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Las Vegas

February 27, 2013
Celia Sin-Tien Cheng

t’s been eight years since my last visit to Las Vegas. I remember a good meal at Bradley Ogden, which has since closed, but not much else of the culinary landscape in this city where everything is about the razzle-dazzle. Most of the top restaurants on the Strip are outposts of famous celebrity chefs, which I find rather unoriginal and uninteresting. So I decided that this time, my mission would be to eat at local Las Vegas restaurants that are not associated with any celebrity chef or restaurant group. I was pleasantly surprised to find remarkable Japanese, Thai, Mexican and Taiwanese cuisine in Las Vegas — all off the Strip. I knew that Gourmet magazine had named Lotus of Siam “Best Thai Restaurant in the United States,” but could it be true? You better believe it. And Raku competes with any of the high caliber Japanese restaurants we have in New York. If you look for it, you can find diversity in the most unexpected places.

Egg Pancake A. Yi Mei Champion Taiwan Deli

The most exciting thing about Yi Mei Champion Taiwan Deli is the breakfast selection. It satisfies my nostalgic childhood breakfast cravings, and I made it there twice on my short three day trip. I am ecstatic any time I can find a semi-decent replica of the Chinese flatbread with fried dough and sweet or savory soy milk that I grew up on in... full article

Consomme Loco B. Los Antojos

Los Antojos is a true hole in the wall. The majority of its clientele are local Mexicans; however, its reputation has spread so far and wide that plenty of gringos (count me as one, too, in this case) make it a destination. The roundtrip cab fare from the Strip ends up being more expensive than the meal, but it’s worth it. From tacos to... full article

Sashimi C. Aburiya Raku

A friend who recommended Aburiya Raku specifically told me to order à la carte, but due to the large size of our party, the restaurant limited us to the tasting menu, which started at only $50 per person — a surprisingly great quality-to-price ratio, as we were all so satisfied with everything from the crispy asparagus okaki to the apple... full article

Green Chili Dip D. Lotus of Siam

While eating at Lotus of Siam, I admitted to my friends, who are crazy about Thailand and its cuisine, that since I returned from Bangkok and Chiang Mai, I rarely eat Thai food anymore. It’s not because we don’t have good Thai food in New York, for I’d happily slurp a bowl of noodle soup from Pure Thai Shophouse or make the trek to full article