The Vegas dishes you need to eat right now

Momofuku’s bo ssäm—yet another reason we’re glad David Chang finally opened a Vegas outpost.
John Estrada

Bo Ssam at Momofuku

There’s no better way to live large-format than the bo ssäm at world-beating chef David Chang’s finally-in-Vegas Momofuku. A full order of this wondrous slow-roasted pork shoulder feeds as many as 10, and it comes with oysters to slurp, too. The pork, tender and fatty, is great for making lettuce wraps, but we also like it as the centerpiece of a DIY rice bowl with the accompanying kimchi and ginger-scallion sauce. Choose your own adventure. $134-$268. Cosmopolitan, 702-698-2663. –Andy Wang

Squid Ink Drunken Noodles at Arawan Thai Bistro

Otherwise known as pad kee mow (kee mow means “drunkard” in Thai). This dish’s traditional wide rice noodles get swapped out for squid ink-dyed black spaghetti at Arawan, which adds in plump shrimp, tender morsels of beautiful flower-cut squid, juicy scallops and meaty mussels. The oceanic ambrosia is then tossed with onions, Thai basil, green peppercorns, mushrooms and a spicy chili sauce for a unique, updated take on a classic. $23. 953 E. Sahara Ave., 702-734-7799. –Leslie Ventura

fat man fries at the kitchen at atomic

This one combines practically everything chef Josh Horton has in his kitchen: chili, hot dogs, bacon, onions, peppers … But because he’s nothing but classy, it’s completed with a tableside presentation that smothers on smoky adobo cheddar sauce from the skillet. Because why wouldn’t fries be finished tableside? $8. 927 Fremont St., 702-534-3223. –Jim Begley

Vaca Vieja Rib Eye Tasting at Bazaar Meat

Dining on old cows is big in Basque country, apparently, and José Andrés is hell-bent on bringing that tradition to the States. At Bazaar, 8-year-old dairy cows from Mindful Meats in Petaluma find a new lease on life as vaca vieja—literally “old cow.” Dry-aged for 30 days, the meat conveys the robust funkiness typically reserved for cuts dry-aged much longer. Neither tender nor marbled, this meat isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for something truly different, this is it. $45. SLS, 702-761-7610. –JB

Lomo Saltado at El Toque Del Sabor

There’s no shortage of tasty lomo saltado—the starch-laden, Chinese-influenced Peruvian cuisine favorite—throughout the Valley. But the tastiest might just come from the assured kitchen of El Toque del Sabor. And it’s not the medium-perfect steak slices you’ll be feverishly shoveling into your gob first—it’s the papas fritas sponging up the dish’s heavenly marinade, which also transforms the adjacent scoop of white rice. Actually, if you’re eating it right, you’ll mix all three together, a sopping, swoon-worthy balance of cow and carb. $14.99. 2501 E. Tropicana Ave. #2E, 702-547-0855. –Mike Prevatt

grilled cheese tomato soup dumplings at beauty & essex

On a menu full of one-bite wonders, these dynamic dumplings are the most memorable. The hip NYC spot that recently opened in Vegas and LA takes one of our most revered childhood food memories and gives it the xiao long bao treatment, with rich, savory tomato soup inside the grilled cheese, plus smoked bacon for an extra-savory kick. Better get a double-order. $18. Cosmopolitan, 702-737-0707. –Brock Radke

cheeseburger at eggslut

Everyone in line at Cosmo’s second-floor brekkie heaven is thinking about egg sandwiches, which means one of the city’s best burgers is getting slept on. That perfect, warm brioche bun works just as well swaddling ground Angus beef, caramelized onions and cheddar cheese as it does eggs, and of course there’s an over-medium gem here, too. Tangy dijonnaise and bread-and-butter pickles provide the snap that makes all the difference. $10. Cosmopolitan, 702-698-7000. –BR

crab fat fried rice at chada street

The name is enticing enough, and Chada Street delivers on its promise. The heaping mound of hot and savory rice arrives flavorful and moist, thanks to the decadent crab fat, and it’s only made better with the addition of more crab meat and egg. It’s one of the least adventurous options on one of the city’s most interesting, menu, but it’s a must-try you’ll end up ordering again and again. $12. 3839 Spring Mountain Road, 702-579-0207. –LV

kaya toast at flock & fowl

Unless you’ve been lucky in the daily special sweepstakes at F&F—or spent time in Singapore—you’ve never had kaya toast. Chef Sheridan Su slathers toasted brioche in a house-made coconut jam with Asian vanilla and tops it with a soft-boiled egg flavored with dark soy. The result: a southeast Asian breakfast staple delivering sweet and savory in each bite. It’s a rotating special, so call ahead to confirm its availability. $5. 380 W. Sahara Ave., 626-616-6632. –JB

veal parm at carbone

Let’s talk about tomato sauce. It’s the most spectacular of sauces, salty and sweet and umami. Combine it with cheese, basil and a colossal cut of meat, and you might have the most perfect of entrées. So, yes, ball out on the tender veal parm at Carbone. Enjoy the juicy cutlet and every drop of the tomato sauce, then indulge your inner caveman. This is your big night out, so don’t be shy about gnawing on the bone. $64. Aria, 877-230-2742. –AW

porchetta at libertine social

Executive chef Jamaal Taherzadeh’s insanely rich and savory roast consists of layers of juicy meat, crispy skin and totally indulgent pig fat. Braised for 24 hours, the inside remains moist and tender while the rich, Latin-inspired red pepper romesco and green garlic puree add a spicy one-two punch. It’ll have mouths watering the moment it hits the table. $21. Mandalay Bay, 702-632-7558. –LV

boiled fish with green pepper sauce at chengdu taste

Don’t be fooled by the clear, clean broth. There is nothing mellow about the boiled fish with green pepper sauce at Chengdu. Even if you avoid the Szechuan peppercorns and the mound of green and red chilis floating above the liquid, even if you carefully scoop out the delicate and excellent fish filets, you’ll feel a burn and a mouth-numbing mala tingle with every remarkable bite. Remember, there’s Dole Whip at Golden Tiki in the same strip mall if you need to cool off after. $14.99. 3950 Schiff Drive, 702-437-7888. –AW

chocolate flower pot cake at jardin

We get it. You’re ordering the Jardin Signature Fleur partially for the Instagram likes and to document your sugar high with a Snap story that’s as envy-inducing as the champagne showers at XS. But after you grab a fork and smash what looks like a blooming flower pot at Jardin, you’d better eat the perfectly moist chocolate cake inside. It’s a layered, creamy masterpiece that happens to come with edible flowers. So sure, film yourself while you’re enjoying your dessert. $18. Encore, 702-770-3463. –AW

black pasta with crab and truffle cream at marc's trattoria

Like so many of the most memorable pasta dishes at Marc’s Trattoria—and its precursor, Parma—this unorthodox masterpiece began as an experiment, and then a special, before working its way into the regular rotation. Fresh, house-made black fettuccine gets all sauced up with truffle cream and quite a bit of jumbo lump crab meat, with some spring peas speckled in for color and sweetness. It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend eating it up. $26. 8615 W. Sahara Ave., 702-233-6272. –BR

golden trout amandine at andre's bistro

Since relocating from the Strip to the southwest Valley, Andre’s hasn’t missed a beat. Executive chef Marty Lopez’s trout stands out on a consistently outstanding new menu. The mild-flavored fish, sourced from Idaho, wades in nutty brown butter sauce and comes adorned with toasted almonds; the sauce’s caramelization delivers hints of sweetness, while the nuts contribute crunch. One of the best fish dishes you’ll find in the suburbs—or beyond. $23. 6115 S. Fort Apache Road, 702-798-7151. –JB

hokkaido scallop crudo at sugarcane

Deep inside the Venetian, mild Hokkaido scallop is topped with jalapeño and perched atop yuzu-marinated pressed apple in single-bite servings. If it sounds like there’s a lot is going on here, there is, but the multitude of textures and tastes deliver acidity, heat and sweetness, enhancing the fish rather than overpowering it. It’s subtle despite its bold flavors. $16. Venetian, 702-414-2263. –JB

udon gratin at marugame monzo

The group behind Vegas staples Monta and Sushi Mon launched this LA-born concept in Las Vegas this year, bringing the udon noodle to the forefront while fusing traditional Japanese cuisine with Italian flavors. If one dish epitomizes that union, it’s the addictive and fun-to-eat udon gratin—heavy cream, mozzarella, chicken, onions and thick, house-made noodles, baked to cheesy perfection. A doggy bag won’t be necessary. $11.95. 3889 Spring Mountain Road, 702-202-1177. –LV

five guys xiao long bao at pearl ocean

The Valley’s newest dim sum hot spot can be found—no surprise—at the city’s first specifically Chinese casino. Everything’s good, but the Technicolor soup dumpling flight dubbed Five Guys—individually filled with pork, kale, black truffle, crab roe and beets—tastes as pretty as it looks. Hurry up and add this shot to your food-stagram collection before we take the first bite. $12.88. Lucky Dragon, 702-579-1287. –BR

Tags: Featured, Food
  • Pizza connoisseurs consider it to be the ultimate expression of the dish—the crust is slightly crispy on the outside (even charred) and soft and tender ...

  • Last month, the former Tao Group corporate executive chef launched his spot in the southwest Valley, marking his official debut as a Vegas restaurateur.

  • Free-range chickens can be seen turning in the oven as they brown to perfection.

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