5. West Valley
Essential restaurants: Echo & Rig, Kame, Honey Salt, Marché Bacchus
So what is "Summerlin," really? A home community? A neighborhood? Everything west of the Strip? It depends on who you ask, but let's talk about the areas in the west valley that seem to fall outside its borders (more or less). They include three notable shopping centers: Tivoli Village, where you'll find the best off-Strip steakhouse, Echo & Rig; Boca Park, where Mixx Grill, Hussong's, and the Sambalatte coffee shop are all worth a visit, and Rampart Commons, where farm-to-table spot Honey Salt, which recently brought executive chef Jeff Mauro on board. The real surprise can be found a little farther north at Yummy Grill (yes, the one on Lake Mead Blvd) for sushi. It recently expanded next door, opening the new Kame omakase spot that's as good as anything you'll find on the Strip. As for the northwest valley, we'd like to see some new restaurants to balance out the housing growth in the Centennial area -- and the promising arrival of Americana in the Desert Shores community could be a nice compliment to the French food and wine at Marché Bacchus.