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[Wrapping 2020]

Year in Review: Our most memorable 2020 Vegas meals

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Metro Pizza’s 86th Street square pie
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

In a year that saw us hunkering down in our homes, the Weekly staff still managed to get in some delicious bites that didn’t come out of our kitchens.

86th Street Square Pie, Metro Pizza

We’ve already touted this light, crisp Sicilian-American hybrid that notched a third-place finish for Metro pizzaiolo Chris Decker at the 2017 International Pizza Challenge. But it deserves extra acknowledgment as top-flight takeout—a richly delicious pizza that gets even better on the second day. Don’t forget the cup-and-char pepperoni. Multiple locations, metropizza.com. –BR

Brunch Burger, Wolfgang Puck Players Locker

One of the most reliable restaurants in Summerlin turned into the most reliable sports bar and grill just before the pandemic landed. A fall visit to the Players Locker patio yielded one of the most indulgent brunch bites of the year: a perfect patty with white cheddar, crunchy bacon, special sauce and a runny egg. Downtown Summerlin, 702-202-6300. –Brock Radke

Graffiti Bao’s burrata

Burrata, Graffiti Bao

It might be easy to miss on a menu of flavorful steamed bao buns, creative dumplings and Chinese takeout classics, but this unorthodox combo of creamy burrata cheese with a perfect scallion pancake and a powerful dose of garlic chili sauce is a must to complete your Graffiti Bao feast. 7355 S. Buffalo Drive #1, 702-323-6033. –BR

Cauliflower tacos, Bomb Tacos

Jonesing for takeout but trying to avoid that heavy, too-full feeling? Given the same treatment as Bomb Tacos’ shrimp, these veggie vessels are hands down the best and won’t leave you feeling guilty after. 3655 S. Durango Drive #27, 702-262-0141. –Leslie Ventura

Chocolate bun, Din Tai Fung

Come for the xiao long bao, stay for the chocolate bun, which should cap every meal at the Taiwanese dumpling destination, now at Aria. The bun’s soft and fluffy, and the chocolate warm and rich. Each bite is an explosion of delight. Aria, 702-590-8650. –Genevie Durano

Crab XLB, Shanghai Taste

One bite of these decadent, meaty pork and crab soup dumplings and you’ll be hooked for life. Just don’t burn your mouth on them. 4266 W. Spring Mountain Road, 702-570-6363. –LV

Five-cheese pesto pizza, Pizzeria Monzú

If you’re looking for a pizza that doesn’t make you feel like you’re eating pizza, look no further than this elevated herbaceous option, made lovingly with scamorza, mozzarella, ricotta. Parmigiano and Pecorino Romano. 6020 W. Flamingo Road #10, ​702-749-5959. –LV

Fried chicken with rice, Jollibee

The Philippines, a country three-quarters the size of California, loves fried chicken, and Jollibee is its go-to chain, with more than 3,000 branches dotting its islands. The hand-breaded chicken (in regular or spicy), when paired with rice and gravy, is comfort food through and through, exactly what we need in these uncertain times. Multiple locations, jollibeeusa.com. –GD

Sickies Garage’s glazed doughnut burger

Glazed Doughnut Burger, Sickies Garage

The menu at Sickies, an encyclopedia of brews, burgers, wings, sandwiches and appetizers, is fun and playful. Take the Glazed Doughnut Burger, for example. Who would have thought two glazed doughnuts holding together a beef patty, American cheese and peppered bacon could be so delicious? Town Square, 725-735-5400. –GD

Gnocchetti Sardi, Osteria Fiorella

Marc Vetri’s out-of-nowhere Italian hot spot in Summerlin is a treasure trove of all-time favorites and rustic delights, offering one of those menus where everything sounds so good, it’s tough to choose. Find some space for this adorable pasta dish drenched in the brightest basil pesto you’ve ever tasted. You won’t regret it. Red Rock Resort, 702-797-7777. –BR

Japanese A5 Wagyu Sandwich, the X Pot

The best sandwich I ate this year was not a massive pile of meat on bread but a blink-and-it’s-gone treat. Japanese A5 Wagyu tenderloin from the Miyazaki Prefecture, sandwiched between delicate toasted buttermilk white bread, is about as perfect a bite as you can get. It melts in your mouth and gets seared in your memory. Grand Canal Shoppes at Venetian, 866-888-9768. –GD

Japanese Rolled Omelette, Sparrow + Wolf

Sparrow + Wolf’s brunch has many standouts, but the one we’ll keep coming back for is the Japanese Rolled Omelette. Served with dashi crème fraîche and scallions, it’s a delicate interpretation of the classic egg dish. This is next-level brunch stuff. 4480 Spring Mountain Road #100, 702-790-2147. –GD

Pretzel with beer cheese, the Front Yard at Ellis Island

Who doesn’t like a pretzel with cheese? This girl, usually. But the Front Yard’s giant, home-baked pretzel is so soft—and the beer cheese so decadent—it will win over just about anyone. 4178 Koval Lane, 702-733-8901. –LV

Sprouting Up Ramen, Jinya

We keep coming back for this hearty, kitchen sink-style ramen creation: thick noodles in pork and chicken broth with savory pork belly, spicy bean sprouts, a seasoned soft-cooked egg, crispy fried Brussels sprouts and notes of black pepper and ginger. It has just the right amount of every flavor and texture you need to get through winter. Multiple locations, jinyaramenbar.com. –BR

Violette’s Vegan’s Violette club

The Violette Club, Violette’s Vegan

Whether or not you’re vegan, you can enjoy this delicious sandwich that comes smothered in pesto and piled high with veggies. 8560 W. Desert Inn Road, 702-685-0466. –LV

Tags: Dining, Food
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