I have a secret. I’m actually a fire protection engineer moonlighting as a food writer. (By the way, Las Vegas food writer is the greatest side gig in the world). As an engineer, I understand my limitations. I don’t dare design bridges, because I’m not a structural engineer, even if I spend a fair amount of time around them when designing casinos.
What does that have to do with food? Well, in a similar manner, DJs and nightlife folk tend to hang out in food circles as the line between restaurants and clubs blurs. And what happens when club people open restaurants? Like a bridge by Begley, it could be a disaster.
And yet, in the case of local scenester Michael Fuller and his crew at new Asian-fusion spot Lucky Foo’s, it’s not. Not at all. As a matter of fact, it needs to become a part of your regular rotation, particularly if you happen to live in Henderson.
The eatery transitions into a hangout for the nightclub set in the wee hours—it’s occasionally open until 3 a.m.—but during the day, it’s a comfortable restaurant decorated like the hip cousin of P.F. Chang’s. This normalcy is particularly true at lunch, when club denizens avoid sunlight like vampires. It’s also the only time the inexplicably good Forbidden Black Rice ($12) is served. An Asian rice dish with cotija cheese and avocado shouldn’t work, but it does, with its red onion jam providing just the right hint of acidity and propelling it beyond the rather bland Lucky Rice ($8).
Elsewhere on the menu—and available all the time—Foo dogs ($7) are a treat, miniature Kurobuta sausages swaddled in potato chips with a spicy karashi mustard and a house-made “bulldog” barbecue sauce. Think of them as pigs in a blanket—on bath salts. Also appealing are the Stellar Chips ($5), simple salted and fried wonton chips served with ginger-tinged dipping sauce.
In the sushi section, the Crispy Rice Delight ($8) tops a fried rice cake with the trio of spicy tuna, sambal aioli and thin slices of jalapeño for layered levels of heat, and a delightful contrast of textures. And the Lemon ($13) delivers on its simple promise of citrus with razor-thin lemon slices atop a California roll gilded with yellowtail and salmon. Accentuated by a drizzle of yuzu ponzu, citrus sharpness highlights without overwhelming.
Elsewhere, the 1,000-degree robata grill delivers a smoky, spicy, shrimp and jalapeño bacon skewer ($11). It’s no surprise that a bacon-wrapped shrimp is irresistible, but Lucky Foo’s offers so many other surprises, the type of excitement that deserves return visits.
Lucky Foo’s 8955 S. Eastern Ave., 702-650-0669. Daily, 11 a.m.-1 a.m.