The Restaurants at My End of the Universe

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Every time we go out for Indian food, we’re both amazed at how many flavors can be packed into what look like rather simple dishes.  The sauces are so rich and have such a warmth as you’re eating it that we both can’t seem to find the right words to describe it.  The same held true for our trip back to 5th Element Indian Cuisine in Oldsmar tonight. 

We were there for their opening a couple of weeks ago and decided to try it again tonight to order off the menu.  I was happy to see at least half of the restaurant full with customers.  New restaurants come and go so quickly nowadays. 

Loren munched while we looked at the menu.  He loves the green sauce.

We wanted to try the lamb samosa for an appetizer, but they didn’t have any, so we ended up trying the veg samosa instead.

It had some spice to it.  I used the sweet sauce with it, but it still made my tongue tingle.  For a potato and peas deep fried pastry, it packed a lot of punch. 

Loren ordered the chicken tikka masala with medium heat.

The heat level on this dish was very deceptive.  I tasted it and it didn’t taste overly spicy to me, but Loren said he really didn’t feel it until later in the evening.  The chicken was very tender and the sauce creamy and flavorful.  He really enjoyed it and even had a little left for lunch tomorrow.

I ordered the chicken makhani, mild, and some garlic naan.

The chicken was julienned, so the pieces were thin, but really tender.  The sauce was amazing.  Again, I just can’t find the words to describe it.  It’s smooth and silky with an overall warmth and a spice combination that just works.  The naan bread was good, but I couldn’t really taste a lot of the garlic.  Mind you, by this point, my tongue was probably numb anyway.  I had some leftovers as well.  For $31, we left full and our taste buds were really happy.

5th Element Taste of India
3780 Tampa Road
Oldsmar, FL
(813) 475-5955

5th Element Taste of India on Urbanspoon

Food5/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.4/5
  • 1 Comment
  • Filed under: Indian, Oldsmar
  • Opening Day


    5th Element Taste of India opened up in Oldsmar today, so we figured we’d check them out on opening night.  To our surprise, they were offering a complimentary buffet all day today to celebrate their opening.

    The restaurant looks a lot different from when it was the Latin American Grill.  Bright colors on the walls make the room look bigger now.  The owners were very friendly, walking around and talking to everyone in the restaurant. 

    As for the food, I think we tried just about everything on the buffet and it was all very good.

    We both went back for seconds.  I wish I could remember the names of all of the dishes.  There was some tandoori chicken, goat curry, biryani, rice, naan bread and a bunch of other tasty treats.  I was feeling the heat more than Loren was and thankfully, they kept refilling my water glass.   They also had some yummy desserts including a mango dish that Loren got and some mango soft serve ice cream. 

    They’ll be offering the lunch buffet during the week and I’m sure we’ll be back soon to try out the dinner menu which is posted online.

    5th Element Taste of India
    3780 Tampa Road
    Oldsmar, FL
    (813) 475-5955

    5th Element Taste of India on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value4/5
    4.0/5
  • 1 Comment
  • Filed under: Indian, Oldsmar
  • Quiet Dinner


    We started out tonight with plans to eat at Carmel Cafe in Safety Harbor.  We walked in the door and the noise level was deafening.  Even if there hadn’t been a 20 minute wait, I don’t think we’d have stayed.  Have to try them on a less busy night. 

    Next stop was Cheddars in Clearwater, but they also had a very long wait.  Guess everyone decided to go out to eat tonight around 6:30pm.  We ended up at Deeya Indian Cuisine.  It was serenely quiet in there which is a wonderful thing after a long day at work.

    We started out with the Keema Samosa.

    Deep fried pastry with lamb and peas inside.  It had a little bit of spice, but nothing overwhelming.  It was pretty tasty. 

    Loren got the chicken Tikka Masala. 

    He got it medium spiced and after a few bites, thought perhaps he should have gotten it mild.  He ended up stealing some of the mild sauce from my Butter Shrimp and mixing it in with his.

    The last time we ate here, I got the same dish, but I thought it had more flavor.  Tonight, I found it to be fairly bland and the shrimp were a little overcooked.  We also had to get some garlic Naan bread to sop up any remaining sauce.

    Fresh, hot, buttery, and garlicly.  Good stuff.  Service during our meal was pretty good, they filled my water glass regularly.  However, once we were finished, we waited for a while before anyone came back to clear the plates and get our check.  Total bill was $42.

    Deeya Indian Cuisine
    5166 East Bay Drive
    Largo, FL
    727-539-273

    Deeya Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere4/5
    Value3/5
    3.2/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Clearwater, Indian
  • The last time we ate at Bawarchi Indian Cuisine, they had a buffet.  Tonight we went back to try some of the entrees.  Several groups came in at the same time and the one waiter was completely overwhelmed.  It took a long time just to get our drink orders placed and brought to the table. 

    We started off with the Onion Bhaji. 

    The menu said it was dipped in a spicy batter and it wasn’t kidding.  There was quite a bit of heat going on in this dish.  The dipping sauces were sweet, but nothing could overcome the spice.

    Loren ordered the Chicken Bhuna, medium spicy.

    He thinks he should have gone mild on this dish.  He said it was delicious though.  Lots of interesting melded flavors.  He also said between this and the appetizer, his taste buds got all out of whack.  For some reason, anything with a hint of sweetness tasted much sweeter to him. 

    I ordered the Lobster Makhani, but they were out of lobster, so I ended up with shrimp instead.

    This was awesome.  I ordered it mild, but it still had such a complex array of flavors.  That’s the thing we’ve noticed most about Indian cuisine, the flavors just continue to build on one another.  And of course we had to have some garlic Naan to dip in the sauce.

    Yummy Naan bread.  It was buttery and garlicy and just scrumptious dipped in the rest of my Makhani sauce.  

    Our waiter never returned to our table to ask how we were doing or to refill drinks.  The food was awesome, but expect to be there for a while and don’t expect too much in the way of service.  Total bill was $40.

    Bawarchi Indian Cuisine
    34832 US Hwy 19
    Palm Harbor, FL
    727-789-9760

    Bawarchi Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service1/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    2.8/5
  • 1 Comment
  • Filed under: Indian, Palm Harbor
  • Sometimes, we’re just not original in our selection of entrees.  We went back Laziz Indian Cuisine tonight and ended up ordering the exact same entrees we ordered the first time we came here.  It’s funny how you can look at a menu and certain things just grab you. 

    We did however order an appetizer this time, the Cheese Pakora.

    It was ok, but I wouldn’t order it again.  The chick pea batter doesn’t get crispy and the cheese inside doesn’t melt at all.  It just had an odd overall texture that didn’t do much for me.

    So, for our entrees, we ordered the Shrimp Makhani and the Chicken Jalfrezi plus some garlic Naan bread.  Everything was soooo good.  We cleared the plates.  The sauces are thick and rich with just the right amount of spices.  And dipping the Naan bread into the Makhani sauce was divine.

    Total dinner ran us $40.  The flavors in Indian food are just so unique compared to other cuisines we’ve tried.  Unfortunately, we never have any leftovers because the food’s too good to leave any on our plates. 

    Laziz Indian Cuisine
    2475 N McMullen Booth Rd
    Clearwater, FL
    727-797-7541

    Laziz Authentic Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

    Food5/5
    Service4/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value4/5
    4.3/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Clearwater, Indian