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.
Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro general manager Lou Hirsch spent the three years designing and managing food service design projects for Jem West before heading to the Palazzo restaurant. "Having learned from someone like Adam [Blumberg], who I believe is the best in the business, going out nowadays is really enlightening and eye-opening. You really see how things work and how they can be improved. It really allowed me to bring another facet to the Morels experience, which was already thriving," Hirsch says. Here, he shares some of his favorite restaurants in Las Vegas, including places he takes his son Harrison for Burger Thursdays.
Which restaurants do you turn to when you’re not working?
Those that follow me on Facebook know that every Thursday is Burger Thursday for me and my son Harrison. We've become burger experts in town. He would have to say his favorite is still at Border Grill at the Forum Shops at Caesars. If my wife wants to join the fun, we all go to Monta Chaya in Henderson, which is close to home, but really feels like we're on Spring Mountain. Plus, if they're too busy, Island Sushi & Poke Express and Crepe Expectations are right around the corner. When my family abandons me, I'll call another general manager, or chef Sammy DeMarco, and hit Yardbird, Shake Shack (back to my New York City roots) or Thai Style Noodle House.
What dishes are most memorable?
Border Grill's burger that Harrison plows down is so unique and special, with touches of heat and lots of meat. A big fat chile relleno on top with short rib fattiness and acidity from the pickled chiles. Definitely overlooked in that building and the place is just so well run. Harrison was able to get a great bite, and enjoyed the fries and pickles too.
When we hit Monta, aside from the miso ramen, the gyoza are a must have, and you need to order them once you sit down, or they might get there after you eat. Plus it's fun to hear the whole place yell "Gyoza."
Yardbird for me is about the bar experience, the fried chicken of course, and an appetizer the bartender suggests since I am tired of making decisions all day. Shake Shack is a Shackburger and a black and white shake. Shrimp tom kha at Thai Style Noodle House just hits it right, a perfect balance of lemongrass, touch of sour, seafood and love. Ask for a side of rice and go forth!
Why do you enjoy going there?
Border Grill has the patio to people watch and feel special without paying crazy money for it.
Monta is small, menu tight, and consistent. I don't get many meals or hours off so when it's as good as their ramen, it's always special. Harrison digs the kimchi fried rice and we can leave him alone there too.
Yardbird has a fantastic energy and is really designed well to have fun.
Thai Style Noodle House's Chinatown location is small too, and fast. Just feels like a family-run place, and they like to put duck in everything so there's that.