The retail juggernaut that is the 25-year-old Forum Shops at Caesars Palace still boasts a powerful dining lineup, even if some of the most prominent restaurants (Spago, the Palm, Il Mulino, Trevi, Joe’s, Sushi Roku) have been around for a long time. The next addition is something very different from the American, Italian, Mexican and Japanese food found at the Forum: the Slanted Door, a James Beard Award-winning Vietnamese restaurant with a 20-plus-year history in San Francisco, will open an 8,200-square-foot location here in 2018.
Owner and executive chef Charles Phan was born in Da Lat, Vietnam, and lived in Guam as a youth before moving to San Francisco with his family. After working as a clothing designer and in Silicon Valley tech scene in the ’90s, Phan pioneered a modern, ingredient-driven style of Vietnamese cooking in the Bay Area—and he’ll be doing something similar on the Strip.
Despite the general popularity of southeast Asian food from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines, these cuisines are underrepresented on Las Vegas Boulevard. Aria has the excellent Lemongrass, Bally’s has the mostly forgotten Sea and TI has a pho spot squished into its coffee shop. Beyond those, you can hunt through noodle bar menus for the occasional one-off dish.
Vegas food tourists (Asian or otherwise) have become accustomed to heading off-Strip (mostly to Spring Mountain Road) to find more exotic cuisines, which makes us wonder why it’s taking so long to get this stuff on the Boulevard. The Slanted Door will be a more than welcome addition.