Thrillist's Best (and the Rest): What's the Perfect Fast Food Meal?
Fresh Mexican flavors with a patio grill in a vintage Downtown motel
After focusing on Asian flavors at Other Mama and Hatsumi, Dan Krohmer turns to Mexican cuisine for his third Las Vegas restaurant. La Monja is effectively a sister concept to Hatsumi at Fergusons Downtown -- an old motel property that's slowing being reinvented as a social hub and event space. You'll probably smell La Monja before you see it, thanks to an outdoor grill cooking everything from meats and vegetables to pots of soup over Mexican oak and citrus wood. The communal nature of the patio carries over into the main dining room, separated by a cocktail bar and retractable glass when the weather is right. The menu is strictly south-of-the border, but with a heavy coastal influence. (Translation: more seafood, less cheese). Seabass and other fish are sourced from sustainable farms and the tortillas are made in-house with Oaxacan corn. Even the beans are small batch. The cocktails are crafted with thought and precision, incorporating Downtown's largest collection of tequila and mezcal. La Monja scores extra points for having Mexican whiskey on standby. Have a shot to balance out a spicy Mexican shrimp cocktail.
Sleek Italian dining with subtle regional touches and a killer speakeasy on the Strip
Ambra is a complete reboot of the MGM Grand's in-house Italian restaurant -- new name, new open dining room, and a jumbo-sized private space in the back to cash in on all that trade show business. Fortunately, Ambra mixes style with substance. The restaurant's strength is in the pasta courses, prepared by hand. The recipes take advantage of distinctly different doughs, and quality ingredients. Ravioli is served as triangular pansotti with sweet herbs, fennel, and citrus zest, while macaroni comes to the table as rooster-shaped creste di gallo with a ragu of veal, pork, and beef. To make things even more fun, Ambra has a speakeasy -- because everything is better with a speakeasy -- hidden behind a door labeled "privata." (Look for it in a back corner near the host stand.) The bar has an exclusive cocktail program and the drinks are exceptional, especially the Manhattan, Vieux Carre, and Negroni.
Airline-themed restaurant where food is served in threes
The name of the restaurant has a dual meaning. Flights follows an airline theme in which guests receive a boarding pass at the check-in desk and dine underneath a small plane that hangs from the ceiling. (No, you don't get to recline in first-class seats, but chances are good you'll hear the Top Gun soundtrack in the background.) The name also refers to how the food is presented: in servings of three. The concept feels routine with tacos or sliders, but is a fun change of pace for meat skewers, mac and cheese, or even salad. (Having Caesar, Mediterranean, and Caprese salads on the same plate is a perk that we didn't know we needed until now.) Ironically, Flights finds its stride with its regular single-portion entrees -- specifically, grilled salmon with semi-mashed dill potatoes and Swedish meatballs with lingonberries based on the owner's family recipe. The fresh-made Maverick cocktail (peach puree and bourbon) and the mezcal-fueled Red Baron are standouts. Flights isn't fine dining -- nor does it pretend to be -- but fills the role of being a memorable "Vegas experience" on the affordable and casual side.
Pizza bar simulates an outdoor dining experience and pulls it off with flavorful bites
Welcome to Las Vegas, where we paint blue skies and clouds on shopping mall ceilings and pretend we're actually outdoors. Don't ask why. Just go with it -- especially in St. Mark's Square at the Grand Canal Shoppes, where Sixth + Mill, the latest of three Italian restaurants in the square, makes the most of the atmosphere with a dining room that's entirely "outdoors" -- no walls needed. That means comfortable chairs, small tables, and a Neapolitan-style pizza bar with two custom wood-fired ovens in full view. A classic Margherita is everything you'd want and expect, but the Vince (pronounced like Leonardo da Vinci, not like Vince McMahon) is a lot more fun -- topped with sweet burrata, waves of sliced mortadella, and pistachio crumbles. A bright, vibrant lemon cream ravioli and stiff Negroni cocktails match the breezy, easy atmosphere. Just make sure you order the lightly-fried cauliflower as a side dish, and dunk any leftover pizza crust into that parmesan cream sauce. Trust us.
A variety of fresh seafood brings new energy and atmosphere to the Forum Shops
When Spago left the Forum Shops for brighter pastures (and a lakeside view) at the Bellagio, Water Grill immediately scooped up the space, dramatically renovating -- and improving -- the dining room with a modern, masculine image. Water Grill has about the freshest fish you'll find inside a shopping mall. The California-based concept operates under King's Seafood, a company that sources fish directly -- with a focus on quality control and sustainability -- and sells it back to its own restaurants. It's not unusual for a fresh catch to arrive in the kitchen within 24 hours of being snatched from the ocean. The restaurant isn't shy about walking guests over to the live seafood tanks to check out the day's selection. Live king crabs, spot prawns, and spiny lobsters are all popular when in season -- and taste just as fresh as advertised. Ask about the off-menu, whole-fish ceviche, often prepared with pink sea bream, branzino, or black sea bass. The biggest surprise is the sushi menu, which includes a California Roll made with King crab fresh from the tank. Water Grill feels like an experience no matter where you sit, but your best bet is the raw bar near the front of the dining room, perfect for munching down New Zealand oysters, Hokkaido scallops, and other daily specials.
Tequila and mezcal for the party crowd
Be ready to have a complicated relationship with Mama Rabbit, a new bar at the Park MGM with a small menu of Mexican food. As an energetic social hotspot, it's a resounding success -- a colorful, engaging room with tall ceilings, brick archways, and splashes of light. With a mix of DJs and live musicians, it's a place to dance for those discouraged by the late-night hours and tight crowds of the Vegas nightclub scene. You can even try your luck at four gaming tables, including a roulette wheel, or slot machines encased in tall fiberglass animals. Mama Rabbit claims to have the largest tequila and mezcal collection on the Strip, but lost in the flash and sizzle is the ambition to be a real craft cocktail bar. The in-progress collection of more than 500 agave spirits feels more like a marketing hook than an opportunity for education. Cocktails are on the fruity and foofoo side, and don't quite complement the booze. Exceptions are a restrained take on a Moscow Mule and Salt of the Earth -- a deep, aromatic enhancement of a reposado mezcal. Straight flights may draw your interest, but don't expect descriptions beyond "I hear they're good" from your cocktail server. Your party is better off with the tableside Margarita cart, where the familiar feels fun. As for the food, tender, flavorful carne asada tacos come two for $11 -- not bad for Park MGM prices. The chips and guac are made even better with an intense mezcal habanero salsa on the side.
Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood
Korean BBQ and Japanese teppanyaki all in one place
Chosun Hwaro & Nara Teppan, as the name suggests, is essentially two restaurants in one. The former is billed as the largest Korean BBQ experience on the Strip while the latter features steaks and seafood from Japanese teppanyaki grills. From early appearances, the Korean side is where the action is. Choose your raw meats -- which are tender and seasoned perfectly -- and watch as they're grilled to a smoky char in the center of your table. They come banchan-style with an assortment of sides -- pickled vegetables, kimchee, rice, potato salad, noodles, and soup. No rules here. Part of the fun is mixing and matching textures and flavors as you like. For an authentic touch, order makguksu (a cold anchovy broth with noodles) and alternate sips with bites of meat. The teppanyaki side of the restaurant is far less busy and seems to be a "dinner and a show" for larger parties, although the grilled filet mignon is lean and flavorful, with just the right amount of salt. Both concepts allow you to order sushi and sashimi, so choose your own adventure based on the limits of your wallet and appetite.
Sandwiches, eggs, and fried chicken are featured in a fun, casual menu
Crack Shack is what happens when a fine dining kitchen team decides to do something casual. Chef Richard Blais founded the concept inside an actual shack next to his Juniper & Ivy restaurant in San Diego as a way to play around with chicken and egg dishes. The Vegas version of Crack Shack is a welcome change from the restaurants that dominate the Park MGM. Instead of being tucked away in the casino, it enjoys an open-air dining room directly overlooking the madness of the Strip. Free-range Jidori chicken is the bird of choice. Enjoy it to full effect in the Hangover sandwich with honey butter-dipped chicken, fried egg, and garlic aioli. Other fun items include a take on Nashville hot chicken and chicken oysters (tender pieces of dark meat) in place of nuggets. But, most of the food has a California influence. The poutine, for example, sets aside heavy toppings in favor of pulled, braised chicken and pico de gallo. The California Dip is a play on a San Diego burrito with french fries inside. Don't forget the mini biscuits and save room for the chocolate chip cookies, touched with just a hint of salt.
A quick-serve take on paella is approachable, but stays true to its Spanish roots
There's a good chance Valencian Gold is the best $10 lunch you'll find in Las Vegas. The specialty is fast-casual paella, prepared by chefs who learned from the best in Spain. While being the "Chipotle of paella" can be a challenging idea for a dish that's traditionally served in large portions for multiple people, Valencain Gold has mastered a system while preserving authenticity and quality. Meats are grilled fresh and rice (in three varieties) is cooked in smaller pans. When ready to serve, the rice is topped delicately with meats, vegetables, sauces and other ingredients. Enjoy as is -- or go nuts and mix it all together. In a fun twist, the crunchy, burnt rice you'd normally find at the bottom of a paella pan is sprinkled on top instead. Ask for an order of croquetas on the side, prepared with knowledge picked up from Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain. They're $5 here -- and so soft and chewy, they could be the best in town.
Est. 2019 | Mountain's Edge
Carving out a niche in Mountain’s Edge with meats, pasta, and years of Strip experience
No joke. Locale is one of the most important restaurant openings of the year. Not only does it allow Strip veteran Nicole Brisson to shine with her own concept, but it gives the growing Mountain's Edge community a dining destination of its own that isn't part of a chain. Brisson, who led the groundbreaking dry-aging program at Carnevino (now closed, thanks Mario) and kicked off the opening of Eataly in Las Vegas, is hardcore about sourcing, evident by the local produce suppliers announced by name on the menu. Chicken is ordered intact from Bo Bo Farms in New York and butchered in-house. It makes for a tender Pollo al Forno -- cast-iron roasted in the pizza oven and served with the claw attached, as if beckoning you to come eat it. There are even more reasons to love almost every dish -- the trio of dipping sauces for the fresh mozzarella, the onion marmalade that sweetens the fried pork cheek, the bright burst of fresh mint in the braised rabbit ravioli. Yet the biggest surprise, given Brisson's track record, is the limited presence of steaks on the menu. That could change in the future, since the restaurant has an eye on opening a dry-aging facility down the line. For now, the grass-fed Cape Grim strip from Tasmania more than makes up for it. By the way, it's pronounced "low-cal-eh."
Est. 2019 | Tivoli Village
A focus on pizza, ice cream, and gin makes Ada's more than "Esther's 2.0"
After scoring one of the best new restaurants of 2018 with Esther's Kitchen, James Trees keeps on pace -- and even ups his game -- with Ada's at Tivoli Village. Those familiar with Esther's will recognize the vibrant pasta dishes, fresh baked bread served with anchovy butter, and intriguing yet affordable wine list. But pizza is the main attraction here, prepared in an open custom kitchen that adds plenty of energy to a light, casual dining room. Trees and his team perfected their own recipe with flour sourced from Utah that's less than two weeks old,unlike most of the imported Italian stuff that everyone else raves about. Prepared with a higher-than-average amount of salt and olive oil (and natural starters in place of commercial yeast), the final result has a crunchy bottom and chewy bread-like crown. As the other signature item, ice cream thrives with fresh flavors. The chocolate chip spearmint, for example, uses five pounds of mint leaves for every two gallons. Round out any meal with a cocktail from the roaming gin cart and a salad made with ingredients sourced just steps away at the Tivoli Village farmers’ market.
Est. 2019 | Summerlin
Fresh Italian cuisine in a dichotomous dining room
La Strega is becoming a fast favorite with the Summerlin dinner crowd. The name translates to "the witch," following a theme dedicated to mystical female figures. One cocktail is named after a Salem witch, another after Sophia Loren. You get the idea. The cuisine is inspired by Chef Gina Marinelli's affection for the varied regions of Italy. Flavors are front and center, and never overwhelmed by house-made sauces. Welcome touches include the vibrant pop of preserved lemon in the linguini and clams, salty caperberries in the Caesar salad, earthy dandelions in the pesto bucatini, and the subtle sweetness of honey in the flatbread crust. The hardest part is choosing between two distinctively different dining rooms. One is dark and seductive. The other bright and open with a full view view of the kitchen. [Reservations - by Open Table]
Est. 2019 | Chinatown
A modern take on Thai with a stylish dining room and killer, affordable wine list
The latest Thai concept by Bank Atcharawan takes the best of his former restaurants -- the traditional dishes of Chada Thai and the street flavors of Chada Street -- and blends them together in Lamaii. The name translates to "delicate," which carries through in Lamaii's minimalist, modern plating that makes full use of flowers and microgreens. All served in a stylish dining room, where contemporary and imported Thai furnishings complement each other to full effect. Fans will be eager to see old favorites, like the fried duck and crispy beef salad, but also new creations like a beautiful steak tartare, flavored with lime and fish sauce with Isaan-inspired spices. Of course, knowing that Atcharawan first made his name as the sommelier of Lotus of Siam, the wine list is worth a visit alone and is offered at low markups from compelling small producers. There are slightly more whites than reds on the menu, including sweeter Rieslings, which help counter the spiciness found throughout much of the food.
Est. 2018 | Chinatown
Small bites featuring a bold, international blend of flavors
Khai Vu knows how to stay busy. In addition to the stellar District One, the Vietnamese chef now has Mordeo, a wine bar that doesn't worry about any preconceived notions that come with being in Chinatown. More than 30 seats surround the massive bar that anchors the center of the dining room, while a casual chef's table provides an up-close look at the kitchen team in action. The menu is designed to be a mix of global styles, but anything goes -- including off-menu Pat LaFrieda steak specials. The beet salad really does feel straight from the garden, especially with whole wheat "soil" crumbles in place of croutons, and the lightly torched la tur tastes like brie on crack. However, the true highlights are the light slices of red wattle pig served in crispy rice cloud, Nigerian prawns with lobster roe butter, and fresh-cut Iberico slices.
Est. 2018 | Palace Station
Prime beef burgers butchered in-house with awesome wings and draft beer
It's hard to find a restaurant that over-delivers more than BBD's. The name stands for "beers, burgers, and desserts" and it's easily the best thing about the recent round of renovations at Palace Station. The lineup of 26 rotating drafts is chosen with more care than you'll find at most beer halls in town with special attention paid to sours and limited releases (although Miller High Life is also playfully on tap if you want to slum it). As for the burgers, only prime beef is used -- from steer shared with Peter Luger in New York. It's all processed on site in a butcher shop visible from the dining room, along with duck, lamb, and chicken. But let's stay focused on the burgers. They're steamed, griddled, or cooked on a woodfired grill custom-designed to retain the flavor of the smoke. Overlooked in all of this are possibly the best wings in town, fries cooked in chicken fat, and shakes made with house-made soft serve.
Est. 2018 | Chinatown
Contemporary French dining in a Chinatown strip mall
Don't let the strip mall location fool you. Partage is something special in Las Vegas. The restaurant makes French fine dining accessible in both price and atmosphere without sacrificing quality, ingredients, preparation, or presentation. Dishes are available individually or as five, seven, or nine-course tasting menus, which generally change every two weeks. Signature items include braised oxtail from Chef Yuri Szarzewski's family recipe, duck breast layered with foie gras, and scallops with a sesame and herb crust. An 18-ounce smoked rib eye and fresh whole fish are both presented tableside while a nori ravioli with cashew cheese leads a surprisingly strong lineup of vegan options. The dining room is comfortable, but doesn't take itself too seriously with stylish, modern furnishings and wood tabletops. Ask about the chef's table, which seats 4-6 people and has front-row views of the kitchen in action. [Reservations - by Open Table]
Est. 2018 | Chinatown
Intimate space with Spanish tapas, wine, and a cocktail cart
Here's further proof that Chinatown is an expansive neighborhood with room for cuisine that goes far beyond requisite Asian dining. EDO is pronounced "ee-dee-oh," after the phrase "extra day off" as well as Chef Oscar Amador Edo, who takes his experience working in Spain and on the Strip to carry out his own vision with an incredible menu of Spanish-inspired tapas. Imported ingredients are key. Iberico, seafood, cheeses, and even the bread are imported from Europe. A 10-course tasting menu is a great way to go -- and a steal at $45 -- especially for first-timers. (It can also be modified for vegans or specific allergies.) The team has fun with a few of the presentations, including the applewood-smoked reveal of the salmon crostini and the five-minute sand timer that lets you know when the time is right to take that first bite of paella.
Est. 2018 | The Venetian
Upscale Cantonese in a spacious industrial setting
It's easy to complain about skyrocketing menu prices in Las Vegas, but Mott 32 is one of those restaurants that gets everything right -- food, atmosphere, service, and this is an underrated one: comfort. (Space between tables is considered wasteful real estate in Vegas.) Every dollar adds up, but is well spent for an evening of Cantonese fine dining that comes with an ambitious modern edge. Iberico pork is used frequently, most notably in an appetizer marinated in oyster sauce and topped with yellow mountain honey. But the main event is the Peking Duck, cooked for 12 hours, fired up in a brick oven, and requiring an advance notice of two days. The space combines Asian and industrial design elements with surprises around every corner. Even if you only go as far as the bar, you'll want to investigate the house-made syrups and infusions -- on quick display in a modified Old Fashioned with a subtle sesame flavor. [Reservations - by Open Table]
Est. 2018 | The Palms
Northern Italian fare, rustic dining room, crazy views
Philadelphia's Marc Vetri has ventured west, setting up shop in Las Vegas with a new restaurant on the 56th floor of the Palms. The space, formerly home to Alize, was completely remodeled with brick columns, cobblestones, wood plank floors, and other rustic elements providing a cozy contrast to the striking panoramic views of the Strip through floor-to-ceiling windows. Fortunately, the depth of the menu is just as strong as the scenery, with handmade pastas taking inspiration from Italy's northern regions -- like the butternut squash rotolo with blue cheese and ginger or the chicken and beef-filled ravioli with pancetta, sage, and just a drizzle of butter. No pizzas whatsoever and the lone dish with tomato sauce, seems to only be there as an insurance policy for less adventurous tourists. (Yes, it's spaghetti.) Otherwise, everything is fair game. Even the charcuterie plate, which changes by the day, is a welcome change of pace from everybody else's version. The roasted baby goat is a tempting novelty for a main course, but isn't nearly as rewarding as the mesquite grilled seafood platter. A cheese cart, with six rotating choices from all over Italy, is nice alternative for dessert.
Est. 2018 | Downtown
Farm-to-table Italian in the Downtown Arts District
Esther's Kitchen is fast becoming the signature restaurant for the growing Downtown Arts District. By sourcing ingredients from local farmers markets, Chef James Trees has put together a fresh and dynamic menu that evolves with the season and is elevated by house-made breads and pastas. Despite drawing big crowds and plenty of buzz, Trees insists on keeping prices reasonable while building loyalty that will likely generate repeat business for years to come. Brunch is now available with bread pudding french toast sticks, a quail egg, bacon, and prosciutto pizza, and other dishes. [Reservations - by Open Table]
Est. 2018 | The Venetian
Vibrant dishes with a combination of Latin and Asian flavors
Ricardo Zarate's Las Vegas restaurant mixes Japanese influences with his already acclaimed Peruvian cuisine. It's a powerful combination of flavors that's almost too ambitious and experimental for its Strip location. Located in a quiet corner of the Grand Canal Shoppes, Once (pronounced on-seh) is a vibrant space where walls of greenery surround communal tables and an eight-seat chef's counter with views of the kitchen in action. Highlights include a charcuterie and cheese board with grilled octopus in the center and an oxtail Bibimbap that combines spicy seasoning and the sweetness of plantains into one unique bite.
Est. 2017 | The Cosmopolitan
Sushi and other Japanese food In a modern, stylish environment
When it comes to Japanese dining in Las Vegas, some restaurants focus on food, others on atmosphere, but Zuma gets the balance right. Since opening as one of our best new restaurants of 2017, it remains sleek and stylish while only getting better at presenting traditional concepts in contemporary variations. Whether on a date or a business dinner, you're meant to enjoy the spectacle, from a Japanese whiskey cocktail smoked tableside to intricate sashimi presentations. Even the dining room itself is impressive, surrounded by a wall of stone blocks and floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the Strip. Wagyu, used frequently to balance the seafood, is especially good when gently topped with an Asian chimichurri sauce. Ask about the off-menu Golden Toro Maki roll, in which the fatty tuna is enhanced with caviar and golden flakes in honor of the Vegas Golden Knights.
Est. 2017 | Southwest
Modern American cuisine with a Vietnamese influence in the Southwest Valley
The Black Sheep made a big splash when it opened in 2017, but is only getting better. The intimate restaurant brings a modern edge to neighborhood dining with an efficient lineup of dishes that mix common American flavors with the influence of Chef Jamie Tran's Vietnamese heritage. A loyal team of Strip veterans helps put it all together, earning plenty of repeat customers eager to check out an evolving menu that changes based on the availability of seasonal ingredients -- including the cocktails. [Reservations - by Open Table]
Est. 2017 | Chinatown
An evolving menu that makes good use of seasonal ingredients and a wood-fired oven
Chef Brian Howard's ambitious restaurant represents a melting pot of different cultures and cuisines with an evolving menu that tends to change every three weeks or so. Most of the food, from meats to vegetables, emerge from a wood-fired oven, offering a welcome smoky touch to dishes that range from cheek bone marrow dumplings to lamb neck and even lasagna. Everything is perfect for sharing, including three-tier bento boxes. [Reservations - by Open Table]
Est. 2015 | West Valley
Neighborhood dining with sharp cocktails and a heavy Asian influence
Other Mama is one of those places where you don't have to open the menu to have an incredible meal. Instead, turn your attention to a chalkboard on the wall, where the day's deep selection of specials can range from fresh sashimi to hearty soups and whatever the kitchen wants to serve on any given day based on its inventory of meat, seafood, and vegetables. The recipes are heavily inspired by chef and owner Dan Krohmer's boots-on-the-ground training in Japan. With modest, timeless decor, the dining room almost feels like a living room, but a seat at the sushi bar offers a full interactive experience. Pay careful attention to the cocktail list, featuring unconventional recipes with house-made syrups and unexpected ingredients.
Est. 2015 | Bellagio
Contemporary dining driven by fresh ingredients
Sick of hearing about restaurants that play fast and loose with the worn out "farm-to-table" phrase? Well, Chef Roy Ellamar pulls off the concept better than anyone on the Strip at Harvest, with a wide-open dining room that mixes a casual energy with fine-dining precision. Freshly picked produce is prepared alongside sustainable seafood and choice cuts of meats from some of the country's top ranches. There's also a surprisingly deep beer selection and a snack wagon serving small bites in the lounge area. [Reservations - by Open Table]
Est. 2014 | Downtown
Everyone's first choice for dinner in the Fremont East district
Carson Kitchen, one of the last projects by the late Kerry Simon, continues to build on its reputation as Downtown's top destination restaurant after opening five years ago. The initial concept was simple -- recreate what a dinner party experience might be like in the celebrity chef's own private loft. The dining room keeps things casual with an industrial feel, rooftop patio, and tables just steps away from where everything is cooked. The dishes are based on introducing what could be uncommon ingredients to the general public -- foie gras, caviar, rabbit, oxtail -- in familiar vehicles like meatballs, mac n' cheese, meatloaf, and flatbreads. Brother Scott Simon now runs the kitchen, mixing in his own inventive, whimsical dishes with old favorites like the bacon jam and crispy chicken wings with 3-to-4 menu revamps a year. In a mark of the restaurant's enduring potential, Carson Kitchen is opening additional locations in Salt Lake City and outside of Atlanta. It's refreshing to see a Vegas-born restaurant concept expand elsewhere, instead of the other way around.
Est. 2014 | Sahara
A steakhouse with rare depth, inventive dishes, and foie gras cotton candy
As the SLS reverts back to being the Sahara, we hope Bazaar Meat sticks around as long as possible amid the remodeling. The José Andrés steakhouse offers the most creative take on a format well represented in Las Vegas. There’s something for everybody with a raw bar, caviar flights, and a diverse array of meat, ranging from wild boar sausage and Buffalo-style bison to a ten-pound suckling pig and three choices of Spanish bone-in Ribeye steaks. If you want things to get weird, start off with the foie gras cotton candy. Multi-course tasting menus are a great way to get the full experience, but come with that "defeated by food" feeling when it's all over. Arrive hungry, pace yourself, and go easy on the tableside-prepared sirloin tartare.
Est. 2012 | Wynn
High-end sushi, true certified wagyu, and a koi pond... what else do you need?
One of the most stylish places to bring a date in Las Vegas, Mizumi has a beautiful view of an outdoor Koi pond and waterfall. (If you want an especially private and intimate meal, snag the table that sits alone on the water.) While the atmosphere is amazing, the food is even better: the Japanese offerings range from hot robata and teppanyaki meats to fresh sushi and sashimi. While dishes like the miso black cod and Peking duck may seem overly familiar, they are prepared with unique care and elegance. Mizumi is also one of the very few restaurants in the United States to serve certified authentic Kobe beef. [Reservations - by Open Table]
Est. 2011 | The Cosmopolitan
An ultra-exclusive tasting experience in an intimate setting
Consisting of just nine seats at a countertop, é by Jose Andres can be found in an intimate dining room off to the side of Jaleo (a damn good restaurant in its own right). With only two seatings a night at 5:30 or 8:30, reservations can be hard to book but worth the advance planning to score what is literally a golden ticket to enter. Guests are guided through a culinary experience that consists of more than 20 small bites in less than two hours. Ingenuity is the theme with many of the dishes based on gastronomic experimentation. The cotton candy empanadas with foie gras are especially fun. Add a wine or cocktail pairing and just roll with it.
Est. 2009 | Spring Valley
Eastern European tapas in a marketplace setting
For more than 10 years, Forte has been exposing Las Vegas diners to Eastern European culture. The intimate dining room, about 4 miles west of the Strip, is a cozy spot where local artwork hangs on the wall and no two tables look quite the same. The dishes, typically presented as shareable plates, are heavy on Russian, Bulgarian, and Hungarian recipes with a strong Spanish influence to round things out. Favorites include dill and yogurt stuffed peppers, potato dumplings, and Beef Stroganoff Americanized with French fries in place of pasta. Larger meats and seafood are heated with a Josper oven, which incorporates a wood burning grill for a smoky flavor. A market near the front door sells meats, cheeses, and other imported ingredients, as well as Bulgarian wines hard to find elsewhere in Las Vegas. Come by on Wine Wednesday, when you can enjoy a bottle at your table for the take-home retail price. [Reservations - by Open Table]
Est. 2009 | Waldorf Astoria
French and American fusion in a modern fine dining space
The Mandarin Oriental may have transformed into the Waldorf Astoria, but the property's best dinner destination remains in place. Twist by Pierre Gagnaire is the only US restaurant by the French chef and includes sweeping floor-to-ceiling windows that quietly overlook the Las Vegas Strip from the 23rd floor. The menu of French fusion lives up to the restaurant’s name with new takes on familiar ingredients served in a bright and bold dining room with a four-seat bar ready to serve cocktails to accompany special two- or three-course menus. [Reservations - by Open Table]
Est. 2008 | Chinatown
Chinatown favorite brings a modern style to classic Asian flavors
Raku has built a strong reputation as one of the best reasons to visit Chinatown. The Asian-inspired cuisine includes sushi and small bites from the robata grill, ranging from fire-roasted eggplant to the portobello-stuffed chicken. And the steamed foie gras egg custard has won over plenty of fans all by itself. If you crave something cool and different for dessert, sister restaurant Raku Sweets is just a few doors away, offering clever creations like the Mt. Exotic mango cream cake. [Reservations - by Open Table]
Est. 2006 | MGM Grand
A choice of two restaurants to celebrate one of France's greatest chefs
This spot belongs together with sister restaurant L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon... since they sit side-by-side as only two of three dining establishments in the United States by late French chef Joël Robuchon. The eponymous location is a little more fancy and, yes, a little more expensive while L'Atelier is a slightly more casual alternative that proves eating at a counter can actually enhance the dining experience. Either choice provides carefully crafted multicourse seasonal menus and free-flowing Champagne, as well as house-made pastries and desserts. Both restaurants offer deceptively intimate, but very different, dining experiences. With everything in good hands under respective executive chefs Christophe De Lellis and Jimmy Lisnard, guests can celebrate Robuchon's legacy with truffled langoustine ravioli, quail stuffed with foie gras, and other signature dishes. Not to mention the best mashed potatoes in Las Vegas. [Reservations - by Open Table]
Est. 2006 | Caesars Palace
Masterfully prepared French dining in a quiet spot overlooking the Strip
The multi-course tasting menus aren't cheap but they are worth every penny at this Michelin-starred restaurant, the only American eatery owned by France's Guy Savoy. Everything here is only perfectly prepared and expertly served by a team that knows exactly how much time you need between courses, and for a great view, request a table near the window overlooking the intersection of Las Vegas Blvd and Flamingo. [Reservations - by Open Table]
Est. 2000 | Desert Shores
Waterside French dining with deep wine selection and killer cocktails
Marche Bacchus was doing just fine until a car crashed into the front of the restaurant in early 2018. The good news: Nobody got hurt. More good news: It was the perfect excuse to not only completely remodel the entrance, but add a big new bar with a killer Scotch and cocktail program. It complements the wine collection of nearly a thousand labels, which can be bought to go, or brought to your the table for just $10 more. We like the second option better, since it gives you a chance to try the escargot, eggplant terrine, pan-roasted duck breast, and other French-focused menu items by Chef Luciano Pellegrini. Throw in the waterside scenery of Lake Jacqueline and an expansive closed-in patio, and you've got a one-stop-shop for the perfect date night dinner. [Reservations - by Open Table]
Est. 1998 | Bellagio
Creative French cuisine in a comfortable dining room near the Bellagio fountains
Thanks to an inventive and adventurous menu, this outpost of the famed French restaurant not only outpaced but outlasted the original in New York. With a dining room that overlooks the Bellagio fountains, the atmosphere feels more like an old Vegas supper club, comfortably worn in over the years with a staff that's equal parts knowledgeable and friendly. The presentation of the caviar-topped Maryland crabcake or sunchoke soup will catch your attention immediately, but it's the flavors you'll remember long after the meal has ended. [Reservations - by Open Table]
Est. 1996 | The Strat
A revamped old-school menu and the best views in Vegas
Things are looking up at the Stratosphere these days -- or "The Strat" is it's now officially called. Thanks to a rebranding that includes widespread renovations, the culinary program is getting a makeover, and the results are on full display at Top of the World. There's a renewed focus on sourcing like the grass-fed ribeye from Tasmania and cold water Indian Ocean prawns that taste perfect in little more than their own natural saltiness. The restaurant isn't straying far from its classic steakhouse image with old-school dishes like Lobster Thermidor, Maryland-style crab cakes, and even a Baked Alaska for dessert, but everything is prepared with incredible attention to detail. Of course, Top of the World still rotates near the top of the 1,149-foot-tall Stratosphere tower, offering stunning 360-degree views to match the effort and motivation behind the menu.