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Dining

Distill nails the casual neighborhood bar experience

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The Cure burger at Distill blends beef with pork, plus fontina cheese, jalapeño jelly, spicy mayo and fried parsnips.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

It’s refreshing to walk into a suburban bar and grill on a Friday night and be greeted not by a hostess explaining how long you’ll wait for a table (in a bar!), but instead with a sign that says: “Please seat yourself.” After all, you chose this place because it’s been a long week, right? Let’s just get a few drinks and share something greasy and talk it out. Let’s not deal with reservations and tablecloths and wine lists.

The flipside: This place, Distill, is packed, and you can’t seat yourself if there are no seats. No big deal; we retire to the patio where loud, happy people dwell and servers notice us almost immediately. Drinks happen, along with an order of avocado eggrolls ($7.99), which are more about cream cheese than avocados, but that’s just fine. It’s encouraging to see a crowd here, the former home to similar but unassociated Mexican restaurants Dos Caminos and Agave.

Distill does a proper Cobb salad.

Distill is the latest joint from the company behind comfy Henderson bars Remedy’s and Elixir. We’ll see how their formula works in Summerlin, but so far, so good. The cavernous interior looks and feels more like a bar, sacrificing extra tables for a billiards space and areas better suited for drinking and lingering. It never closes; happy hour hits twice (3 to 6, a.m. and p.m.); and there’s a breakfast menu with biscuits and gravy, build-your-own omelets and carne asada sliders ($8.99).

There are few frills with Distill’s food, but no obvious failures. The Cure burger ($9.99) teases tons of flavor, a patty with pork ground into the beef plus fontina cheese, jalapeño jelly, spicy mayo and fried parsnips. It’s not spicy but it is delicious, the meat loosely packed for optimal juiciness. Pizzas pep up the standard bar-food offerings, but I recommend the calzones ($10.95-$12.50), which balance the perfect dough-sauce-cheese-meat ratios. There are tons of slider options, from chicken cordon bleu to BLT, and you can mix and match with a six-pack ($14.99).

Whatever you like at your other neighborhood bar is available at Distill, beef tenderloin tips to seared ahi salads, specialty cocktails to liqueur floaters in your pint. But here, it’s just a little more … refreshing.

Distill 10820 W. Charleston Blvd., 534-1400. 24/7.

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Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's food editor and author of the Strip-focused column The Incidental Tourist. He has written ...

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