You just wrapped up an ATV ride up and down the sand dunes that overlook the Las Vegas Valley, and you’ve been dropped back on the Strip, across the street from Mandalay Bay. You’ve worked up a mighty appetite, but you’re in luck: There’s a food truck parked in the motel parking lot next door, and the guy inside is cooking up super-stacked fried chicken sandwiches and two-handed chipotle burgers for $14.
Besides the fact that this truck has a rare station on the Strip—mobile vendors can usually only serve for four hours in one spot—you won’t find food like this for these prices inside those big casino-resorts. And another stroke of luck: The cook was actually an executive chef for some very fancy hotels for nearly three decades.
BLVD Eats was created by Alon Hershkovitz, who has been in the culinary industry since the age of 18, moving to Las Vegas in 2020 when his chef gig ended at the historic Queen Mary hotel in Long Beach, California, due to its pandemic closure. Originally from Israel, Hershkovitz decided he didn’t want to return corporate cuisine, and his wife, a longtime hospitality worker for the Ritz-Carlton, felt the same way.
“She didn’t want me to go back, and we’re in our 50s, so we thought, we have to do something that will allow us to be home more,” he says. “We’d never see each other with those jobs. Now, I can open at 11 and close at 5 and go home.”
Hershkovitz’s food truck endeavor started slow; at one point he staked out a spot at the Nelson Ghost Town attraction in Searchlight. But earlier this year, his brother bought the Nirvana Hotel on Las Vegas Boulevard and renovated it—and BLVD Eats earned its name. Hershkovitz says he had to apply for a special permit to become a permanent vendor and quickly began serving hotel guests, four-wheelers coming from and going to the Las Vegas Dunes ATV Tour outlet nearby, and tourists strolling down the south Strip.
“It’s a good setup,” he says. “I’m changing the menu with the clientele. I was having a lot of visitors from New Orleans, so I did shrimp and grits one week, barbecue ribs the next. It’s a lot [to do] on a food truck, but if everybody goes crazy for the ribs, I have to keep it up. And I’m trying to get out of the truck and do videos with customers to put on TikTok, trying to have fun with it and be different, unique.”
Even a permanent vendor isn’t permitted to set up tables and chairs, but the lounge in the Nirvana has become a makeshift dining room for hotel guests who want a serene place to sit and eat.
That synergy has Hershkovitz conceptualizing a private chef’s table experience in the back of the hotel, one with its own garden. He envisions Mediterranean meals with fresh pita bread from a 700-degree wood oven, “all the flair and flavors from Israel, the herbs, meats and vegetables they used to cook with 2,000 years ago,” her says. “I’m trying to get something going this summer, do food and wine and have a little story behind each course.”
Even confined to a tiny truck kitchen in front of a souvenir shop, a lifelong chef can’t help but express his creativity. Hershkovitz credits his new home as a main source of inspiration, especially since he and his wife recently moved to Lake Las Vegas. “I love it here. I feel like I’m always on vacation.”
BLVD EATS Nirvana Hotel, 702-308-7938. Thursday-Tuesday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
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