On the dining scene, Reno’s diversity of ethnic populations have brought added ingredients to the area’s cuisine. As a result, it’s possible to dine on Salvadoran food one night; Thai, East Indian, Italian, Mexican, Japanese or Greek the next. A sampling of dining options follows.
Zagol Ethiopian Restaurant
The city’s only Ethiopian restaurant, Zagol, is located at 855 E. Fourth Street. Definitely upscale, the restaurant’s décor is sophisticated, with art from Ethiopia on the walls. Meals are served without cutlery, and food is designed to be eaten by scooping it up with a spongy flat bread called injera. Food is served on Ethiopian-crafted platters large enough for all diner’s entrees in addition to a communal salad. Among house specialties are several chicken dishes and a combination of cooked collard greens, yellow split peas and beef.
Dynasty China Bistro
Its storefront location (1185 California Ave.) at the Village Shopping Center makes Dynasty a popular eatery with Reno residents who live in the area. Décor is simple but attractive with red lanterns and Chinese art highlighting the white walls and dark wood paneling. The bill of fare includes traditional Chinese-American dishes along with variations such as glazed shrimp with walnuts, lettuce wrapped chicken and mango curry.
India Kabobs & Curry
India Kabobs & Curry (1091 S. Virginia Street) features an array of exceedingly diverse dishes. Best choice for diners unfamiliar with Indian cuisine is the lunch buffet, served from 10:30 a.m-3 p.m. ($7.95). It includes pakoras (cheese, chicken or other meats deep-fried in chick pea batter), samosas (turnovers with a variety of fillings), kabobs, breads and vegetables flavored with traditional spices from the various regions of the country.
This Greek eatery at Airport Square (1290 E. Plumb Lane) is actually a combination sub shop, restaurant and take-away food operation. It’s a small restaurant, but the menu is extensive with mousaka,pastitsio, spankopita and gyros among the Greek offerings. A half dozen Italian pastas as well as vegetarian meals, subs, panini and other sandwiches are also available. In addition to the inside seating, sidewalk tables are moved outside during warm weather.
At 1575 Vassar Street, this Reno old-timer was formerly known as La Pinata. Portions are generous, with traditional Mexican American offerings – tacos, tortillas, tamales, flautas and chile rellenos – on the menu. However, they’re of higher quality than their counterparts in most other Reno restaurants. The ambience (especially in the dining room on the right side of the restaurant) is pleasantly traditional, with comfortable booths and tables. Service is excellent and in addition to the regular menu, there’s also a buffet.
Two doors down from The Agave, at 1555 Vassar Street, El Quetzal’s cuisine is Guatemalan. Tortillas and salsas are home made. Though the ingredients are much the same as those in Mexican dishes, they’re combined differently and the food is not as spicy as that of its neighbor to the North. For example, the salsa is milder orange in color. The deep fried and stuffed plantain is a popular dessert.
With greenery-bedecked arches, blue and white serving dishes and other decorative touches reminiscent of Thailand’s capital city, the setting at Bangkok Cuisine (55 Mt. Rose Street) is matched by the authenticity of the cuisine. Most menu entrees can be made with either beef, chicken, pork or seafood. Salads can also serve as entrees since most of them include both meat or seafood along with vegetables or fruit. Exotic flavors of ice cream are among the dessert choices.
Almost all of the ethnic restaurants” meals are moderately priced at $30 to $40 for dinner for two. Hours vary. As do closing days.