Skip to Content

TLO Restaurant Review: Nātv Restaurant


Outside of frybread tacos and the occasional meat pie, the only place in the metro to get authentic Indigenous-inspired dishes is Thirty-Nine Restaurant at the First Americans Museum.

It is a magnificent place for a Native American lunch from eleven to two, but, to be fair, it’s a restaurant in a museum, which isn't the most convenient spot to grab a bite to eat.

That's one reason why I was excited to check out Nātv Restaurant, 1611 S. Main St, in Tulsa – an Oklahoma restaurant primarily for Indigenous people and their healthy appetites.

I stopped by last week when in town for a Wilco concert at Cain's and I'm happy to say I may never recover.

Though dinner starts around four, I was told by the server that they were about to close a couple of weeks for the Tulsa edition of the Oklahoma State Fair.

I quickly thanked my lucky stars we arrived before the shutdown because my girlfriend and I pre-planned our menu choices for around a month and we were ready to symbolically feast.

Orders already in, I went to the powder room and I noticed how immaculate the area was, with sprigs of life-giving herbs and a basket of feminine needs, there for anyone to take. Maybe I am alone in this, but this is one of the best comfort stations I have ever seen. I hope more of these pop-up!

After a few minutes of branded conservations and tremulous laughter, we started with a precious appetizer, the Trio Corn Cakes ($13.00). Three corn cakes are succulently topped with pork belly succotash, seasonally picked berries, and a beef filet topped with wojapi.

Even though this was the appetizer, it was amazing enough to be a full meal.

Pork belly is my favorite cut of meat, but with the mouth-watering berries and the hearty corn cake, it was startling to have its sumptuous bite on my fork. We downed the dish as quickly as it arrived, and quickly mourned our loss as it disappeared.  

After a few beats of a great conversation and promoting our appetizer to the next table, we were ready for our main course, starting with my girlfriend’s dish of Pork Belly Succotash ($14.00) with a healthy helping of corn, black beans, seasonal squash, and onions.

After a few bites, my girlfriend slowly put her fork down and savored this wild concoction, saying it was the greatest morsel of food she had ever tried. The fresh corn and squash tempered with hearty black beans and onions was almost an afterthought to the devious pork belly, which stole the show.

Meanwhile, I dug into my Shredded Bison Taco ($15.00), with a real herd of bison stampeding my flavor profile. The bluest of corn tortillas are filled with shredded bison topped with a blackberry salsa, and the tastiest frybread and honey on the side.

This was an emotional trip through my palate: the blue corn tortilla brought a new passageway of taste, with the textured bison and the flavorful blackberry salsa, along with simple and wondrous frybread and honey, striking a flavorful chord to create the most impressive dinner I have ever had.

It was my most perfect meal, no doubt.

Of course, I was offered dessert and who was I to say no?

The corn-based cheesecake was out of this world. With my spoon waging a tug-of-war with my girlfriend for the last bite, the real blueberries bounced on my plate and quickly rolled to my mouth.

As I dropped my napkin on the table, I made a note that this might be the best meal I have ever eaten—and, after thinking about it, I had to amend my words…I firmly believe this is the best meal I have ever eaten.

For a restful coda, as I went to pay the check I did something I never do: I asked to buy a shirt.

Sadly, they were all at the fairgrounds. Still wanting a memento of my wonderous time here, I instead bought a beanie off a mannequin, wanting everyone to know one Natv is the best restaurant in Oklahoma, full stop.

Cómpralo ya!


Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter