India Oven Masala Bar & Grill
Vegetable Samosa, Vegetable Pakora, Idli Masala, Upma, Coconut Chutney, Tamarind Chutney
Masal Dosa, Sambar
Tandoori Chicken, Butter Chicken, Basmati Rice, Yellow Dal, Chana Masala
Vegetable Korma, Saag Paneer, Goat Curry, Basmati Rice, Vegetable Samosa
Aloo Gobi, Chicken Curry, Housemade Pickles
Kheer, Mango Pudding, Tamarind Chutney
Located on East Flamingo near Maryland Parkway, an area close to UNLV that features substantial competition, India Oven Masala Bar & Grill continues to perform at a very high level under the ownership of Ulzan Mehta.
A union of prior occupant Indian Oven and the Strip’s India Masala, the interior elegantly decorated with Icons and familiar images such as the Taj Mahal, it is daily from 11:00am until 3:00pm that the Restaurant offers its Buffet Lunch, purportedly Las Vegas’ most abundant and on any given day sporting upwards of thirty choices.
Embracing flavors from both North and South India, the $12.99 price within a few dollars of other similar spots but at India Oven Masala Bar & Grill inclusive of bottomless Mango Lassi, it was while sipping the creamy concoction that options were perused, a live-action station turning out fresh, fluffy Naan topped in Butter or Garlic, or golden Dosa for those avoiding Animal products.
Catering to a part of town filled with students and doctors, many of each Indian by descent but the Restaurant’s clientele otherwise quite diverse, it was as music played lightly over Cricket on television that plate one was filled, fried items including Pakora and Samosa both light with oil and bright with seasoning while fermented Rice Cakes were tender and uniquely presented with Curry flavors that paired well to chunky Coconut Chutney.
Making everything on-site from scratch, the Samosa’s inclusion of Caramelized Onions adding an unexpected degree of complexity that compelled eating two more, it is on weekends that guests will also find Upma, the savory Porridge here far better than at Mint while Masala Dosa compare favorably whether enjoyed with or without Tamarind-heavy Sambar.
Next taking a look at two types of Chicken, both Legs and Wings from the tandoor as well as the classic Butter version performing on par with others throughout Las Vegas, a big surprise was Ulzan’s Chana Masala with larger than average Chickpeas that maintain a firm texture despite being cooked slowly amidst Tomatoes, Garlic and Peppers.
Happy with Dal perfumed by Ginger, but less with Spinach lacking the textural variance typically imparted by cubes of Cheese, guests adhering to Vegetable-based diets will also do well to investigate creamy Vegetable Korma or Aloo Gobi teaming with Cauliflower, though the omnivorous should be sure to try those while also saving room for both Chicken and bone-in Goat Curry.
Taste buds sent reeling by housemade Pickles, the intense salinity plus unripe-Mangos immediately cleansing the palate in preparation for Dessert, it was following a bit more Bread topped in Tamarind Chutney that two small bowls delighted, Kheer well-prepared and fragrant with Cardamom while Mango Pudding defined the word smooth without being overly sweet, save for occasional bites of whole Fruit including Cherries.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Visited once for dinner, and utilized for catering several times since, the Lunch Buffet at India Oven Masala continues to show Ulzan Mehta’s commitment to value and quality with a delicious array of options including made-to-order Naan and Dosa plus bottomless Mango Lassi for just $12.99.
RECOMMENDED: Mango Lassi, Vegetable Samosa, Vegetable Pakora, Coconut Chutney, Tamarind Chutney, Masal Dosa, Butter Naan, Chana Masala, Vegetable Korma, Goat Curry
AVOID: Sambar needed a touch less Tamarind, Saag Paneer needed a bit more texture.
TIP: Free Fountain Drink with Yelp Check-In, 15% off Buffet for first responders and students daily.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.