F.A.M.E., the Asian street food experience at the Linq, has temporarily closed for a remodel, but its most prominent occupant will find life elsewhere. Fukuburger, the beloved food truck that hit local streets in 2010 and anchored F.A.M.E. when it opened last year, will be taking its talents to the south Strip, moving into the Hawaiian Marketplace center just below a brand-new Chili’s. Expected to open by March, the new Fuku spot will join a heated Strip-side burger battle as Fatburger, Bobby’s Burger Palace and Shake Shack are nearby. HIG Management, which operates F.A.M.E., some Hawaiian Marketplace spaces and the new Yong Kang Street at Paris, engineered the Fukuburger relocation. F.A.M.E., which recently shifted to a full-service format, is adding upstairs restrooms and is expected to reopen at the Linq in a few weeks.
As profiled in Weekly’s 15 to Watch in 2015, former Comme Ça chef Brian Howard is striking out on his own this year, and now more details have emerged. His first project is called Harvest & Larder, a name that invokes a casual, pub-like atmosphere, a sense of seasonality, and the chef’s passion for carefully crafted charcuterie. Howard and his team have signed a lease for their space, which could open in September, and though they’re not saying exactly where they’ll be setting up shop, they were rumored to be hunting around Downtown’s Arts District. In the meantime, Howard is off to New York to cook at the James Beard House as part of a special Skuna Bay Salmon dinner event on February 25.
Restaurant shuffles at SLS continue. On February 1, the Griddle Cafe—the Vegas version of the wildly popular Hollywood breakfast spot—was replaced by Northside Cafe, a more traditional 24/7 coffee shop concept. This transition comes after the November closure of the SLS buffet, and several sources say more change is coming—expect the quietly magnificent Ku Noodle by superchef José Andrés to shutter soon.
Yelp recently released its list of the Top 100 Places to Eat in the US for 2015, a group of restaurants that were the most popular and well-reviewed on the website over the course of 2014. Did some Las Vegas eateries make the cut? Of course! Art of Flavors captured the No. 2 spot, followed closely by Soho at No. 3. Other favorite local destinations: Bronze Cafe (18), Baguette Cafe (32), El Dorado Cantina (41), Poke Express (52) and Mr. Mamas (77).