Now more than ever, locals are in need of serious Strip hacks. The traffic. The expense. The parking. We want to see concerts and shows and eat at restaurants, but we’re not sure if Strip fun’s still worth the trouble.
So here’s a helpful hint: If you want to see a band at Brooklyn Bowl or browse the Forum Shops or party at Drai’s, park for free at the Westin. It’s only a seven-minute walk from the recently renovated hotel to the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road. And now that the Westin has yanked out its casino, there’s a totally decent restaurant and bar perfect for a pre-party meal and/or post-show whiskey nightcap.
Make no mistake, Jake & Eli is a straight-ahead hotel restaurant. It handles room service orders and has a concise breakfast menu aimed at business travelers. It’s not destination dining, but it serves our passing-through purpose with style.
The bar boasts six taps, respectable cocktails like a candied bacon Old Fashioned ($15) and a big whiskey list incorporating everything from 10-year-old Whistlepig rye to three cask-matured Irish Yellow Spot. And while the restaurant closes at 10 p.m., the 24/7 bar offers most of the food menu. Late-night bites include bao buns with duck, kimchi and avocado ($15), elote-style corn on the cob ($7), crab-laced tater tots ($16) and Nashville hot chicken sliders ($12). The “T” in the BLT ($14) is a fried green tomato, adding some tangy flavor to the classic.
Another sandwich, the Kentucky crispy chicken ($14) with a spicy slaw on a soft bun, is my top pick, though the double-stacked All-American burger ($15) is another solid choice. The core of the Jake & Eli experience is the meat and three sides, a simple approach to the Southern staple. Ready to star among side dish options of seasonal veggies, garlic-parmesan fingerling potatoes and wild mushrooms sautéed with sherry and herbs are a 14-ounce ribeye ($31) a roasted half chicken ($21) and more. If you need to splurge, there’s the potent “Kentukyaki glazed” beef ribs built for two ($46), quite the feast and certainly a dish you’d never expect to find at this just-off-the-Strip spot.
JAKE & ELI Westin, 160 E. Flamingo Road, 702-836-5900. Daily, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.