Friday, November 12, 2010

India Palace

India Palace has been voted best Indian restaurant in Las Vegas by The Zagat survey every year since 2001 and it has been described to me by Indians as the most authentic restaurant we have. I've dined there a handful of times to see if I agree.

Although I wouldn't normally want to hang out on East Twain, one of the city's most dangerous areas, I will always take unnecessary risks for good food. The restaurant sticks out as the only kept up, interesting piece of architecture in that area, so it's hard to miss.

You will forget about the exterior surroundings upon entering as the decor is immediately welcoming. The walls are painted in warm, cheery earth tones that are beautifully complemented by heavy amber drapes and rich, dark woods. There is a comfortable full-service bar you can enjoy a drink at before your meal, making India palace stand out from many of its competitors.

My favorite thing to get here is the dosa, a thin pancake made from chickpeas. It is of such great diameter that it must be folded upon itself so it can almost fit on your plate, and it is eaten by tearing off more reasonably sized pieces. The only other place I've seen dosa is at India Masala in the Riviera (same owners, I believe), so I highly recommend ordering it here. You can have your dosa stuffed with an incendiary potato filling, or get the plain Papper Dosa, which I prefer (both $10.95). It is served with an addictive coconut 'chutney,' which is more like a coconut puree, and sambar, a tangy tamarind based soup/dip. Even without the accompaniments, the dosa serves as a fantastic vehicle for eating your main selections and proves to be an interesting alternative to naan.

The Chicken Tikka Masala ($14.95) and Mushroom Matar ($12.95) are fantastic, but I think the chef's abilities stand out most in the Lamb Rogan Josh ($15.95). The tomato broth is reminiscent of an authentic, slow-cooked Italian marinara that has been spiked with exotic spices, and the flavors continuously evolve in your mouth, revealing the sauce's complexity. The lamb is perfectly tender to boot, and hasn't a hint of the gaminess that can come with lower quality cuts.

So, is India Palace the best Indian restaurant in town? I can't affirmatively say yes (I had a spinach soup that was inedible and they don't use many fresh veggies in their lunch buffet), but it is definitely a contender. Best of all, they are featured on THIS WEEKEND so you can be frugal by purchasing a $30 certificate for just $15.

India Palace
505 E. Twain
Las Vegas, NV 89169
(702) 796-4177
open 7 days

Restaurant Rating: 8

Food Ratings:
Dosa: 9
Chicken Tikka Masala: 9
Lamb Rogan Josh: 9.5
Naan: 9
Mushroom Matar: 8.5
Spinach Soup: 1