The Toddy Shop is hiding in the back of the Inn Zone, a typical sports bar on Rainbow just off the 95. Named after small bars found in India that serve palm toddy—an alcoholic drink made from tree sap—to accompany spicy food, this isn’t necessarily where one would expect to find Southern Indian delicacies, Jamaican-inspired plates and other unique dishes. Chef Hemant Kishore originally wanted to use the kitchen to prep for his lunch-delivery service, and the bar offered the space as long as he’d create some bar bites, too.
“I took it as an opportunity to do something different with bar food,” he says. “I related [it] to toddy shops—bar food, street food and toddy shop food.”
As far as local Indian food goes, there’s nothing else like this in Las Vegas. Start with rajah masala ($6) an addictive appetizer of house-made chips and a dip of roasted peanuts and Kishore’s take on pico de gallo, which adds red chili powder to the usual components. Rasta wings ($10) show off the chef’s Caribbean influences—the chicken is slathered in Jamaican jerk sauce and accompanied by perfectly fried plantains.
Queen Karimeen ($19), usually known as karimeen pollichathu, is a fish dish worthy of any fine-dining establishment. The whole pompano is marinated in masala paste and wrapped in banana leaves overnight, before it gets steamed and then fried in coconut oil. It’s as delectable as it is unique.
So go find the Toddy Shop. With food this good, it won’t be a hidden hole in the wall for long.
Toddy Shop Inn Zone, 238 S. Rainbow Blvd., 702-255-5588. Daily, 4-10 p.m