Lazeez Indian Cuisine enjoying a delicious run

The Bella Vista restaurant has crafted a fusion cuisine identity.

Regardless of the obstacle, owner Rafiq Din has always seen himself as someone who will emerge with valuable lessons from every kitchen-based adventure. At Lazeez Indian Cuisine, 763 S. Eighth St., one initial obstacle was the coronavirus pandemic that began just before the May 2020 opening of the restaurant. With 43 years experience in the culinary world, Din appreciates that his Bella Vista location serves as an example of what can happen when one has unwavering dedication to a passion. 

“I like to cook,” he said with a smile about his attraction to the dining world. “It’s that simple to say, and when I make food, I feel I’m bringing joy to people.” 

The Pakistan native has plied his trade in a few states. He opened Lazeez, which translates as “delicious” in Urdu, as a means to spotlight his admiration for various cultures and their dishes. While Indian-inspired plates are an obvious component, given the three-and-a-half-year-old spot’s name, Din also gives nods to Indo-Chinese, Pakistani, Chinese, and Mediterranean foods. 

“I definitely took a chance,” the proprietor said of opening at the start of the pandemic. “I am happy that people like what we put our hearts into. There’s a lot of variety for them to see.”

The light-filled dining room at Lazeez.

The 80-seat BYOB abounds in choices including Indo-Chinese, Vegetarian, Chicken, Lamb, Seafood, and Tandoori Kabob offerings. There are many soups, salads, rices, noodles, and breads to choose from. Options include vegetarian and Halal dishes. Each dish is individually prepared to your taste with adjustable spice levels.

Lazeez’s garlic naan is one of 10 breads that guests can enjoy. Credit: Lazeez Indian Cuisine

“It all depends on how much [diners] want to enjoy and experiment,” Din replied when asked what he recommends. “There are a few that we hear good compliments about, though.” 

The favored finds include the Palak Paneer – spinach and cheese cubes cooked in mild herbs and spices; the Chicken Tikka Masala that Din estimated 70 percent of his patrons request; Tandoori Chicken that relies on a clay oven for its deliciousness; and the Badami Kheer rice pudding flavored with cardamom, almonds, and pistachios.

Lazeez also offers catering and doubles as an event party location.

Lamb shanks have earned special-order status at Lazeez. Credit: Lazeez Indian Cuisine

“I’m constantly looking to be better,” Din said. “Because we have such a big menu, I stay sharp and put my best into everything.” 

Lazeez Italian Cuisine
763 S. Eighth St.
Tuesday through Thursday: 4-9:30 p.m.
Friday: Noon-3 p.m. and 4:30-9:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Noon-9:30 p.m.