I was in the mood for Indian and taking everyone's recommendation I tried Origins.
When I got there the place was empty. The decor was nice, sedated lighting, not over staged.
We were greeted by what later turned out to be the busgirl. She was nice enough but didn't know much about the menu.
As a matter of fact, the first thing she gave both of us was a drink menu. We had to ask for the regular menu.
We had wanted to try the tasting menu but no one, including the waitress was able to adequately explain it to us. There was no list on what was included in the menu and we were first told that we could pick each course off the regular menu then told that we could only pick the entree. Since we couldn't get a straight answer we skipped it.
Instead we ordered Samosas and the Punjabi gram flour dumplings in silky yogurt sauce.
The samosas were really good and presented in an interesting manner. Both the tamarind and mint sauces were perfect. A little spicy but totally made the dish. As a matter of fact, I kept them for the entree.
The dumplings....or rather dumpling, as there was one, had a nice flavor but was floating in a sea of sauce without anything to mop it up with. The dimpling itself was meltingly tender and lovely. The sauce was too understated, but my companion liked it well enough.
For an entree he ordered the chicken with mushrooms and prunes and I ordered the duck...cause it is highly likely that if duck appears on the menu, I will order it.
Presentation was again beautiful...but...for the chicken at least, very bland. It was chicken breast in a pale creamy sauce with rice. So white on white, a little green would have been welcome. The duck was presented beautifully with a crispy thigh, atop a roasty and perfect rectangle of decadent butter poached potato.
The duck was crisped to the point of being defated, with the meat still tender. Right on the mark. The butter poached potato had a fantastic, rich butter flavor and was perfectly cooked. The kumquat marmalade was a perfect accompanyment and I love love loved the way it was presented in an individual jam jar. It could have used a little more sour, but I did that myself by adding a bit of the tamarind.
The chicken was a tight (tightest I have ever seen) roll of flattened breast stuffed with a good selection of tasty mushrooms. I did not taste the prunes. The chicken was a bit dry in places and while the sauce was pleasant, it needed something else. A little kick of something. Again, something I fixed by adding a bit of tamarind sauce.
The portions were nice but not too filling. My companion and I even had room for dessert,
We ordered a sampler consisting of the carrot pudding which should have been rolled in cigars but was not, the beet pudding, and the mango kulfi.
My companion took an instant disliking to both the carrot and the beet puddings, finding them unpleasant. I on the other hand, enjoyed the carrot pudding, but agreed on the beets. The beet (which I am normally a fan of) were oddly grainy, like they had let the sugar crystallize. It was horrible. The carrots, while unusual, and with a slight vegetal edge, did not suffer from the same problem as the beets and while unusual were not unpleasant.
The kulfi was perfect. Creamy and dense with the slow melting characteristic that is common to really good kulfi. It had a light but noticeable mango flavor and it was not too sweet.
Over all the food was a little hit or miss, the dishes that were good were spot on good. The dishes that weren't were still not bad.
The service however was awful. Our waitress talked to us twice and then vanished. Her assistant, the bus girl was very attentive though. But she didn't know much and presented with questions did a deer in headlights look. When I complained about the beets she just ran off with the tray and did not offer to make substitutions. We were ignored for most of the ordering process, our questions were not adequately answered and for the most part we had to flag down people when we wanted something.
Would I go again? Probably not. Though I think I am going to develop that kumquat recipe and add tamarind to it. That was yummy.
4480 Paradise Road, Suite 1200, Las Vegas, NV 89169