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.
Honorio Mecinos [Photo: Chelsea McManus]
You have to give Honorio Mecinas a lot of credit. He came to the United States as a 17 year old from Oaxaca Mexico, following his three brothers to a country where he couldn’t speak the language. He learned to make beautiful music at Joachim Splichal’s Pinot Bistro in Studio City Calif., working as a potato peeler and carrot cutter. His diligence on the line, when he had no money to go to school, earned him a sous chef gig at Café Pinot in downtown Los Angeles. And that led to him opening Pinot Brasserie at the Venetian in 1999. By 2002, he rose to the ranks of executive chef, making him the youngest in Vegas at the time. In 2007, he landed Voodoo Steak at the Rio, where he dishes up Chilean seabass and dry-aged ribeye steak. Here, Mecinas dishes on a bevy of his favorite places to dine when he’s not working.
On my days off I like to see and experience what’s out there. There are many talented chefs in this town trying new and adventurous items on their menu. I have had the privilege to dine in almost every restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip and one of the most memorable dining experiences I’ve had was at chef Alex Stratta’s Renoir [formerly at the Bellagio] and Alex [formerly at Wynn Las Vegas].
To me spending a certain amount of money each week is like an investment to my career; not only do I enjoy dining out, but I feel it helps me strive to become a better chef. Thanks to my friend, Jackson, I found Sage at Aria, where they have very cool appetizers such as foie gras crème brulee, steak tartare and braised beef belly.
For late night, Raku in Chinatown is impressive — you can see the chef’s knife skills and everything is bite size — Kobe beef, foie gras, Kurobuta pork cheeks or Kobe beef tendon.
When I just want to chill and relax and have some great wine, I go to Pinot Brasserie at the Venetian where I served as executive chef for five years. My favorites there are the cheese platter, foie gras, braised pork belly and the extensive wine list.
I have several favorite places where I eat on regular basis: when I’m craving for sushi, Rainbow Sushi is the place for me. I have been going there for the last eight years and the staff knows me well and the chefs know my favorite rolls. I enjoy the Achi Chi and American Dream.
When it comes to dim sum, Chang’s and Orchids Gardens are my favorite places, good food and great service; shrimp dumpling, shark fin, chicken feet? the selections are endless.
I am not a big coffee drinker, but when I feel like an espresso or cappuccino, Bonjour Bakery has a really nice selection of pastries and freshly baked bread and sandwiches.
· All Dining Confidentials [~ELV~]