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.
China Poblano’s Mitchell Holmes knows his cheap eats. The Rochester, N.Y.-native calls his hometown a place to find "a lot of cheap, good food — Buffalo wings, deli subs, pizza, garbage plates (Look it up. It's delicious) and the like." Holmes went to school in Pittsburgh, and did an externship at The Sagamore in Lake George, N.Y., before heading to the Boca Raton Resort & Club to work at 27 Ocean Blue, a four-star restaurant at the time. He moved back to Rochester and worked at "a few upscale restaurants downtown" and eventually joined the ACF, taking a chefs position at Greystone Country Club. Holmes moved to Las Vegas to open BarMasa and Shaboo for Masayoshi Takayama in Aria a the sous chef. Two years later he joined the team at Jaleo at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, working as a sous chef for three years. Now he's the executive chef at China Poblano, a gem for some cheap tacos. He’s scoured Las Vegas for some of the best cheap eats and shares his findings here.
The Goodwich and Lee’s
I eat a lot of sandwiches. My two favorite sandwich places in town are The Goodwich and Lee's. The Dac Biet at Lee's is a favorite, and as for The Goodwich, how do you not love a place that puts bacon in a PB&J? And, not to mention, the Rou Jia Mo Street Sandwich at China Poblano changed my life just a little — it is one of the 10 best things I have ever eaten.
I love the Kuro ramen. It's a different flavor profile than a traditional Kyushu ramen. The sweetness of the black garlic takes the richness of the dashi down a bit. Another thing I like about Monta is that you can place a pick up order and finish the cooking at home. It works out really well to be able to pick up dinner on the way home from work and cook it whenever I'm ready. They also do a pretty good karaage, which keeps my kids occupied long enough to eat in peace.
Joe’s New York Pizza
Being from upstate New York, one thing that is totally different in Las Vegas is the water. With water being such a main ingredient in pizza dough, it was difficult finding pizza that reminds me of Rochester and Buffalo. Joe's New York pizza on South Las Vegas Boulevard comes pretty close. The trick there is that you have to order slices. There's something about the pizza cooling at room temperature and being put back on the hot deck oven that totally elevates it. I'm not saying it's the best pizza in the city, that would probably be Dom DeMarco's (killer restaurant in Summerlin), but I'd say it's definitely the best pizza by the slice.