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Lori Sparkman Photography and Shibani Lal



Star of India



Nestled in the heart of the Capital City, the Star of India Restaurant is a testament to the American dream, passionately brought to life by Sami Lal. From the moment he arrived in the United States, Sami was driven by a singular vision: to introduce the rich, vibrant flavors of Indian cuisine to his new home.

This journey – from Nakodar, Punjab, to Little Rock, Arkansas – embodies the essence of the American Dream. “Cooking is a passion that runs deep in my veins,” Sami reflects. His restaurant is more than a business; it’s a lifelong commitment to sharing the authentic flavors of India and fostering genuine hospitality. Since 1993, Star of India has been a star of cultural celebration, beloved for its all-you-can-eat lunch buffet – a concept Sami introduced to enrich each guest’s experience with a variety of flavors. This continues to turn first-time visitors into loyal patrons, creating a place where community and culinary excellence converge. “Our menu blends traditional dishes with innovative creations to offer a unique and memorable dining experience,” Sami affirms. Through his dedication and passion, Sami has not only realized his dream but has also created a welcoming home for everyone who steps through the restaurant’s doors.

Through the years, Star of India has evolved – always adapting to changes in the culinary landscape while remaining true to its heritage. The restaurant offers a diverse array of services including the popular lunch buffet, an extensive à la carte menu and customized event catering. Marketing Director Shibani Lal adds, “in an industry as dynamic as ours, staying ahead of the curve is essential. Whether it’s embracing new culinary trends, incorporating customer feedback, or leveraging technology for enhanced service, we are constantly evolving to meet the ever-changing demands of our discerning clientele.” 

Star of India remains a testament to the American dream. Sami’s journey has not been without challenges, but his perseverance and optimism continue to bring success for the business. Star of India receives outstanding reviews from food critics, accolades for best Indian and vegetarian cuisine, and earned a prestigious place in the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame in 2021. With more than 40 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Sami has transformed his passion for authentic Indian cuisine into a celebrated culinary destination, enriching the local community with every flavorful dish.

Through hard work, a deep passion for cooking, and an unwavering commitment to hospitality, Sami and the Lal family have turned their American dream into reality. Star of India enriches the culinary landscape of Little Rock – creating a legacy of love, flavor, and community spirit. Visit Star of India and become part of a story where every meal is a celebration of tradition, innovation, and heartfelt hospitality.


301 North Shackleford Road, Little Rock


Owner Sami Lal


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