I fight an uphill battle. It isn’t easy to convince my fellow Las Vegans, my friends and neighbors, to make that drive to the Strip and struggle against the tourist current to experience a delicious but expensive dinner. Even though my mission continues, I understand that for many of us, it’s just not worth it.
- Mastro's Ocean Club
- Crystals at CityCenter, 798-7115
- Daily, 5-11 p.m.
But for a lot of you, it is. So when I find a restaurant where the food is worth the big bucks, I’m gonna let you know. Mastro’s Ocean Club is a perfect example. It’s part of a group of steakhouses and seafood joints better known for locations in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Beverly Hills. Here, it’s a lavish space stretching into that crazy tree house in the center of Crystals, CityCenter’s oversized shopping mall. Mastro’s seems like the kind of place only lawyers and tourists visit.
The food is incredible. The seafood selection is unparalleled, starting with every variety of delectable, chilled shellfish imaginable. Everything is prepared simply and beautifully, from shrimp cocktail ($19) to live Maine lobster. There are steaks and chops, sure, but save the indulgence for side dishes big enough for four, like lobster mashed potatoes ($38), gorgonzola mac and cheese ($10) and Alaskan king crab black truffle gnocchi ($29). The portions and quality of the seafood justify the bill, and the style is impeccable: Don’t miss the arctic char oreganata, moist, delicate fish with a gentle coating of breadcrumbs, garlic and lemon ($38).
In other cities, Mastro’s is a dining institution. In Vegas, it’s overlooked.