Flavor is important, of course, but the greatest dishes at the greatest restaurants are also a study in contrasting textures. The iconic pork belly buns at chef David Chang’s original Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York—now available in Las Vegas for the first time, since January, at the Cosmopolitan—are a perfect example. The foundation is the fluffy, Chinese-style steamed bun, an ethereal pillow of doughy goodness. Luxuriously rich slabs of skinless pork belly are enclosed—slow-roasted pig perfection that’s not too sweet or fatty. There’s crisp crunch and a bit of brine from quick pickled Kirby cucumbers and a sprinkle of thinly sliced scallion. But these beautiful baos aren’t truly finished until you squeeze on some of Chang’s beloved ssam sauce, a kicked-up hoisin that adds savory, sweet and spicy to this perfectly planned bite. It’s a mini-sandwich that seems so simple, but you can taste and feel all the work and creativity that went into it.
Momofuku at the Cosmopolitan, 702-698-2663; daily 11 a.m.-11 p.m.