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.
Chef Jamaal Taherzadeh joined Border Grill at Mandalay Bay last year in March, and already the chef has found some favorite places to dine in Las Vegas. Taherzadeh started his career as a sous chef at Ciudad C.F. in Dallas, and then moved to Las Vegas to be a line cook at Nobu as well as sous chef at the now-defunct Simon Kitchen & Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel. He also worked as chef de cuisine and executive chef at Impala Restaurant & Lounge and Jones Steakhouse in the San Francisco area. Taherzadeh then returned to Vegas to work at the former Cathouse at the Luxor, Simon Restaurant & Bar inside Palms Place and Sapphire Pool & Dayclub. He also worked at Café Habana and The Gerber Group in Malibu, handling all culinary operations in Rande Gerber Restaurants. Here he shares three of his favorite places to dine in Las Vegas.
Which restaurants do you turn to when you’re not working?
Due Forni is a block from my house. They have great pizzas and their bartenders seem to enjoy pouring me tequila. I usually just drink tequila, but my wife swears by their cocktails too.
Herbs & Rye on Sahara. Their customer service is top notch and it's one of my favorite places to grab a drink and a delicious dinner.
Khoury's Mediterranean is also a fantastic spot, especially when I want to call in a to-go order on my way home from Border Grill. I love their hummus, lebnae matoom and gyro. Their fresh pita is delicious and the best in town.
What dishes are most memorable?
Due Forni’s picante pizza is legit. You can have it Neapolitan or Roman style, it honestly just depends on my mood. I love their lasagna of the day too; they make the ends all burnt, crispy and delightful. They also have a pretty out of control lasagna that has 360 degrees of perfectly crunch pasta.
Herbs & Rye’s beef carpaccio is my favorite hands down. It's a perfect dish to soak up their crafted cocktails. They also have one of the most reputable cocktail programs in town.
Khoury's reminds me of my childhood. It’s not Persian cuisine, but it’s got all the components including the use of zataar, garlic and yogurt. The fresh pita bread makes me salivate even thinking of it... hot, fluffy, yeasty. When you dine-in, you get a very mom and pop vibe. Makes
Why do you enjoy going there?
Due Forni’s staff is great. It feels like they're a big family in there, which always enhances the experience. It's my ideal place to watch a football game too, especially with their awesome happy hour. Their beer selection is phenomenal, and they also have good bourbons. Although, last time I was there, they had taken Casa Amigos Reposado off the bar... so let this be my official petition to get it back on!
Herbs & Rye feels like a speakeasy, and as I said they probably have the best bar program in town. It's very difficult to sustain that level of quality for as long as they have.
Khoury's is simply what I like to eat. Just healthy and honest Mediterranean food. I like that if they say its spicy, then it's really freaking spicy; and if they say its garlicy, you stink for at least a day (in the best way). That's what I like to eat, and I love that there is somewhere in Vegas I can go to get it. They moved locations recently, but I still happily drive there to devour their food.