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.
Eugene Santiago became the executive chef of Carson Kitchen back in June, just as the restaurant from rock ‘n’ roll chef Kerry Simon and partner Cory Harwell celebrated its first anniversary. Before joining the Carson Kitchen team as sous chef, the Los Angeles native received his degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, Calif., in 2005. He’s worked at James Republic in Long Beach, Calif., Elf Café in Los Angeles and Mar’sel at Terranea Resort in the Los Angeles area. Santiago also worked with Simon for three years at Simon LA and at Simon Kitchen & Bar for one year. Here he shares three of his favorite places to dine in Las Vegas.
Which restaurants do you turn to when you’re not working?
Jinya Ramen Bar, Other Mama and Makers & Finders.
What dishes are most memorable?
At Jinya Ramen Bar, I love the crispy shrimp balls and tonkotsu spicy, pork chashu, spicy bean sprouts, kikurage and green onions served with thick noodles.
Other Mama has awesome fresh oysters. I also love the grilled prime ribeye with miso hollandaise and the spicy yuzu chicken wings.
Makers & Finders, a great coffee bar, has the best lavender latte and breakfast croissant sandwich with scrambled eggs, cheddar and maple bacon. Also a huge fan of the chorizo Brussels sprouts made with three grilled shrimp, crispy onions and chorizo.
Why do you enjoy going there?
Jinya is open late and great place to enjoy a comforting bowl of noodles after a long day in the kitchen.
Other Mama is an awesome space with counter seating to an open kitchen. The staff is down to earth and makes the guest feel right at home. The menu is progressive and inventive and full of comforting food.
Makers & Finders has the best coffee in downtown. It offers an awesome menu full of Latin-American flavors. The staff is super friendly, too.