After a successful run as Cosmopolitan’s chef de cuisine, Gerald Chin returns to restaurants at the helm of Michael Mina’s Stripsteak at Mandalay Bay. “I missed being in a restaurant,” he explains. “It’s an adrenaline rush when you’re in service—it’s busy and you’re screaming, super-high stress. You’ve got to be built for it, and it’s kind of the way I am.”
Three months in, Chin is beginning to make his mark on Stripsteak’s menu. One of his immediate changes: adding his twist on a classic, the burger from Bradley Ogden, where he started his Vegas career. He’s combined A5 Kobe, American wagyu, Angus beef, skirt steak and strip steak into a single patty, instantly among Las Vegas’ best.
Another notable addition is the Japanese wagyu beef satay. The way the wagyu melts in your mouth, it doesn’t even need the accompanying black pepper soy glaze, although you’ll still want to try the irresistible sauce.
What else should we expect from Chin at Stripsteak? For one thing, a welcoming environment. “I want fun dining. Shorts and a T-shirt, no problem. I like to eat casual, and the food I want to do now is casual, but yet, you know it’s been taken care of. You know it’s been thought out and executed well. But it’s very approachable.”
Also, be on the lookout for dishes you can split with your tablemates. “Because it’s a steakhouse, there’s a formality of individual plates, which is cool, but I like shared items, so I’m going to try to make sharable items that taste good,” Chin says.
If preview dishes are any indication, it’s safe to say the man known for creating kung pao pig ears will keep the exciting ingredients coming. A recent tasting included “smashed” avocado, coriander and rapini blossoms, wagyu beef tongue and pickled ramp relish. It’ll be interesting to see how they work their way onto the menu, which Chin predicts should be fully revamped in the next month or so.
Stripsteak Mandalay Bay, 632-7414. Daily, 4-10:30 p.m.