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Lists February, 13 2012

9 Places to Eat at In Las Vegas

It’s trade show time out in Las Vegas, and so we thought we would put together a little compilation of places to eat at while out there. We almost entirely avoided casinos (with one exception), so a cab will most likely be necessary if you’re feeling adventurous.

Check out 10 tasty spots to eat at in Las Vegas after the jump.

Bachi Burger – Southern California has Umami Burger, Las Vegas, has Bachi Burger. I’ve had both numerous times and I prefer Bachi. It’s an Asian fusion burger place, so expect exotic toppings and unique sides dishes. There are 2 burgers that I just can’t stay away from when I go there and those are the Ronin and Kiki’s Burger. I have no idea who Kiki is, but that person has great taste in burgers. This specialty offering from Bachi comes with a juicy beef patty topped off with some sauteed Shitake and Eryngi mushrooms, caramelized bacon sweet onion marmalade all complimented by gruyere cheese. As awesome as that all sounds, The Ronin is no slouch in the taste department. It has some fantastic toppings such as caramelized onions, Japanese cole slaw, miso goma dressing and my favorite a fried egg. My mouth is now watering. For sides, I recommend the truffle fries or the oxtail chili cheese fries. This spot is about 8 10 minutes southeast from the strip, so a cab will be necessary to get there.

Bazic - Korean fried chicken is no joke. The crunch and flavors are immense and this place, Bazic Bar & Restoyaky, has it down pat. You can buy fried chicken in all its flaky and juicy splendor in orders of multiple pieces, like breasts, legs, thigh, all that good stuff, but as a real chicken wing kinda guy, I go for the wings every time. People swear by the Dery Q (the wings pictured here) and they’re good and all, but the flavor gets old after about 4 wings in. The dry wings are where it’s at. I prefer dry wings over wings slathered in sauces, so these do it for me. It’s not just that fact alone, its the crunch and flavor and hint of spice. These are the winner all day. And another great thing about these wings is that they hold over well and taste great microwaved the next day. Even though I stay ordering the 10 piece wing, I really can’t eat more than 5 or 6 in one sitting. They also serve suds in these unique serving contraptions and the party I was with were living it up chicken and beer style. There’s also some really cute Korean girls that work there, so add that in to the equation and you can see why this is such a popular place. Bazic is located off of Spring Mountain in Chinatown and it really is not too far off of the strip, so cab fare should not be too craze.

Hash House A Go Go - Las Vegas is filled with great lunch and dinner type spots, but breakfast is held down nicely, too. Hash House A Go Go is a good place to start your day, or maybe even assist in dealing with hangovers. There are a few locations in LV, so you shouldn’t have any trouble locating one. The portions are nice and the menu is great. One thing I am a sucker for is fried chicken served up on breakfast platters. Maybe it’s conditioning from being located not far away from Roscoe’s in CA, or maybe it’s just because it’s delicious. I say it’s the latter. Anyway, if you find yourself at a Hash House A Go Go location, search around the menu until you locate ‘Indiana Favorites’ from there, try the Andy’s Sage Fried Chicken Benedict. It comes with maple reduction, 2 eggs, bacon mashed potatoes and a biscuit. You’re not limited to fried chicken dishes here – I just thoroughly enjoy them. There’s scrambles, flapjacks, waffles, and of course, hashes.

Hot n Juicy Crawfish - This place is a blast. It’s a great place to go with a small group of people who are all adventurous eaters, but I must warn you now, though: prepare to get dirty and smelly. When you eat here, it kind of feels like it would feel similar to sitting in the first few rows of a Gallagher performance. You are given bibs and gloves, and I’m not joking, protective eyewear might be a good idea, too. Many a time I have had juices fly up into my face (pause) and every single time I am thankful I was wearing my eyeglasses. Anyway, you are probably wondering what this place is about food-wise being that I have yet to mention it. This place is pretty much all about shrimp and crawfish served up in a bag of juice spiced up to your liking. The juice contains garlic and what I assume is vinegar, and that is what will make you smelly. The gloves will eventually get penetrated and the juice will leak onto your finger tips. And the day after, you will sweat it out of your pores, but it’s all worth the 24-hour period of not smelling so dope in exchange for a delicious time. When you order shrimp/crawfish here, you order by the pound and if you want some bites on the side like potatoes or corn on the cob, you can get that thrown into the bag at all – sort of like a feedbag minus the straps that would go around your ears to hold the bag in place. I must recommend getting corn thrown into the bag. It is so good and juicy and it makes a perfect side option for the shrimp/crawfish. Their fries are also exceptional. I don’t just order fries as is, if you order the soft shelled crab plate, they come with making for a nice appetizer of sorts. I really do rank Hot n Juicy up there and it is a must go when you’re in town.

Monta Ramen – Real talk: Las Vegas has so many great hole in the wall places. If not for a friend and local, I would have not found Monta Ramen. This place is the truth for delicious ramen. The place can get pretty packed, so I recommend getting a head start if you’re starting to feel a hunger come on. The efficient waiting staff is very proactive, so don’t delay with your order. If you have trouble deciding, get yourself some gyoza and then try one of two ramens: the Shoyu or the Tonkostu-Shoyu. I find myself much more into the latter, but you can’t go wrong with either. Be sure to add a boiled egg into the mix, too. It’s a delightful touch and it will help you fill up a bit more.

Pho So 1 - In writing this entry, I am realizing Chinatown in Las Vegas is the spot for food. Pho So 1 is the 4th place in that area (the other three are Monta Ramen, Hot n Juicy, and Bazic), so I guess if you were extremely hungry, you could visit a few spots in rapid succession. I doubt you will do that, but the option is there. Anyway, Pho So 1 opened up 18 years ago and it was the first Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown. I don’t know what folks did for Pho prior to that, but thankfully this placed popped up. I’m a sucker for tendon, tripe, rare steak, and so I always look for Pho containing those essential items. I know a lot of people dislike tendon and tripe, so you don’t have to go with that, for there are many options and I am sure there’s bound to be something you would be more into. Anyway, I went with the soup containing the aforementioned items and loved it to death. I always frequent this other place for Pho, but I liken it to what Yoshinoya is to Japanese food. Pho So 1’s ingredients were noticeably superior and their pork skin spring rolls are on point, too. Order up some of those and a small Pho and you’re in business.

Pizzeria at The Cosmopolitan aka Secret Pizza - Talk about hidden gems. Pizzeria at The Cosmopolitan is just that. The Cosmopolitan has a whole range of eateries inside there, but if you’re looking for a quick and easy bite, and if you’re good at finding things, Pizzeria is a good spot to satisfy a small hunger. This incognito spot is located in a small alley-like entry on the 3rd level wedged in between Blue Ribbon and China Poblano. The pizza itself is NY-style thin crust pizza. I went with a plain cheese slice but added some sliced meatballs. It was pretty good and I was in that stage where I was hungry, just not full meal hungry, so it worked out well. You can add various toppings to plain cheese or white cheese slices. I saw a lady in there who asked them to smother hers with ricotta cheese and sliced meatballs and I immediately experienced “food envy.” I think I am going to have to go try that before I leave Las Vegas.

Tacos El Gordo - I grew up in Southern California, which is undoubtedly one of best regions for Mexican food outside of Mexico itself. I have had many a delicious taco during my lifetime, but recently while spending an extended period of time in Las Vegas, I came across a highly regarded spot well known for their tremendous tacos. That place is Tacos El Gordo. There are 2 locations, one in Downtown and one off of the strip. I recommend the one away from the strip. It will cost you a little extra cab fare to get there, but it’s worth it. When you walk in, the first thing you notice is a big chunk of pork (al pastor) slowly rotating on a spit topped off with a slice of pineapple to add flavor. Al pastor tacos are a must. Start with one and be sure to continue down the line to order up some of the other tacos. I recommend the lengua. What is lengua you ask? It’s beef tongue. It might sound unappealing, but I assure you it is pure goodness. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the tacos de cabeza (English translation: Head Tacos). There are also the safe “go to” options such as carne asada, but please try the other meats and save the carne asada as a topping for their monstrous orders of fries. Half order will feed a few easily, so keep that in mind when ordering.

Lotus of Siam - A lot of you guys will probably know what’s good with this spot. For those that are unfamiliar and considered to be fans of Thai food, this is your spot — this should be on your bucket list of spots to hit up before your time on Earth ends. I don’t even know where to begin with this place. My thoughts in regards to this place are all over the place right now. From appetizers to soups to main courses, it’s all so solid. I guess logically, I should start with appetizers. Now, because the menu is so large and there is so much to experiment with, I am just going to share a few favorites. To start: Stuffed Chicken Wings all day. You have to try them. They’re chicken wings, stuffed with pork and deep fried, and the end result is spectacular. The Nua Dad Deaw (Beef Jerkey Issan style) is also pretty killer. Very tough and chewy, but very tasty. I wouldn’t over do it on the appetizers and so I say follow up the wings with a soup. I’m a sucker for the Tom Kah Kai. It’s extremely tasty and tangy and comes with mushrooms and chicken in a coconut soup with a hint of lime juice. After that, your appetite should be whetted up properly for the main courses. Hopefully you will be in a group so that a family style meal can take place. You’re going to want to mix it up and the best way to do that is with a crew, or just go straight glutton style. There are a few must order such as the sliced Issan Sausage (grilled sour pork sausage), Roasted Duck Curry, and if you continue on down the menu, you will see the Chef’s Choice items. From there I would say that you have to go with the Drunken Noodle Soft Shell Crab plate and some Garlic Prawns for good measure. If you have managed to save room for dessert and if in season, try the Sticky Rice with mango, but if it’s not available, the Coconut Ice Cream and/or the Fried Banana Roll are great ways to cap off the meal. Like I said, the menu is large, so I have not tried everything, but the items I listed should get you on the right path.
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