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 feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Jake Dieleman became interested in cooking when he spent his childhood summers in Alaska, discovering fishing for salmon and halibut, setting pots for Dungeness crab, and gathering wild berries and Labrador tea. He graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2008 and worked under Andre Rochart and Mark Purdy. He expanded his culinary experience by backpacking through South America on a culinary tour. When he returned to Las Vegas, he worked for Alex Stratta as well as Nicole Brisson at Carnevino at the Palazzo. Two years later, chef John Courtney brought Dieleman on to take on Standard & Pour, where he is the executive chef. Here, he shares some of is favorite places to dine when he’s not working in the Henderson restaurant.
What are some of your favorite restaurants in Las Vegas? What do you like to order?
Mothership Coffee: I love this place because of the amount of knowledge and pride they put into their work. I take my coffee seriously and to have a shop where I can buy some freshly roasted beans and know where they came from satisfies the nerdy part of me. I think it is cool that I can go up to the barista and ask what beans they are using that day and the resulting flavor profile. If you're not a coffee geek, just know it's a damn good cup of joe. Grab a cup and a crispy croissant and I am set.
Monta Chaya: A good bowl of soup warms your soul. My usual is the miso ramen but I'll switch it up a lot. I am a big fan of being able to finish the dish to my liking by adding extra ingredients and condiments to get the perfect spicy, salty, umami blend I am looking for. I like to go with friends, order a lot of appetizers so we can all pick and snack. Every time I do go, though, the one side I always have to get is the crispy rice. Chewy, crispy fried rice topped with a spicy creamy blend of tuna, mayo, Sriracha, and scallions; topped with a sweet eel sauce drizzle and some chili threads. Though they are not the inventors of these magical little bites, it is crunchy, creamy, sweet, spicy, simple, and downright delicious. I'll order it as an appetizer, side plate, or snack, I am a sucker for this every time I see it on a menu.
Hot N Juicy: Words cannot express how much I love this place. All my family is from Alaska so I love having a restaurant close by where I can get fresh seafood and a big bowl of rice. There's something very communal about seafood boils so this is a great place to bring friends together and watch and laugh as each other make a mess. The best seafood I've had in my life is straight out of the fish pot. You come home after a long tiring day on the boat, get some seawater boiling, and we would be standing up around the pot because we couldn't even wait for the table. I also believe your food becomes more personable when you have to work for it; breaking down that crab, getting the meat out of the shell, and eating with your hands. When I eat there, it all comes back to me. They won't tell you what's in the spice mix but I have a good guess after I've eaten there so many times. I go there at least once a month and meet up with friends to engorge on seafood and enjoy a couple beers. I don't think I have ever had a bad meal or a bad time.
• All Coverage of Standard & Pour [ELV]
• All Dining Confidentials [ELV]