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.
Sam Marvin headed to Le Cordon Bleu in Paris at age 19, and ended up working with Marc Meneau at L' Esperance in St.Pere-sur-Vezelay. He’s cooked in Switzerland, Italy, Morocco and Holland before landing in Los Angeles under restaurateur Joachim Splichal at Patina Restaurant Group. Marvin created Modada with its avant-garde menu combining classical French dishes with eclectic influences from around the world as well as Bottega Louie Restaurant and Gourmet Market in Downtown Los Angeles. Now he has Echo & Rig Butcher & Steakhouse at Tivoli Village and plans to open five boutiques in the Grand Bazaar Shops along with Pizza Cirque with 50 styles of pizza and more than 500 beers on tap.
"I cook a lot outside of my restaurant so it is very important what I put in the bodies of my wife, children, family and friends," Marvin says. "That’s why I opened a butcher shop here in Las Vegas so people can know where their beef, chicken or pork is coming from and who raised them and how were they raised. These are the questions we are educating people to ask."
When he does have time to dine out, here’s where he likes to go.
Which restaurants do you turn to when you’re not working?
Brooklyn Bowl, Fukuburger and Lotus of Siam.
What dishes are most memorable?
At Brooklyn Bowl, the fried chicken. I crave it sometimes, the crust is crispy, crunchy and perfectly flavorful, sweet and savory. I think the Matzo meal in the crust seals in the juiciness of the chicken. You bite into it and it almost bursts in your mouth.
The Tamago Burger at Fukuburger is one of my favorites. Some mornings I just wake up and feel like eating one. I see where the truck is that day and make my way to it. It’s the Furikake on the patty that makes it magic.
Tough to pick a single dish with so many spectacular dishes at Lotus of Siam, but my last trip consisted of the spicy catfish with chilies and Thai basil leaves, larb (best I have ever tasted) and the nam prik ong (red chili dip from the north) is addictive.
Why do you enjoy going there?
These are three of my favorites in Las Vegas. The passion is reflected in the flavors and the food is simply just perfect every time.
Echo & Rig
440 S. Rampart Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89145
Butcher Shop 702-902-BEEF (2333)