When he’s running the kitchen at Aria’s creative seafood house American Fish, chef Sven Mede stays focused on highlighting the ocean’s treasures. But when it’s time to eat, the chef is obsessed with Asian soups. “When people think of soup, they think of potatoes or broccoli, things more like a stew. Over the last couple of years, Asian soups have kind of made a comeback, and there is so much variety.” Mede loves to sample soups that use wildly different ingredients but are packed with clean, crisp flavors.
Monta (5030 Spring Mountain Road #6, 367-4600) Everyone’s favorite ramen shop is one of Mede’s top spots, too. “I love the idea that it’s such a small menu, and they’re concentrating on the soup. Most places have huge menus, tons of different styles and dishes, and they’re just doing one thing very well. There are five different styles [of broth], but I like the Shoyu ramen the best. It’s got a little saltiness and tanginess to it.”
Raku (5030 Spring Mountain Road #2, 367-3511) Two doors down is the izakaya Raku, every chef’s favorite place for late-night eats. But it’s not necessarily known for soup. “Raku is definitely where it all started, as far as off-Strip eating and a new style of Asian cooking in Vegas,” Mede says. “They use different dishes with their great broth, different little miso soups, and their great dashi broth with tofu.”
Naked Fish (3945 S. Durango Drive #A6, 228-8856) Naked Fish is one of the top neighborhood sushi spots in town, and more recently opened its sister restaurant Kyara, a Raku-style eatery. “Both places serve broth as a side dish to go with fresh vegetables, but they’re doing more pork bone and chicken broth as opposed to just light miso. It adds a new level of richness.”