The best new restaurants of 2016

Avocado salad at Libertine Social.
Photo: Mikayla Whitmore


The B&E renovation of the former Comme Ça space might have deprived us of one of the Strip’s best sight lines, but in its place we have a playful lineup of small plates, including a duo of memorable tartares—an innovative tomato rendition along with a more traditional steak—and outrageously good grilled cheese and tomato soup dumplings. I’d argue that’s a pretty fair trade. Cosmopolitan, 702-737-0707. –JB


My meal du jour? An order of toothpick lamb with cumin, “numb-taste” (seriously) wonton, kung pao chicken and Chengdu fried rice at this bare-bones Sichuan joint in a Chinatown parking lot masquerading as a street. Chengdu’s spiciness is not for the faint of heart, but the food is so worth the pain. 3950 Schiff Drive, 702-437-7888. –JB

Pretty little pulled chicken "arepas" at Beauty & Essex.

Pretty little pulled chicken "arepas" at Beauty & Essex.


This fresh, healthy, precise French café snuck onto the west-side restaurant landscape seemingly out of nowhere, bringing beautiful plates of miso-honey salmon with parsnip purée and zucchini-cumin quiche. This is exactly the kind of restaurant we need all over the Valley in order for that landscape to continue its upward development. 7865 W. Sahara Ave. #104, 702-608-5233. –BR


Moving from its kiosk at Dino’s to a real (vibrant) restaurant space at Soho Lofts has transformed an addictive sandwich stop into a new Vegas institution. Josh Clark’s ingredient-driven obsession is now also one of Downtown’s best breakfast options. 900 Las Vegas Blvd. S. #120, 702-910-8681. –BR


Technically, Ellamar debuted his update to Sensi in late-December 2015, but his umami-laden farro porridge is so good, I’ll break the rules for it. Order anything from the Harvest snack wagon when it arrives tableside and wash it down with a bottled, brown butter-infused Manhattan. Bellagio, 702-693-8865. -JB


Brian Malarkey’s second Strip restaurant brought beloved chef Geno Bernardo back to Las Vegas, and their joint dedication to fresh seafood composed with creativity shines through. You can get oysters and ceviche and killer poke, and that classic Nove spaghetti, too. Aria, 702-590-9898. –BR.

Standard & Pour's whole smoked romanesco.

Standard & Pour's whole smoked romanesco.


The savvy, talented team behind Chinatown fave District One got the chance to build the modern Vietnamese restaurant of its dreams Downtown and knocked it out of the park. Don’t miss the five-spice pork spring roll, the lotus root salad or the pho-dipped banh mi. 353 E. Bonneville Ave. #115, 702-383-0209. –BR


Ably helmed by chef Jamaal Taherzadeh, Shawn McLain’s newest venture wields a lineup of fun, approachable dishes to pair with infamous mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim’s cocktails. The silky, modern fried egg might be the year’s single-best new dish, but other fresh favorites abound, from Parmesan churros to the country ham flatbread, a high-end homage to Hawaiian pizza. Mandalay Bay, 702-632-7800. –JB


Chris Palmeri offers a chef’s menu with wild abandon at this ambitious new pub. Your favorite Naked City classics—hand-cut fries, wings and pizzas—are still available, but so is smoky bacon risotto and the soon-to-be-famous foieco, combining uni crema-drizzled foie gras and duck confit in a house-made red corn tortilla. If you’re not intrigued, we can no longer be friends. 6295 S. Pecos Road, 702-966-0771. –JB


Simon Hospitality Group’s newest venture­—way out in Henderson—serves as a fitting bookend to Kerry Simon’s storied career. The essence of a chef famous for elevating comfort food can be found in mac and cheese finished with port wine sauce and a sharp, rich date and bleu cheese jam. 11261 S. Eastern Ave. #200, 702-629-5523. –JB


Bonchon Chicken 6455 S. Rainbow Blvd., 702-778-0488.

Jardin Encore, 877-321-9966.

Kitchen Table 1716 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway #100, 702-478-4782.

Niu Gu 3400 S. Jones Blvd. #16, 702-570-6363.

Pro Kabob Persian Restaurant 3854 W. Sahara Ave., 702-830-9495.

Shang Artisan Noodle 4983 W. Flamingo Road, 702-888-3292.

Photo of Jim Begley

Jim Begley

Jim Begley is an avid food lover who began writing about his Las Vegas dining adventures to defray his obscene ...

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Photo of Brock Radke

Brock is an award-winning writer who has been documenting life in Las Vegas for 20 years. He currently leads entertainment ...

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