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Dining

Snacking on the Strip: India Masala at Riviera

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Burger or curry, burger or curry … what’ll it be?

This Snacking on the Strip concept is supposed to chase down the cheap tasty bites one might encounter while roaming Las Vegas Boulevard, so perhaps straying north of Wynncore is a little, well, unrealistic. But if that’s asking too much of you, Strip snacker, prepare thyself for a deeper plunge—I am honestly recommending you eat in the Riviera food court.

The family that operates India Masala owns the closest thing Las Vegas has to an Indian food empire. There’s another India Masala near UNLV and they run the less casual Royal India Bistro at the Rio, too. At the Riv, flanked by familiar food court denizens such as Quiznos and La Salsa, they churn out solid northern and southern Indian fare, as well as burgers, fries, chicken tenders and the like at Big Burger. India Masala and Big Burger are the only 24-hour spots at the Riviera food court.

If it’s truly a snack you’re looking for, you could do a lot worse on the Strip—in terms of money and food—than the vegetable ($4.99) or chicken ($5.99) samosas, crispy and satisfying. Splurge on the samosa chaat ($6.99), a vegetarian masterpiece topped with chickpeas, cucumbers, onions, yogurt and chutney, a meal by itself.

A different late-night pancake: India Masala's tasty uthappam.

The Masala menu is vast. There are favorites like chicken tikka ($9.99), kababs, assorted Indian gravy-ish dishes like chana masala or vegetable korma served with rice and naan bread ($11.99) and fish or goat curry. Everything is well-spiced and puts most typical food court grub to shame.

My menu pick is uthappam ($8.99), a southern Indian rice and lentil pancake loaded with peppers, onions, tomatoes and other veggies, served with traditional red and green chutneys and a generous cup of the slightly sour vegetable chowder sambar. Think of it this way: You’re used to eating pancakes at odd hours inside casinos; this is one you can actually taste. And when you’re done, check out the totally random video arcade right next to the food court. North Strip, you so crazy.

More Snacking on the Strip: Zio Gelato

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Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's food editor and author of the Strip-focused column The Incidental Tourist. He has written ...

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