Features

Pig out! Sampling the many standout restaurants of Las Vegas’ Chinatown

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Tonkatsu ramen at Ramen Hashi.
Photo: Miranda Alam / Special to the Weekly

THE GOLD STANDARD

ABURIYA RAKU Mitsuo Endo’s legendary izakaya might just be the best restaurant in the entire Vegas Valley, having ushered in a Japanese cuisine revolution with its agedashi tofu, Kobe beef tendon, yaki-onigiri chazuke (grilled rice ball in broth) and so much more. 5030 W. Spring Mountain Road #2, 702-367-3511.

CHINA MAMA New ownership has breathed new life into this Chinese stalwart—known for its xiao long bao, crispy stir-fried beef and boiled pork dumplings—and transformed it into a more welcoming space with an open kitchen. 3420 S. Jones Boulevard, 702-873-1977.

DISTRICT ONE From must-order beef carpaccio to Maine lobster pho, the creative Vietnamese fare at this industry hot spot is perfect for lunch, an energetic dinner with friends or late-night noshing. 3400 S. Jones Blvd. #8, 702-413-6868.

(Jon Estrada/Special to the Weekly)

FUKUBURGER The No. 2 Tamago and crack sauce-topped jazz fries are still the perfect night-closer, tasting the same way they did when Fuku was simply a food truck parked on Spring Mountain Road. 3429 S. Jones Blvd., 702-262-6995.

KABUTO Las Vegas’ first edomae sushi gem—featuring minimal decor, delectable (and rare) nigiri selections and up-close interaction with the chefs—remains a special spot seven years after its arrival. 5040 W. Spring Mountain Road #4, 702-676-1044.

MONTA Seats are still tough to score at this tiny ramen haven, a tribute to its tender pork, flavorful broth and noodles with that oh-so-perfect chew. 5030 Spring Mountain Road #6, 702-367-4600.

RAKU SWEETS Chinatown is nothing if not filling, but try to save some room for these distinctive desserts, created as you sit, marvel and munch on your edible menu. 5400 W. Spring Mountain Road #3, 702-290-7181.

SPARROW + WOLF Chef Brian Howard’s modern American eatery delivers classic dishes in winningly offbeat ways, like Clams Casino with Chinese sausage and uni hollandaise, and Campfire Duck with seared foie gras and salted plum. One of the best foodie experiences in town. 4480 W. Spring Mountain Road #100, 702-790-2147.

YUI EDOMAE SUSHI What master sushi chef Gen Mizoguchi started at Kabuto, he perfected at Yui—the true spirit of Japanese hospitality known as omotenashi and a pilgrimage-worthy sushi experience. 3460 Arville St., 702-202-2408.

DON'T SLEEP ON

ASIAN BBQ & NOODLE Roasted pigs and ducks hang inside this unassuming eatery, and are put to good use inside addictive soups, tasty noodle dishes and beyond. 3400 S. Jones Blvd. #5C, 702-202-3636.

CHENGDU TASTE Like things spicy? This LA import has you covered and then some. Fiery Sichuan peppercorns are integral to the menu; from near-hallucinatory numb taste wontons to curious Guess Guess shrimp, every bite packs a challenge. 3950 Schiff Drive, 702-437-7888.

HACHI Fans of yakitori dining will delight at this elegant izakaya spot, which serves not only a bounty of skewered items, but sashimi and traditional Japanese fare—including the standout juicy fried chicken karaage with house negi sauce. 3410 S Jones Blvd., 702-227-9300.

HOBAK For years, many locals traveled to LA to get proper Korean barbecue., but not anymore. Premium Angus beef and Heritage pork comprise the heart of Hobak’s menu, and the delectable banchan (side dish array) is just as memorable. 5808 Spring Mountain Road #101, 702-257-1526.

IZAKAYA GO This tucked-away Japanese-style pub has grown in quality, charm and menu size since its opening more than four years ago. And its chalkboard specials and post-10 p.m. happy hour are still among the best in town. 3775 Spring Mountain Road, 702-247-1183.

Toothpick lamb with cumin, fish with tofu pudding in hot sauce and wonton in red chili at Chengdu Taste. (Steve Marcus/Staff)

JAPANESE CURRY ZEN Zen might be Chinatown’s healthiest restaurant, touting the medical benefits of the special spice blend in its curry. It’ll cure what you don’t even know ails you. 5020 W. Spring Mountain Road #1, 702-985-1192.

JOYFUL HOUSE A longtime local favorite for Lazy Susan-aided Cantonese family dinners, Joyful House is still the spot for Peking duck, poached chicken, clay pot abalone, scallops in black bean sauce and lots more. 4601 Spring Mountain Road, 702-889-8881.

MIAN SICHUAN NOODLES The brutally hot little sister to groundbreaking Chengdu Taste, Mian takes no prisoners, sending waves of Sichuan peppercorn numbness across its handmade, noodle-centric menu. 4335 W. Spring Mountain Road #107, 702-483-6531.

PHO BOSA This twice-relocated Vietnamese gem’s marquee-caliber beef and oxtail soups are now complemented with a new sandwich and boba/milk tea menu. 3711 S. Valley View Blvd., 702-418-1931.

RAMEN SORA Sora’s style is taken from the cold northern Japanese city of Sapporo, where piping hot and deeply rich broths are most popular. A wintertime must. 4490 Spring Mountain Road, 702-685-1011.

TRATTORIA NAKAMURA-YA The specialty wafuu pasta is a lesser-known Japanese-food niche, marrying traditional Asian ingredients with Italian pastas. Try the uni tomato cream linguini and miso carbonara spaghetti and you’ll be hooked. 5040 W. Spring Mountain Road #5, 702-251-0022.

VEGGIE HOUSE You won’t believe it’s not meat. Everything at Veggie House is plant-based, from walnut shrimp and orange chicken to Mongolian beef, and it keeps winning over vegans and carnivores alike. 5115 Spring Mountain Road #203, 702-431-5802.

Also: Big Wong, Hwaro, Island Malaysian Cuisine, Jinya Ramen Bar, KJ Kitchen, Kung Fu Thai & Chinese, Niu Gu, Pho So 1, Rincon de Buenos Aires, Shang Artisan Noodle, Sushi Takashi, Tofu Hut, Viet Noodle, Yunnan Tasty Garden

CROWD-PLEASERS

CHUBBY CATTLE Welcome to the home of conveyor belt hot pot dining, a meal on the move where flavors are customizable and satisfying. 3400 S. Jones Blvd. #15, 702-868-8808.

CROWN BAKERY This bountiful pastry and coffee shop overflows with tempting with treats: green tea cookies, ube cream puffs, red bean buns and more—and thankfully, it’s open late. 4355 Spring Mountain Road #207, 702-873-9805.

HOT N JUICY CRAWFISH HNJ has 13 locations across the country and might be Las Vegas’ top restaurant export. That’s because you love to devour a mountain of seafood slathered in garlic butter, lemon pepper or Cajun spices. 4810 Spring Mountain Road, 702-891-8889; 3863 Spring Mountain Road, 702-750-2428.

Marinated skirt steak at Hobak (Sun File)

ICHIZA It’s the O.G. Vegas izakaya, and it’s been a date-night staple for nearly 20 years. Try the daily specials posted on the walls, or stick to tried and true favorites like grilled salmon collar, kimchi fried rice and honey toast. 4355 W Spring Mountain Road, 702-367-3151.

PHO KIM LONG This beloved pho spot continues to host weekend post-club afterhours meetups fueled by crunch goi con, salted fish fried rice and steaming bowls of beefy bliss. 4029 Spring Mountain Road, 702-220-3613.

RONALD’S DONUTS On the short, short list for best donuts in town, even better if you’re after vegan treats that taste just as good. Bring cash … and please save a buttermilk bar for us. 4600 Spring Mountain Road, 702-873-1032.

Also: Gelato Bar, Gyu-Kaku, Halal Guys, Hawaiian Style Poke, Honey Pig, Hue-Thai, Lee's Sandwiches, Sam Woo BBQ, Sapporo, Yama

NEWCOMERS

CAFE SANUKI Udon wanna miss this dazzling new specialty noodle house, where you can go the soup route with shoyu pork or curry beef options or experiment with fusion pasta dishes like seafood tomato cream or cheesy carbonara. 4821 Spring Mountain Road, 702-331-9860.

EDO GASTRO TAPAS & WINE Traditional Spanish tapas, some with Asian undertones befitting the neighborhood, are all the rage at one of the Valley’s hottest new restaurants in the former Chada Thai space. 3400 S. Jones Blvd. #11A, 702-641-1345.

MORDEO Khai Vu, the chef who brought you District One and Downtown’s Le Pho, brings Spanish influence to his latest restaurant, fusing Asian and Latin flavors for an experience that shouldn’t be missed. 5420 Spring Mountain Road #108, 702-545-0771.

PARTAGE Gaze at ornate presentations from the crew of classically trained French chefs as you enjoy dishes like the oyster trio and oxtail croque monsieur. 3839 W. Spring Mountain Road, 702-582-5852.

RAMEN HASHI Hashi’s chicken-based broths are so savory, you’ll hardly miss the popular pork-based renditions; but in case you do, their chasu—braised pork belly served as a ramen accessory—is spot-on, too. 5808 W. Spring Mountain Road, #109, 702-202-1238.

Also: Cafe No Fur, Chef Kenny’s, Height Japanese Cutlet, Kkulmat Korean Kitchen, Lee’s Korean BBQ, Matcha Cafe Maiko, Nabe Hotpot

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