Sin City is home to a lot of restaurants and bars, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Las Vegans aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's food players to share their recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Adil Slassi [Photo: Chelsea McManus]
Morroccan born Adil Slassi has always had a fascination with Mediterranean fare. While originally he move to Seattle to study commercial aviation like his father, he ended up exploring his culinary fascination, becoming the chef de cuisine at Seattle’s Au Buchon, then moving to Southern California as chef of Le St. Germain in Indian Wells. After adding Mediterranean dishes to the menu of the classic French restaurant, he moved on to Wynn Las Vegas, then opened Lavo at the Palazzo and Terzetto at M Resort. Now he heads up the kitchen at Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro at Caesars Palace. Slassi shares his dining faves when he’s not in the kitchen.
On my days off, I find myself looking for that little piece of Vegas that makes me relax, sit back and enjoy the cuisine that speaks to my taste buds. It is so wonderful to sit on the other side of the table and have the staff and food of an out-of-the-way restaurant excite me as I am about to indulge in what other chefs and cooks have to offer.
DJ, with his chef's hat tilted to one side, is one of those cooks. He works at the Oyster Bar at M Resort. The fresh oysters, bouillabaisse and cioppino always hit the spot; the portion size and the flavors overwhelm me. But what makes it even more memorable is the care that he takes to make my fresh Poke with the most flavorful Ahi tuna I can recall. Sure, he can make the bouillabaisse and cioppino from scratch, but if I am feeling like having a lot of garlic or a little, he accommodates me. If I want extra shrimp, lobster, or extra anything that he has available, it is no problem. In fact, it seems like he welcomes it.
Another restaurant I really enjoy is The Mad Greek on Durango and Sahara. Jerry, the co-owner, always greets me with a warm gesture and familiarity. When the weather is nice, I choose to sit on the patio with its garden, fireplace and lit Tiki torches. It’s a great overall experience, something you might not expect to find here in Sin City. The eggplant salad is one of the best dishes. It is the Greek equivalent of France's ratatouille or Sicilian Caponatta. Wild Greek oregano, imported Greek olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice and a lot of TLC. What more can I say? Also, the grilled branzino, stuffed cabbage and taramosalata, a delectable salmon roe dip, really puts my taste buds in overdrive. Great staff, amazing food, tantalizing atmosphere.
There are those places that you seek and find which you place in your Rolodex of dining choices, and then there are those places that you accidentally stumble upon. You know the ones that you don't even know the names of but you know exactly where they are? Such is the case of, the Vietnamese restaurant that is in the plaza on the Southeast corner of Spring Mountain and Valley View. I can't tell you the name and even if I could, I am not sure I could pronounce it correctly. The whole fried flounder that is topped with a fresh salad of apples, cabbage, cilantro, peanuts, ginger, garlic and Thai basil is unbelievable. The seafood pho with its shrimp, catfish, dried baby shrimp, rice noodles and plenty of flavor is also very memorable.”
Editor’s Note: Eater Vegas believes he is referring to Pho Kim Long.
· All Dining Confidentials [~ELV~]