Las Vegas is a great city for foodies, especially if you live on the Westcoast. It is only a 2 hour flight from Vancouver, making it an easy weekend trip. There is great variety in cuisines and price points. Many “famous chefs” have opened a location in Vegas. From 3 Michelin star places like Guy Savoy, to my favorite sushi in the world – Kabuto (used to be), Vegas is probably the city I have visited most often. Visit the Vegas strip for big name chefs, or take a trip to Chinatown, Spring Mountain Road, and you will be rewarded with a huge variety of Asian choices.
Here are some of the places I try to visit when I am in town and reviews of other places:
Delilah is a supper club located in the Wynn. Its a beautiful dining room that reminds me of old school Vegas or the Great Gatsby. It combines a great atmosphere with entertainment and dining. Oh, and its very hard to get a table. Especially on the weekends. I had been for drinks before, but never for dinner until a recent trip to Vegas. Our table was booked for a Monday.
The service, food, ambiance, and entertainment were all fantastic. I would return and highly recommend this place. In case you can’t get a table, another good somewhat similar option is the Mayfair Club.
The Paleta Bar in Las Vegas’s amazing Chinatown sells, you guessed it, paletas. When I walked into this place, I had never heard of paletas before. The guy working explained that they were Mexican popsicles made from fruit or other ingredients like chocolate.
The result was a work of art in itself. The product was absolutely delicious. Not too sweet and full of flavor. I will be back every time I am in Vegas. The staff are very friendly and proud of their product, it shows in their welcome and the pride they take making it. They will take the time to explain the product if its your first time. Great place!
Kaiseki Yuzu in Vegas serves Kaiseki style cuisine which is similar to a Western tasting menu. This particular restaurant had about 10 seats at a bar where you can watch the chefs prepare your food, and I also saw two small private rooms.
The meal starts with what would be the Western equivalent of an amuse bouche (note that there are a couple of menu options and we went with the highest priced one;
Hakkasan is a modern Chinese restaurant which started in London and has since expanded to many cities. Their London locations have been awarded Michelin stars. The Vegas location opened in 2013 and I have always been curious about the food. I have been to the nightclub side a few times but always changed my mind last minute about dining in the restaurant. 1. I am from a city with tons of good authentic Chinese restaurants, 2. Spring Mountain in Vegas has tons of good Asian restaurants close by, and 3. Chinese food, done with a modern and high end concept, is very hard to pull off well without seeming overpriced or not authentic. On a recent trip to Vegas, I finally decided to give it a try.
We started with the Hakka Basket (assorted dim sum), crispy duck salad, and sesame shrimp toast.
I am always looking for great sushi spots in Vegas especially since I vowed not to go back to Kabuto, and on this trip, I found another – Sushi Hiro. Its a neighborhood place that serves really good sushi. You will need a car as its about 20 minutes from the Strip. Upon walking in, the walls are filled with famous locals that dined there. Then there is a LONG (maybe the longest I have seen) list of daily fresh products, a positive sign for any good sushi place:
Here’s what we ordered starting with the chu-toro. VERY VERY delicious. One thing I didn’t like was they served the tamago as the second piece. Tamago should come at the end.
Spring Mountain is the Chinatown of Vegas and an Asian food lover’s heaven. There are tons of options for delicious Asian food of all types and all price points. I always find something new on every trip. On my last trip to Vegas, I had an amazing lunch at Co Anh Sandwich & Noodle Kitchen. Its not your typical Vietnamese place, they don’t have Pho, and I dont know what you call this style of food, but its delicious!
We started with the meatball sandwich which was served with two meatballs, a savory tomato-based sauce, and a really well made rice flour baguette. The sauce was delicious. Along with this, we got what I think was called Hu Tieu Thit Ba Chi (pork belly and ground pork noodles). They served it with a broth on the side. The broth was incredibly tasty. Clean and good depth of flavor.
On a recent trip to Vegas I was looking for a dinner venue inside the Wynn so that it would be convenient to go to XS after. I settled on Casa Playa, a fairly new Mexican themed restaurant. I had some doubts about eating here. Due to the abundance of good value, and excellent Mexican restaurants in Vegas, I was fearful that this would be some sort of overpriced, inauthentic, atmosphere over food type of scene place. Others in my party expressed the same concerns. Thankfully, we all walked away satisfied.
First, the place is gorgeous. My favorite part of the restaurant is the ceiling. I don’t have a pic but it was made up of hundreds of suspended flower buds. The varying heights of each bud gave the ceiling a nice 3D look.
Scotch 80 Prime is a steakhouse is a steakhouse located inside the Palms in Vegas. The meal started with some bread and chips.
Overall the atmosphere was good and the food was ok. The main issue was with the service. A large private party rolled in after us and the service deteriorated from there. Given that, plus food that was just ok, I would not go back.
One of the great things about Chinatown in Vegas are the plazas filled with food that make it convenient to walk from one place to the next. A perfect example of this is Somi Somi – Korean soft serve and Taiyaki. Its in the same plaza as ShanHai Taste so you can have XLBs and then soft serve for dessert.
We went for the Ube which is a purple yam from the Philippines. Its my favorite ice cream flavor (and cake). The seating is bleacher style.
Din Tai Fung (DTF) is a well established Taiwanese restaurant with locations all over the world. They are known for their Xiao Long Bao. Some locations have even been awarded a Michelin Star. I have had DTF in a few cities around the world. The quality has always been high. I especially like the thin wrappers and 18 folds in each dumpling. Would Vegas live up to this standard? Sadly, not when I went.
This location is inside the Aria. You check in (make a reservation advance), and are then told to go inside to wait to be shown your table. While waiting, you can check out the people making the XLBs. We were eventually seated and ordered the original version and a truffle version for $42. BOTH, were highly disappointing.
Can you have too much of a good thing? I found out the hard way after a recent dinner at Shigotonin in Las Vegas. A friend forwarded me a social media post about this place and its blue fin tuna, so I had to check it out. We were seated promptly and the chef quickly came over with the day’s fresh sheet and proudly explained everything to us. I was not prepared for what was to come!
We started with the 4 kinds of blue fin sashimi. I prefer nigiri over sashimi but my wife wanted to try this so we ordered it. What arrived was the largest and fattiest serving of blue fin tuna I have ever experienced! In this case, less is more. The cuts were simply too big and too fatty to be enjoyable. The first bite was good, the 5th bite was a struggle.
Lawry’s is what introduced me to the pleasures of the prime rib dinner and its still my benchmark for the meal, even though I’ve had lots of it in London. I’ve been going to Lawry’s for over 10 years and then stopped for a few years. Its located off the strip so its not always on my list on short trips to Vegas which are most trips to Vegas.
However, on a recent trip to Vegas, I decided to revisit it. While not as amazing as I remember its still very good. If the past was a 10, its probably like an 8 or 9 now. Your meal will start with the spinning bowl salad. The plate was chilled and they used to also give you a chilled salad fork, but they did not do this on this occasion. The salad is prepared tableside and I believe its some sort of thousand island dressing.
Coming off a disappointing recent visit to Kabuto, which I had, for many many many years, considered one of the best sushi experiences in the world, I searched for an alternative on a recent trip to Vegas. I decided on Sushi Hiroyoshi. From their website and reviews, I could tell it had great potential.
The place differs from Kabuto in that they offer an extensive a la carter menu, in addition to various sushi options. They will also produce items like California Roll which would be a no no at the more traditional places. This is more of a local neighborhood restaurants, off the Strip. They do have an extensive selection of fresh fish.
If you are looking for a fun night out with your partner or a group of friends, including surprisingly delicious food and entertainment with a great atmosphere, then the Mayfair Supper Club is a must visit.
I cannot think of any downside to this place. The dining room has a luxurious/glamour feel to it. There is a party like atmosphere. There is constant entertainment. Here are some videos of the entertainment before we discuss food. Notice the wide variety of singing, dancing and acrobatics.
Shang Artisan Noodle (good spot for handmade noodles and spicy wonton; be prepared to wait)
Doing a quick Google search for more Asian lunch spots in Vegas with ratings over 4.5, I came across Shang Artisan Noodle (4.7 from 1.7k reviews). The reviews were great, but many came with one caveat – very long wait times. In general, I avoid places that do not take reservations no matter how great the reviews are. Shang is kind of an in between. You can go on Yelp and place yourself on a waiting list. They update the list in real time with: your place in the line and an estimated seating time. When I added myself to the list, I was 18th in line with an estimated seating time of 1 hour.
If you are looking for a good authentic, delicious, reasonably priced Korean lunch off the Strip, then Madang Garden is for you. A lot of times I like being on the Strip. Despite the fact that many locals avoid it, just like other “touristy” places like Time Square, I happen to like the glitz, crowds and excitement. However, off the Strip is where you will find a ton of great places to eat, especially of the Asian variety.
Madang Garden is located about 5-10 minutes from the Strip in a rundown strip mall that also houses other famous Asian restaurants like Lotus of Siam. The interior reminds me of a lot of the places I ate in Korea like this BBQ duck place.
Barry’s Prime is a new (ish) steakhouse located in the Circa Resort in downtown Las Vegas. On a previous trip to Vegas, I had reservations which I could not make due to airline delays, so I was looking forward to finally trying this place on my most recent trip.
The interior has a nice classic but modern steakhouse feel to it; almost Gatsby like. We started off with the Caesar salad “as it should be” and I have to admit, it was delicious and as it should be. I believe my recipe is the best “as it should be”, but this would come a close second.
Sometimes its obvious when a restaurant won’t last very long. Its usually some combination of a poorly executed concept, in a poor location, with overpriced food and with service that needs improvement. Unfortunately, Fuhu, in Resort World, is one of those places.
I was really looking forward to Resort World in Vegas which is in itself, also a disappointment. We went on opening weekend in July 2021. For one, the layout of the resort is awkward. For example, you can see shops on the second floor from the main floor, but its a complete hassle to access the second floor. There are no convenient place to go up from wherever you happen to be, and the signage is even worse.
If you have been reading this blog (thank you) you will know that I love Kabuto in Las Vegas. For me, its the best omakase of any I have been to – in the world! On a recent trip to Vegas, a sales associate at a store I was talking about food with told me to try Kame as something better than Kabuto. There have been challengers before, like Yui, but Kabuto has always held on. Would Kame change this?
First, the price difference. Omakase at Kabuto, if I remember correctly from the last time I was there, is $80 where as at Kame, it ranges from $250-$350. The main differences are the ingredients and courses. Kame includes hot dishes and things like Wagyu.
While the Wynn is my favorite hotel in Las Vegas, it does not have the breadth of food options that somewhere like the Cosmo has. They don’t seem to bring in “celebrity” chefs or focus on street food like other hotels. As a result, I was interested in seeing what one of their signature restaurants was like. Would it be overpriced and lack substance? Lets find out.
I chose to try Costa Di Mare because of the focus on fresh seafood flown in daily and the setting. They also have Asian, sushi and steak restaurant options but I think that there are an abundance of top places of these cuisines to go to throughout Vegas.
Partage is a “modern French dining experience” located in Chinatown in Las Vegas. The interior is modern, and has a local feel to it which is great if you are looking for something different from the large Strip restaurants.
There are three tasting menu options (the differences are mainly how many dishes you want) as well as a la carte. We went for the 5 courses for $85 which includes 2 apps, 1 fish, 1 meat and 1 dessert course.
I started with a cocktail which was smoked and well done; in fact I had two.
Majordomo is David Chang’s new restaurant in the Palazzo in Las Vegas (note: some places online will tell you its in the Venetian, but its in the Palazzo).
We started with the cave-aged butter and caviar on bing bread. We were told this was Chinese bread. The butter is actually aged in the ground and had a very nice blue cheese taste to it. The bread was soft, warm and fluffy.
The next dish we tried was the tuna kimbap. The sauce really made this dish. It had good acidity and sweetness which complemented the tuna. The crunch was a nice touch also. Ever since I came back from Korea, I have been eating kimbap everywhere I see it on the menu. Its like the “fast food” of sushi.
Kabuto – To me, its the best sushi in the world. – 2021 update – this is no longer the case.
I have been going to Kabuto almost every time I am in Vegas since it opened in May 2012, and every time I go, I get excited in anticipation of eating there. To me, its the best sushi in the world, and always consistent. On top of that, it represents probably the best value for any meal I have had (I was hesitant to say this because they may read this and raise the price, but they deserve it!). The omakase nigiri is ONLY $48! I have paid hundreds of $s for Michelin starred sushi that was not as good as Kabuto, in places like Japan, NYC etc etc.
This visit, January 14, 2019, was no different.
When you order Omakase, you are also given an a la carte menu that you can order additional pieces off.
The Italian expression, “fare la scarpetta” describes the gesture of taking the little boot-shaped piece of bread to soak up the remaining sauce left in the pot of one’s home kitchen. The restaurant’s name is derived from this familial gesture and represents the indulgent pleasure of savoring a meal down to its very last taste.
The philosophy of Scarpetta’s kitchen is one of creating bold flavors by amplifying the essence of seasonal ingredients. The signature pastas are made in-house daily and are paired with the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients. Scarpetta’s famous Spaghetti Tomato and Basil is classic simplicity in both taste and preparation.
The first dish was this bowl which had uni at the bottom and was very delicious. I could of had another one and was the best dish of the meal.
The second dish were oysters with wasabi butter and celery root. The oysters were good, but I would not order them this way again. I think oysters are best simple unless the garnish/sauce is adding a lot of value, but in this case, I did not think it did. The third dish was scallop robata with a ceviche type sauce and red onions. There was something too spicy in the dish which overpowered everything else.