It all started with a lousy lunch…
…at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza at the Town Square Mall (that is neither in town, nor square, nor a mall), upon the recommendation of some people whose opinion we used to trust in such things, and ate two of the worst pizzas we’ve had in years.
How bad were they? Well, let’s start with a charred, crispy crust of no discernible breeding, no yeastiness, no chewiness and no flavor. Then top it with unseasoned canned tomatoes and supermarket cheese, strips of green pepper (how artful!), and mediocre meatballs, and voila! Overpriced, overhyped franchise pizza!
Settebello has nothing to worry about.
So disheartened were we (although sadly, full of wasted calories), that we couldn’t wait for dinner…
…where we had our second ethereal Indian meal at Namaste….that we predict will become the Lotus of Siam of our Indian restaurants.
Why do we say this? Well, for one, because it’s right next door to Lotus. two, because it will survive on Lotus’s leftover clients (i.e. those who can’t get a seat there); and three, because the food is Indian cuisine on a different level than you or ELV or ELV’s staff has ever experienced in our humble burg. We’d return time and again just for the shrimp Khorma — deeply flavored in a cashew nut gravy — but the chicken tikka, real chicken tandoori (not that red-dye crap you get everywhere else), lamb sausages and fluffy garlic naan were also all things of beauty.
In the course of one hour there, we at ELV observed 13 cabs drop people off at Lotus — several parties of which wandered into Namaste by mistake. As much as we love Lotus, those folks had no idea what they were missing.
Of course, man does not live by excellent Indian food alone, so it was off to Raku for some late night Japanese pike…
…another thing of beauty…tasty, fishy (in all the right ways), and boned before our eyes at. After consuming the smoky fish, the deep-fried, crispy, crunchy spine is then presented for your delectation. Head to tail eating at its best.
We expected to see Chef/owner Mitsuo Endo hard at work in the kitchen, instead we found him hard at work doing rough carpentry in the space next door where this tiny spot will soon expand.
From what we saw, the space will be practically a mirror image of the 28 seat room that now comprises the teeny tiny, always-full restaurant. Raku has gotten so popular that they now are telling folks they can only have the table for so long (usually 2 hours) on weekend nights.
Our meal at Anthony’s (two pizzas and a beer) came to $36; our feast for two at Namaste was $65; and we left eighty bucks on the table at Raku that Ken Langdon and Grace Bascos probably played poker with later that night.
ANTHONY’S COAL FIRED PIZZA
6569 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89119-3221
953 East Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89101
ABURIYA RAKU RESTAURANT
5030 Spring Mountain Road
Las Vegas, NV 89146-8715