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
8 thoughts on “One Day, Two Bad Pizzas and Three Meals”
The expansions of both Lotus and Raku (both will end up basically doubling in size) may be the best news in the local dining scene this year – recently we have even been told when making weeknight reservations at Raku that the table would only be good for two hours. That is far too short of a time for their menu, especially when some particular items are so good that we end up ordering seconds, or thirds (which is usually the case with the beef tendon, which absorb the flavor from the charcoal so very well).
ELV, kindly remove your head from yur arse!! settebello is not even in the same catergory of pizza, anthonys coal fire is more of a competitor to Grimaldis then settebello.
make reference to the proper places if your going to properly criticize!!!!
i do agree it sux, went there for lunch, place had no energy, dopie service staff and yes crappy pies!!
So Namaste is still a rockstar? OK then, I’ll just have to try it next time I’m at Commercial Center. I mean it. I’ve gone without my Indian fix for far too long!
And yes, I have to side with you on Anthony’s. I tried it recently. And while it wasn’t totally awful, I agree that the pizza was no Settebello. Hell, my fave local delivery joint (Enzo’s @ Green Valley & Sunset) even does better pizza!
I know Anthony’s goes for “well done” crispy pizza’s but they cut my mouth up like captain crunch. Crust was dangerously sharp!
You’ll be happy to know that the $80 you left was promptly donated to feeding hungry people in Vegas. That would be me and Ken.
Namaste has one of the best Indian buffet. Indian food blends down to the blend of spices whether it’s veggie or non-veg dishes. Their chef is definitely very talented when it comes to proper blending of numerous spices. I like Namastey better than Lotus as they have freshly baked oven bread ‘NAN” served on the table. Carrot dessert in the buffet was just mouth watering delicious. Somehow they need a separate tray for dessert as most of us didn’t know that it was a dessert as it was kept with other dishes. Lentil dumplings in yogurt, not seen in any Indian restaurant menu locally, were delicious and keep your taste buds cool with the not so spicy food. Good job Namaste and have a wonderful long life in Vegas.
An interesting, and perhaps relevant aside on Namaste as a “rockstar”. The head chef, from Nepal, spent a few of his culinary years as a private chef for a couple of Bollywood actresses. It might explain why the spices are brighter, and just a touch lighter, when you compare their version of dishes to what you will find at other venues.
We had dinner at Namaste yesterday and have to mention they are the best as far as authentic cuisine is related. Whereas Origin india I understand is trying to make a fusion of Indian American but that leaves their food stand nowhere. The servers are all over you as well which makes you uncomfortable. I believe in Donald Trump’s theory about service — be there for you but don’t be in the way’. Overall my personal experience with Namaste would definitely achieve them 5 stars.
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