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There are so many great Las Vegas restaurants both on and off the strip. Here are five that we recommend.
During a recent dinner in the Serpico dining room on South Street in Philadelphia, a strange silence overcame our table. We weren’t just eating with a friend, we were dining with Jim Begley, engineer by day and restaurant critic for the Las Vegas Weekly by night.
Jim asked the one question that would cause a certain amount of discomfort for the 2foodtrippers, me in particular.
“Daryl, how come you still haven’t written about your time in Las Vegas last year?”
The question burned at me. For months and months, my brother Lou has badgered me (especially on Facebook) about not writing about my Las Vegas experiences, but hearing the question from Begley brought the point home. Not only did I eat great food in Sin City, but I also took some great pictures at the various Las Vegas restaurants. Each meal experience was unlike the last. However, what happened in Vegas truly did stay in Vegas…
My 5 Recommended Las Vegas Restaurants
It is finally time for me to share my photos from my trip.
1. Raku – The Closest Experience to Tokyo in a Strip Mall
Yes, I said strip mall.
Raku Grill, a favorite among Las Vegas restaurant folk, is an intimate restaurant that features a range of Japanese classics like the prettiest and tastiest plate of sashimi outside of Japan as well as a range of plates prepared low and slow on Raku’s robatayaki grill.
I feasted at Raku Grill with a local power trio – the aforementioned Jim Begley, Celebrity Chef Sammy DeMarco and restaurant veteran Lou Hirsch. During the dinner, we touched on all corners of the wide-ranging menu.
Some of the highlights included the aforementioned sashimi, perfectly rare Kobe beef skewers and a large hunk of melt-in-your-mouth grilled beef tendon.
Raku Grill is located at 5030 W Spring Mountain Rd #2, Las Vegas, NV 89146, United States.
2. Sweets Raku – Desserts Done with Japanese Finesse
After a wonderful meal at Raku Grill, dessert is right around the parking lot corner. Literally. Sweets Raku’s Chef Mio Ogasawara meticulously prepares a culinary sweets nightcap straight out of a Tokyo Depachika. And it all starts with an edible menu.
Sweets Raku is located at 5040 W Spring Mountain Rd, Spring Valley, NV 89146, United States.
3. Estiatorio Milos – Greek Lunch on The Strip
There are some great values on The Strip if you know where to find them, even at chic spots like The Cosmopolitan.
Greek chef Estiatorio Milos offers an excellent three-course lunch for $22.14. While dining at Estiatorio Milos on my own, I enjoyed a fresh tomato salad with feta cheese, a whole fish grilled to a perfect char and a simple Greek yogurt with fruit.
Esiatorio Milo is located in the Cosmopolitan at 3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, United States.
Bonus Recommendation – International Marketplace
Las Vegas has a thriving international community, many of whom work at the casinos. Few markets have as varied a selection as International Marketplace. The enormous market proves that you CAN get everything in the desert.
International Marketplace is located at 5000 S Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89118, United States.
4. Ping Pang Pong – Dim Sum at the Gold Coast Casino
Not all meals need to be elegant to be good. Such was the case with my dim sum lunch with Jim Begley at Ping Pang Pong at the Gold Coast Casino. Masquerading as a mall-like eatery and located directly off an aging casino floor, Ping Pang Pong is serving authentic dim sum Chinese food that transported me straight back to the crowded Hong Kong streets.
A benefit of not dining solo for this meal was that I got to try more dishes. And then some more.
Ping Pang Pong is located at the Gold Coast Casino at 4000 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103, United States.
5. Sambalatte – Coffee Fix in Summerlin
As a bit of a coffee snob, I seek out good coffee whenever I travel. My nose took me to Sambalatte in Summerlin for globally sourced, locally roasted coffee. Sambalatte is a good spot to enjoy a pour over right next to some of Vegas’ most colorful characters.
Sambalatte now has multiple location in and around Las Vegas.
Check out our Las Vegas Food Guide for great food and drink options off the strip.
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