVOID: As above, one person felt the Lamb was a bit dry while the lack of Carrot Pudding was personally quite disappointing.
TIP: Proud to offer catering as well as a 10% discount to UNLV students the online menu is not currently 100% accurate, so please see photos for pricing and items such as the Dosa.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.