Saffron Flavors of India, not to be confused with plain old Saffron on East DI, is the first Indian Chinese fusion restaurant I've seen. Though traditional dishes found on the menus of most Indian restaurants make up the bulk of the menu, some interesting plates catch your attention immediately. One dish that sounded particularly enticing to us was the Paneer Chili ($7), an appetizer of homemade, mild Indian cheese dressed in a sweet and sour sauce with green peppers and onions. I know it sounds strange, but it was actually quite successful. The sauce wasn't sickeningly sweet and artificial tasting as sweet and sour often can be, and we loved tasting Chinese flavors in a dish that actually had some heat.
Non-fusion dishes were just as successful. The sauce of the lamb rogan josh ($15) was a deep brick red and flavor-PACKED, letting you know someone loved it for awhile. My mushroom and sweet corn masala ($13) was served in a sauce that was equally complex and flavorful, yet I was disappointed to see that canned mushrooms were used. The sauce was so incredible, however, I really didn't mind at all. Anyone who can make canned mushrooms taste so good gets a big culinary thumbs up from me. I also enjoyed the addition of corn, which replaced the more common peas found in many Indian mushroom dishes.
Fun little extras included a superb raita with crunchy chunks of cucumber and crispy onion pakora. If you love onion rings, the latter is a must try. We also loved the bullet naan ($5), a flatbread stuffed with cheese, potatoes, chickpeas, onion, cilantro, and green chilies. It made me think this restaurant could do well as the first Indian pizza joint.
Sadly, I fear this restaurant may not survive due to it's location. It's actually fairly easy to get to as it is right off the 95 at Craig, but the new strip center it's in is dead with no signs of budding life. Max Jacobson, if you're reading, please add this to the list of Frugal Foodie spots you've subsequently reviewed in Seven Magazine. You reach a lot more people than I do and I hate seeing these mom and pop's dissolve - R.I.P Taqueria Los Parados and Vegas Cafe.
I hope I can entice my own readers to go by mentioning that restaurant.com is currently offering certificates valid for dinner only. Today they have 60% off for St. Patty's Day with the code LUCKY, but if you sign up for their updates they offer discounts just as deep nearly every week. You can also same money by taking advantage of their great lunch buffet. The number of items is limited, but it's a bargain at just $8.99.
Note: Saffron Flavors of India has a full bar, great service, and pleasant atmosphere, though the decor could use a little modernization.
Saffron Flavors of India
4450 N. Tenaya
Las Vegas, NV 89129
Pictures: lamb rogan josh (above), paneer chili (below top), mushroom and sweet corn masala (below bottom)