New York City’s East Village can go toe-to-toe with any place in America for the most quality restaurants per square foot. So it says something that within that high-quality culinary corridor, Luke’s Lobster is a must-try destination. That’s where I first tried the delicious lobster roll, and it’s the reason I’m thrilled Luke’s has opened its first West Coast outpost Strip-side at the Fashion Show.
The Vegas branch is perhaps Luke’s smallest, basically a hut with four tables off to the side. In the summer, you’ll likely wait for a seat, but the food is worth it. The lobster roll ($18) is better than the ones going for double that price at other Strip restaurants. What they do so well here is keep it simple; having grown up in Maine, founder Luke Holden knows to let the seafood speak for itself. Everything that goes on the roll is there solely to accentuate the taste of the sweet claw and knuckle meat installed in a buttered, toasted bun, including a subtle lemon-butter, spices and a bit of mayo.
There are also crab rolls ($14) and shrimp rolls ($10). I prefer the latter, as the shrimp is plump and juicy. For an extra $7 or $8 you can make it a soup combo, adding creamy lobster bisque or clam chowder with potatoes in a velvety broth. The combo also comes with crispy Cape Cod potato chips, a snappy sour pickle and your choice of Northeastern-based beverage. The Blueberry Main Root soda is my favorite, a satisfying, not cloyingly sweet carbonated drink. It’s nice to know you no longer have to go back East for one of its great tastes.
Luke's Lobster Fashion Show Mall, 702-866-6602. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight.