The best new Las Vegas restaurants of 2019

Kame Sushi’s kaiseki experience
Photo: Wade Vandervort
Jim Begley, Genevie Durano, Brock Radke & Leslie Ventura

Ada's Esther's Kitchen founder James Trees made his pizza and pasta more family-friendly for the 'burbs—with bonus ice cream!—without sacrificing his style or skimping on flavor. It takes a restaurant to raise a (Tivoli) Village. 410 S. Rampart Blvd. #120, 702-463-7433. –Brock Radke

Best Friend The LA vibes are thick at Roy Choi's uncompromising Korean barbecue-focused party diner. Go beyond the grilled meats and Kogi tacos and explore hoisin-chili baby back ribs and spicy soondubu and kimchi jjiggae. And definitely devour all the banchan. Park MGM, 888-769-2464. –BR

The Firebird at Crack Shack (Wade Vandervort/Staff)

Crack Shack Among all the chicken sandwiches, this San Diego import has one fowl to rule them all: the Firebird, a gigantic, juicy sandwich slathered in hot sauce and ranch that comes topped with crispy fried onions and pickles. And the rest of the menu (Mexican poutine, anyone?!) is fire, too. Park MGM, 702-820-5991. –Leslie Ventura

Hardway 8 With a menu originally fashioned by Valley veteran Johnny Church, this downtown Henderson watering hole isn't slinging your typical bar fare. Think sharp Buffalo fried oysters, a fried bologna sandwich layered with crispy mortadella and even savory rabbit sausage bangers and mash. 46 S. Water St., 702-410-5124. –Jim Begley

La Monja Chef and restaurateur Dan Krohmer's modern cantina cuisine (brilliant ceviches and seafood cocktails, cauliflower tacos on house-made tortillas) was inspired by his own sabbaticals to Mexico. You only have to get to Fergusons Downtown to catch those chill vibes. 1028 Fremont St. #190, 702-848-3530. –BR

La Strega Chef Gina Marinelli's Summerlin restaurant is one of the loveliest, sunniest spots to eat brunch. Come for dinner and enjoy handmade pastas, pizza and more, as well as an excellent wine selection. And definitely order a Witch's Garden—artisanal vegetables served with whipped chickpeas—for the table. 3555 S. Town Center Drive #105, 702-722-2099. –Genevie Durano

Locale Mountain's Edge gained a neighborhood favorite when Nicole Brisson stepped off the Strip and opened Locale Italian Kitchen and Craft Cocktails. The menu is rustic, meat-forward Italian, with house-made charcuterie and fresh pasts made daily. 7995 Blue Diamond Road #106, 702-330-0404. –GD

Mabel's BBQ Michael Symon's Mabel's cue joint elevates Vegas' barbecue scene with a menagerie of meats, ranging from smoky burnt ends to tender beef brisket. The beef rib is Flintstones-size, while the Cracklin'—chicharrones paired with Lawson's onion dip—are a must. Palms, 702-944-5931. –JB

Mott 32 The epic Cantonese, Szechuan and Beijing-style cuisine at Mott 32 is matched perfectly by its layered, mesmerizing atmosphere. And get ready for year two, which will bring the dim sum brunch of your dreams. Palazzo, 702-607-3232. –BR

Sadelle's Cafe When it comes to smoked fish, Sadelle's towers over the competition. Nestled in a 10,000-square-foot space overlooking the Conservatory at Bellagio, the Mario Carbone venture is a most delicious homage to the NYC delicatessen and home to an outstanding pastry program. Bellagio, 702-693-7075. –GD

Buffalo oysters at Hardway 8 (Wade Vandervort/Staff)

Saga Pastry + Sandwich Nordic waffles and Swedish pancakes top the breakfast menu, and rosemary ham, smoked salmon and Arctic cold-water shrimp are lunchtime staples. Before you leave, relish in the Swedish coffee break tradition known as fika by relaxing with an espresso and a pastry. 10345 S. Eastern Ave. #100, 702-260-0860. –LV

Sushi Kame How many spots have you tried that serve Kagoshima-raised A5 Wagyu steak with a document of authenticity? Chef Eric Kim goes beyond conventional sushi with expressive offerings like Kamashida toro, risotto with trout roe and splendid alfonsino, while the omakase experience takes refinement to the next level. 3616 Spring Mountain Road #103, 702-665-5731. –LV

Tatsujin X Tatsujin is as unique a dining experience as there is in the Valley, the natural result of restaurateur Mitsuo Endo (of Raku fame) helping to open a traditional teppanyaki steakhouse. It's not for everyone, but frankly, that's part of the charm of this tiny, Chinatown-adjacent spot. 4439 W. Flamingo Road, 702-771-8955. –JB

Tres Cazuelas Neighboring the infamous Sand Dollar Lounge, Tres Cazuelas offers a rotation of Mexican lunch specials amid a menu stretching from Spain to South America. Moles are dynamite, and pork belly skewers adorned with grilled peaches are an epiphany. 3355 Spring Mountain Road #35, 702-370-0751. –JB

Vetri Cucina Few restaurants in Las Vegas have a view this good (56 floors up), but James Beard Award winner Marc Vetri's food is even better. Italian classics are recontextualized for these modern times using simple, time-honored techniques, and the results are nothing short of revelatory. Palms, 702-944-5900. –GD

Water Grill King's Seafood Company brought the upscale SoCal favorite to the former Spago spot this summer and stunned with ample seafood towers stocked with oysters, clams, scallops, jumbo shrimp, Dungeness crab, lobster and sea urchin. The buttery Chilean sea bass with butternut squash gnocchi is so delicious, we haven't stopped dreaming about it. Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, 702-832-4777. –LV

Tags: Dining, Food
  • The baristas are friendly folks who can riff about coffee beans as easily as they can about their favorite music.

  • Former El Dorado Cantina chef John Baez streamlined the menu and added some true crowd pleasers.

  • No need to wait until after dark to enjoy this hot spot.

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