First Look: Pepper Smash

by Steven Doyle

Consider Pepper Smash to be Vijay Sadhu’s playful little cocktail den located in the Shops at Legacy in Plano. We took a look at the place while it was being built and gathered plenty of background, but today Pepper Smash is open and ready for business and we were hungry.

The atmosphere is built for comfort and the form takes full advantage of every nook in the smallish restaurant in true shotgun shack style. Hot woods and metals surround the atmosphere giving the new restaurant a clean updated vibe. A garage door allows the crowd to spill out onto the active parking lot inviting passerby’s to stop in for a look-see.        

Inside guests will enjoy an extensive list of hand cooked cocktails created by Keith LaBonte, owner of Four Lounge in the State and Allen section of Uptown. The drinks, like the signature Pepper Smash, are created behind the bar much like chef Vijay would in his kitchen using sautéed peppers and herbs to make a powerful and boastful libation.

There are plenty of drinks to choose from, and you could get lost in the selection. It is suggested to ask the bartenders for the hot drink of the moment and run with that one.

To the far end of the restaurant you will see Vijay’s very open kitchen laid out suspiciously close to his former digs at Stephan Pyle’s Samar. You will even find a few of his former dishes on this new menu such as Blistered Shisito Peppers sprinkled with the very same smoked salt ($7).

There are plenty of small plates to choose from, and they are quite good and very sharable. Vijay’s signature Almond Crusted Soft Shell Crab ($9) made the list and is a must try.

Also noteworthy is the flatbread. Note this is made using the same dough Vijay would make with his naan and even uses his tandoor oven to crisp the bread. The ingredients are really nice, but on our visit we would have been pleased with a crisper crust. Order this, and ask for it to be crispy.

Winners on the big plate side of the menu include the Striped Bass served with potato and bacon hash and watercress ($21) and the Grilled Quail served with black-eyed peas and porcini mushrooms and rice ($14).

Sadly, there are no Indian dishes to be found. Perhaps with enough coaxing chef Vijay will add those or offer a good curry as a special.

Pepper Smash is worth a visit. There are plenty of kicked up bar fare and fun cocktails to choose from and would be a fantastic and unusual evening out on the town.

6 Comments

Filed under Crave, First Look, Restaurant Opening, Steven Doyle

6 responses to “First Look: Pepper Smash

  1. That place is delicious! I was there and got the hanger steak and tried the chicken tortilla soup! Love it!!!

  2. Chad Koop

    Pepper Smash was fantastic! I had lunch there and will be returning frequently, they took a new and inventive approach to their drink menu and the food is delicious. The tortilla soup is the best i have ever had, the Mediterranean flatbread (5th picture) was superb. I would highly recommend this place to anyone looking for good food and fantastic drinks.

  3. adam hardison

    My wife and I had the pleasure of being one of the very first customers, and when we left, we were very pleased. First, the service: it was excellent, far beyond what you might expect at a new restaurant. The greeters were receptive and engaging, and once we sat down, the waiter, Ryan, was funny and informative about all the things on the menu. Everything about the menu, drinks and food, is unique, and Ryan conveyed it all like he knew it, not like he was selling something. Lots to choose from on both the drink and food side of the menu. Of everything we tried, we enjoyed the Pork Belly something or other (can’t remember the name) the most. It is a very cool place, and we will definitely be back. Go and enjoy!

  4. Rohan Asundi

    Pepper Smash is an excellent restaurant to go to! There is a variety of foods that you can choose from, which is always excellent. From wherever you live, it is worth drive! My friends and I will definitely visit the restaurant again. Don’t miss out on an excellent opportunity!

  5. amber boyd

    Pepper Smash is excellent, went there last night to celebrate my sisters birthday. Service was wonderful very friendly and loved the atmosphere. I had the ceviche tostadas with mango salsa, and the beef short ribs with Cabernet sauce and beer battered onion rings. We also had an order of the truffle mac and cheese that was so creamy and good I will definitely be having more of that and cant wait to try more things on the menu.

  6. Lori

    Just ate there last night and seriously I could not recommend it all!! NEEDS work. The service was good and the atmosphere fun, but with all the great restaurants located in Legacy…. this isn’t one of them! The Basil, Mango, Mint Mojito was tastless and full of ice. We aren’t even sure it contained alcohol – it was that tasteless. The proscuitto flatbread and ceviche small plates were very good, but the main plate Cod was bland, overcooked and simply not very good. For dessert we had the bread pudding which our waitress recommended. It came out and ooked like deep fried french toast, drenched in butter. It was also awful .It was hard to take the 2 bites we took as it had no taste or texture. It tasted like deep fried french toast drenched in butter. Not like any bread pudding I’ve ever had! This restaurant needs work or it won’t be open for long. There’s just too much competition in the area for food this mediocre!

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