Former Origin India owner Raja Majid opened Shiraz this summer with the goal of bringing various regional cuisines together under one roof. With Executive Chef Jainine Jaffer at the helm, Majid’s vision has been realized. Shiraz isn’t just an Indian restaurant—it’s a halal restaurant offering Persian, Indian and Pakistani dishes—and Jaffer, who owns her own catering company and is of Southern-Pakistani decent, grew up cooking and enjoying her family’s cuisine, making her well-suited to share these dishes with the rest of Vegas. While you’re likely to be familiar with more common Indian plates, Shiraz allows you to acquaint yourself with lesser-known flavors, each with their own distinct profiles.
“I’ve been cooking literally my whole life,” Jaffer says, “but I decided to switch gears and stop with all the other stuff I was doing and make this my absolute destination.” She says the leap was scary at first, but has proven successful. “I’m super-blessed; things have been going up and up. When you settle in to what you’re supposed to do, it just works.”
Situated in a large, semi-formal space previously occupied by longtime Persian restaurant Habib’s, Shiraz is perfect for families and large parties. The menu is divided into two sections—Indian and Pakistani or Persian—encouraging diners to mix apps and entrees from both sides. On the Persian end, start with the hummus ($6)—Shiraz’s simple and creamy blend of chickpeas, tahini, lemon and a drizzle of olive oil—and the kash bademjan ($8), eggplant slices served in a creamy, cool walnut sauce. From the Indian menu, devour the mixed vegetable pakora ($6) deep-fried vegetable fritters in chickpea flour. Persian kabobs are also among Shiraz’s most popular dishes, especially the koobideh ($14)—tender, seasoned and ground filet mignon served with rice and a charbroiled tomato. Jaffer’s favorite dish is Nihari ($17), a spicy beef stew with bone marrow, but what she really loves is creating imaginative off-menu specials like paneer poutine and rooh afsza (rose syrup) tiramisu. It’s that kind of ingenuity that’ll keep diners interested, on their heels and coming back for more.
Shiraz 2575 S. Decatur Blvd., 702- 870-0860. Daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.