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. Know a chef who wants to share some top dining spots? The tipline is open.
Hakkasan's pastry chef Monica Delgadillo moved to the United States from Mexico at age 3, and began working at Dianda's Italian American Bakery in San Francisco while attending the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Delgadillo worked under San Francisco pastry chefs Jennifer Sullivan at Boulevard, Adam Becker of Spruce, and Bill Corbett and Lincoln Carson of Michael Mina before moving to Las Vegas, where she was the pastry chef at Nobhill Tavern and Seablue. Here she shares some of her favorite places to dine when she's not putting together macaroons and other tasty pastries at the MGM Grand's Hakkasan.
Which restaurants do you turn to when you're not working?
Mar y Tierra, located in off N. Eastern Avenue and E. Bonanza Road.
Mint Indian Bistro, located on E. Flamingo Road between Paradise Road and S. Maryland Parkway.
Bouchon, located inside the Venetian.
What dishes are most memorable?
At Mar y Tierra, which means "Sea and Land" in Spanish, the flash fried whole huachinango fish covered with a garlic butter served with bottomless fresh house-made tortillas is served just the way I remember them back home in Mexico.
At Mint Indian Bistro, the tandoori chicken is marinated in yogurt and kashmairi red chili, cayenne pepper and turmeric. The dish is served with tamarind rice to complement its spiciness.
At Bouchon, I am always excited to try their desserts. The ice cream filled profiteroles have just enough Valrhona chocolate sauce to cut the sweetness of the ice cream and the pâte à choux is cooked to perfection. Another favorite of mine is the lemon tart with the pine nut crust, it's truly amazing.
Why do you enjoy going there?
Mar y Tierra — The authentic Mexican food there brings me a great happiness that makes me think of my family traditions from my childhood.
Mint Indian Bistro — The staff is always very welcoming, incurring their guests to try new items and be adventurous. With all the traditional secret spices, I always try new items that are just as amazing to experience.
Bouchon — Desserts and pastries have a huge impact in my day-to-day operation. Bouchon is a terrific restaurant. They have managed to make the simplest items and transform them into pieces of art.
Would you like to include any other information?
Culture is a huge part in my life, and food has an almost magical effect on me because it is where great memories and stories follow. Whether it is with friends or loved ones, spending time around the dinner table is a treasured feeling I take with me wherever I go.
For example, with the newest petit four dessert I've just incorporated to the a la carte Chinese New Year menu available beginning today, each ingredient used has a history, as guests will be taken on a culinary journey that is a reflection of the Chinese culture, something that I try and instill with each dessert that's included on our menu.
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Monica Delgadillo [Photo: Edison Graff/Stardust Fallout Media]