Friday. Happy hour. Downtown Summerlin’s Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar. The only seats to be found are on the puppy-friendly patio, which would be nicer if the sun wasn’t glaring. Two tables over, Alice Cooper is finishing his meal. He might be eating chicken, but since this one isn’t alive and he hasn’t thrown it into a crowd, nobody seems to notice.
On a different visit to Lazy Dog, owner Chris Simms explains his philosophy. He wants to take “foodie” foods and make them accessible for the masses. It must be working, since this busy new Las Vegas outpost is the 16th for the chain.
Instead of a classic Vietnamese banh mi, you get a sriracha chicken sandwich ($9.45). I love the addition of crunchy bacon but miss the tangy-ness of the usual pickled veggies on top. From the wok section, sweet and spicy shrimp ($14.95) wins. The texture of the shrimp is just right, the heat kicks in at the end to elevate the dish and the broccoli remains crunchy while soaking up sweet chili and sesame sauce.
While I enjoyed many of the dishes I sampled, one stands above the rest. Chicken Poblano ($13.50) combines a mish-mash of Latin flavors flawlessly. Poblano cream sauce coats the chicken breast chunks along with sweet white corn, peppers, onions and some wonderful tamale cakes. It’s one of those dishes that makes it tough to order other things on return visits. Maybe this is what Alice Cooper should have done with that chicken all those years ago.
Lazy Dog Downtown Summerlin, 702-727-4784. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight; Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.-midnight.