When it comes to a restaurant, its name can be everything. The right one can convey your signature dish, cooking style, cuisine or maybe all of the above (here’s looking at you, KJ Dim Sum & Seafood Chinese Restaurant). But the wrong words can keep diners away.
That brings us to the newly opened Factory Kitchen at The Venetian. The term “factory,” as applied to restaurants, seems vague and not particularly inspired—think Old Spaghetti Factory or Cheesecake Factory, though at least you know which dishes to order at both of those chains.
So, Factory Kitchen … nothing in the name, which dates to its first location—in a reclaimed factory space in LA’s Arts District—would suggest that it’s one of the Strip’s more intriguing recent openings. But indeed, the new venue elevates Italian cuisine, fittingly, in a space formerly occupied by B&B Ristorante. And the minimalist, industrial vibe replicating the original feels comfortable, more like an adaptive-reuse Downtown location than a casino spot.
Factory also features a showcase pasta bar, and the menu rotates appetizing noodle dishes. The mandilli di seta ($20) is a must-order, thin sheet pasta similar to lasagna, prepared in a sharp almond basil pesto. Equally enticing is the (rotating) fish-stuffed cappellacci; one recent sublime rendition found the hat-shaped pasta pockets filled with whitefish, while a more-direct recent version relied on salmon ($23).
Factory isn’t just about its pastas. Peperú ($10) are a fabulous starter—sweet and spicy cheese-stuffed peppers with an arugula salad. And while all Italian restaurants have prosciutto, few match the presentation at Factory, where the 18-month-aged dry-cured ham ($25) gets layered atop a fried sage dough not unlike a flattened funnel cake. The dollop of stracciatella turns it into arguably the best open-faced ham and cheese you’ve ever had.
So don’t stress over the nonspecific name—simply dive into Factory’s edgy Italian cuisine. You won’t be disappointed.
Factory Kitchen The Venetian, 702-414-1222. Daily, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.