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 ly feature dubbed Dining Confidential. Know a chef who wants to share some top dining spots? The tipline is open.
Ricardo Romo kicked off his culinary career in another vacation destination. The executive chef at Itsy Bitsy: Ramen & Whisky worked as a chef at Tsunami on Martha’s Vineyard in 2004. In Las Vegas, his career has taken him to Michael Mina’s Seablue formerly at the MGM Grand and then STK at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. In 2014, he joined Corner Bar Management Group and created the menus for Whist Stove & Spirits and Due & Proper, and in 2015 he moved on to his role as executive chef at Itsy Bitsy. Here he shares three of his favorite places to dine when he’s not making ramen at the base of The Ogden.
"There are so many great restaurants in Las Vegas that deserve a shout out," Romo says. "Being in the restaurant business in Las Vegas can be really challenging, and I respect restaurant owners and chefs for putting in the hours and work that it takes to be successful. With so many new restaurants constantly opening, it takes a lot of work to be successful and maintain consistency to keep our guests coming back time and time again."
Which restaurants do you turn to when you’re not working?
When I’m not working, I really enjoy eating out at different restaurants all over the city. It’s hard to narrow down the choices because I love so many different types of food, but the three that stand out most to me are Pot Liquor at Town Square, STK inside the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Fukuburger.
What dishes are most memorable?
Pot Liquor has a Texas dip that’s absolutely delicious. It’s served with a barbecue jus, cornbread and a maple butter that is out of this world. At STK, my go-to is the bone-in ribeye served medium. I love the corn pudding that it comes with, and it pairs perfectly with a glass of Pinot Noir. Fukuburger takes the burger to another level with the nori, fried egg and spices that add the perfect amount of extra heat. I also love their Tamago burger and the Nagadog.
Why do you enjoy going there?
Each of these restaurants has something totally different to offer. I would have to say STK is my favorite for overall atmosphere and of course, a great steak. They have great food, great drinks AND amazing views.