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.
Marty Lopez, the executive chef at 35 Steaks + Martinis at the Hard Rock Hotel, brings more than 15 years of experience that started as a kid when he helped his grandfather prepare family meals in the Philippines. He started off as a saucier and a chef de partie in 2003 for chef André Rochat at Alizé at the Palms, training under Jacques Van Staden and Mark Purdy. He moved on to Andre’s at the Monte Carlo, and then joined chef Emeril Lagasse's Delmonico Steakhouse at the Venetian as a saucier in 2006. After four years, he returned to Alizé at the Palms as a sous chef before becoming a part of the opening chef team at Bacchanal Buffet and Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace in 2012. Finally, Lopez moved across the Strip to the Hard Rock Hotel in 2013. Here he shares some of his favorite places to dine in Las Vegas on and off the Strip.
Which restaurants do you turn to when you’re not working?
I really enjoy dining out, and in the past year-and-a -half, my favorite splurge-type dining spot is definitely Bazaar Meats by José Andrés. On a more casual night, I like going to Chada Thai & Wine, Pho So 1 and a great family-style Thai place, Ocha Thai & Chinese. As far as flavor and taste, these casual restaurants are a bang for your buck. They’re all great places to hang out with friends and family and grab a late-night snack or dinner. I also enjoy the Café at Artisanal Foods.
What dishes are most memorable?
At Chada Thai & Wine, the drunken noodles are out of this world. The dish is a delicious mixture of chilies, mint, basil, wide rice noodles and fresh seafood.
Chef Johnny Church at Café at Artisanal Foods throws down amazing comfort food. You can never go wrong with the pancakes with seared Sonoma foie gras. His 6-ounce Piedmontese truffle and foie burger is amazing as well.
Bazaar has an awesome Wagyu beef cheeks mojo rojo dish, and the pommes puree is one of the best I’ve ever had.
Why do you enjoy going there?
Chada has a great Riesling selection and the appetizers are perfect for sharing. It’s a great place to hang out late night after service since Chada is open late.
The Café at Artisanal Foods is a great lunch spot. They have a variety of lunch items and chef Johnny Church is always on point to make you something nice and tasty.
Every time I’ve been to Bazaar Meats it has something great to offer. From the small tapas-style plates to an amazing gin and tonic.