Feature

Las Vegas: Finding the gems in a culinary maze

Here are a few simple strategies for “winning big.”

Finding great cuisine can be a gamble in Las Vegas, said Hugh Garvey in Bon Appétit. A restaurant with a towering wine wall and hefty leather-bound menu can translate “to a big bill, lots of drama, but not necessarily a memorable meal.” To complicate things, “the city has more chefs with Michelin stars than many European capitals.” To avoid “reservations paralysis,” here are a few simple strategies for “winning big.”

Aburiya Raku Get into a cab and off the Strip. In 15 minutes, you’ll land in Chinatown, home to two exciting restaurants that happen to be Japanese. At this “food-pilgrim favorite,” try chef Mitsuo Endo’s fried agedashi tofu and bincho-grilled, bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms. 5030 W. Spring Mountain Rd., (702) 367-3511

Central Michel Richard Eat late and be rewarded at chef Michel Richard’s 24-hour spot in Caesars Palace, where during a 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. happy hour the menu of “Frenchified American comfort food” includes beer-battered onion rings at 24 percent off, plus two-for-one beers. A treat for “anyone who’s lost track of time at the tables or up in the club.” Caesar’s Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S., (702) 650-5921

StripSteak With so many “serious steakhouse options” in town, the sous vide steak here stands out. Chef Michael Mina poaches each steak in butter in an immersion circulator. When tender, the steak is moved to the fire for a “crisp char and that sublime hint of smoke.” Mandalay Bay, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd., S., (702) 632-7414

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