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At Last: the best Indian in Las Vegas

m
missyang Sep 30, 2009 03:37 PM

My husband and I moved here from Atlanta, and there is some great Indian food in Atlanta. We have tried almost every Indian restaurant in Las Vegas and resigned ourselves to "the best" Las Vegas had to offer, but today I am on cloud 9 because I do believe Las Vegas has an Indian restaurant that is not only the best in Las Vegas, but possibly one of the best ever.

If you remotely like Indian head directly to the lunch buffet at Namaste. I think it is only open between 11am-2:30pm. They are located directly next to Lotus of Siam in Commercial Center.
953 E Sahara A#6
Las Vegas, NV 89104
(702) 892-9695

The buffet is the freshest and probably the tastiest I have ever encountered-- so colorful and diverse, at least 6 solid vegetarian options. I have to make it back to Houston to eat Madras Pavilion before I make my final decision, but husband thinks Namaste is better. And, the place is beautiful and clean inside, which is always a bonus.

Lastly, one of the proprietors is named Elvis. Seriously. If that is not a sign, then....

  1. d
    Dave Feldman Sep 30, 2009 06:39 PM

    Are they really not open for dinner? And can you order ala carte at lunch?

    Is this just a temporary spot for the place (isn't Lotus expanding into it?)?
    Thanks for the tip -- I hope I get to try it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dave Feldman
      atdleft Feb 14, 2010 06:48 AM

      Nope, it's open for dinner. I think the poster just meant that the buffet is lunch only. The full a la carte menu is available for dinner, and I believe dinner service starts at 5:00 PM.

    2. janetofreno Sep 30, 2009 11:09 PM

      damn....is it new?? I was at LOS a month or two ago and don't remember seeing an Indian place nearby....

      Are they open weekends? When you say "only open between 11am and 2:30 pm", do you mean the restaurant or the buffet? Is there a menu or just the buffet? Any south Indian dishes??

      Inquiring minds want to know....

      Big trade show for my biz in town this weekend, so I'll be down by the Convention Center areas a lot...might just have to detour just to check out some of these details. Actually, I'm probably having dinner Friday night with a friend who is vegan (she'll be in town from the east coast for the meeting)...and would love to check out the place with her if it WAS open for dinner. Unfortunately, all the rest of my meals during the meeting are planned already, and I'm not necessarily the one who gets to say where...(although it looks like I might get treated to at least one very nice dinner tomorrow night...if it pans out I'll be sure to post a report....)

      1. q
        QAW Oct 1, 2009 12:17 PM

        Namaste has been open for two weeks now, and has a chance to be a player. They are on the western wall of Lotus (the opposite from where the expansion is going), The owner is from Goa, which is reflected in some of he menu options (Janet - there is plenty for a vegan), and the head chef is from Nepal, taking a circuitous culinary route to his current position that included being a private chef for a couple of Bollywood actresses for a few years. Have only tried the lunch buffet so far (lunch is from 11-3, and then dinner from 5:30-10:30), and they both present more options, and cleaner and more vibrant flavors, than the competition of Gandhi, India Oven and India Palace in the local corridor.

        The issue going forward, of course, is that the buffet is better than it needs to be. Will they be able to maintain the variety of options and the quality control of the dishes in this economy? Gosh we hope so. It would add another charm to a Commercial Center bracelet that allows a person to park in one spot, and be a 2-3 minute stroll to quality Thai, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Korean and Japanese restaurants.

        7 Replies
        1. re: QAW
          janetofreno Oct 2, 2009 10:29 PM

          OK, a brief report back:

          My vegan friend was staying at Encore, and looking for a brief break from all the fancy foods and surroundings. Plus she was a little peeved at them because they were unable to produce even one vegan dish for her at a meeting buffet earlier in the day....

          So Namaste seemed a perfect choice, especially given that she wanted to go somewhere nearby. The restaurant has been nicely redecorated, with attractive booths and cloth tableclothes. A little heavy on the incense. The wait staff are all very anxious to please.

          We stuck strictly to vegan dishes (well, actually, I ordered sev puri as an appetizer, forgetting that it contains yogurt, and felt badly but not too badly as I got to eat it all :-). We weren't horribly hungry, so dinner consisted of bengan bharta, aloo gobi, and some chapati. (plus the sev puri). Servings were generous and I brought home enough for tomorrow's lunch. The flavors are good and the vegetables were all very fresh. Too big positives: cauliflower was perfectly cooked (not over-cooked) and the spicing was definitely not dumbed down.

          I looked at the options on the buffet (the placards from earlier in the day were still in place), and I agree: it is tempting. I'll definitely want to check it out. Yes, I agree, this place has a chance to be a player. They do need more business to survive, and desert it...ok hounds? One good thing: they may be getting some overflow from LOS. We overheard one couple tell the waiter that they had decided to come in "because there was an hour wait for a table next door..."

          1. re: janetofreno
            d
            Dave Feldman Oct 2, 2009 11:26 PM

            Ahh, so it's in the old Korean place. Indian businesses haven't had a lot of success in the Commercial Center, and I hope this succeeds.

            1. re: Dave Feldman
              m
              missyang Oct 7, 2009 01:20 PM

              Sorry I went MIA, but I am glad that everyone was able to fill in the blanks! I am actually traveling in Houston and just today got to go and check out what I used to think was my standard for yummy Indian (Madras Pavilion). I am THRILLED to report that Namaste blows them away. I too hope they can keep up the freshness and selection. Everyone go!!!

              1. re: missyang
                w
                westie Oct 8, 2009 05:09 AM

                Here is a link to a printable 20% off either the buffet or dinner coupon that is valid through 10/31:
                http://www.citycoups.com/namasteindia...

                I also noticed today that restaurant.com is offering gift certificates.

                1. re: westie
                  b
                  bennycheeks Feb 2, 2010 03:51 PM

                  Missyang - took your suggestion and SO and I headed there for lunch after a hike in Red Rock Canyon, on Saturday, January 23rd. I have to say that I completely disagree with the characterization of the offerings at this resto as "fresh" and "not dumbed down." I can't comment about the Indian restaurants in Atlanta, but having lived most of my life in NYC I think I can opine as to what "good" and what "great" Indian food is - and Namaste is lacking in both good and great - at least on our visit. We found the buffet to be lacking in the types of creative offerings that we have come to expect in good Indian buffets. The curries were not overly flavorful, the nan was not dense, as it should be, and the presentation (yes even a buffet should have a presentation) was not something that suggested the restaurant took pride in its offerings. In all, we were disappointed, and will look for other options.

                  1. re: bennycheeks
                    q
                    QAW Feb 2, 2010 04:14 PM

                    It should be point out that Om Singh, who was the head chef when Namaste opened and generated a lot of the positive reviews, left around the first of November. They have not maintained the same quality level without him.

                    1. re: QAW
                      atdleft Feb 14, 2010 06:56 AM

                      Yes, unfortunately Chef Singh is no longer at Namaste. However when I had a chance to try it early this month, I was impressed by the food... And so was Las Vegas' best food critic:

                      http://www.eatinglv.com/2010/01/namas...

                      Still, I'll have to go back and check up on them when I return home this week. It will be sad to see them go down as quickly as they rose up.

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