By Krista Diamond
Searching for a great restaurant in the vast swaths of shopping plazas away from The Strip can feel a bit like searching for water in the desert. Fortunately, in The Lakes neighborhood just south of Summerlin, you’ll find both. From an elegant Tuscan kitchen just off of Sahara Avenue to a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it pizza parlor that belies its unassuming exterior, it’s easy to find a wealth of different cuisines in the small Las Vegas neighborhood. While The Lakes might only encompass two square miles of space, those two square miles contain a surprising number of excellent restaurants. Here are five to check out this weekend.
Your romantic Italian dinner
Chef Marc Sgrizzi’s latest restaurant has been a fixture at The Lakes since opening in 2015. The menu at Chef Marc’s Trattoria features an impressive wine list along with dishes inspired by regular trips to Italy. Start with the pork belly and bone marrow served over creamy polenta and move on to deconstructed lasagna with beef short rib for a meal that tastes just like Tuscany.
Chef Marc's Trattoria, 8615 W. Sahara Ave.; 702-233-6272
Your Israeli breakfast
Sababa Mediterranean Grill serves essential dishes like falafel and shwarma six days a week, but its Sunday Israeli breakfast is worth a special place on your calendar. Starting at 11 a.m., Sababa serves flavorful dishes like shakshuka, or poached eggs with chili peppers and tomato sauce, and sabich, which is fried eggplant, eggs, hummus and salad inside a warm pita. Stop by early before signature dishes sell out.
Sababa Mediterranean Grill, 3220 S. Durango Drive; 702-547-5556
Your lakeside Thai lunch
No need to book a table overlooking the Bellagio fountains; there’s a lakeside dining option west of the Strip. Situated on the shore of Lake Sahara, The King & I focuses on reflecting the flavors found at a Bangkok market. This family-owned restaurant specializes in dishes like tom kah gai made with rich coconut milk and duck curry sauteed with pineapple and bamboo.
The King & I, 2904 W. Lake East Drive; 702-256-1568
Your Sunday morning reset
After a long night of partaking in some of Las Vegas’s not-so-healthy offerings, Violette’s Vegan Organic Cafe and Juice Bar is a chance to hit the reset button. The cafe serves the usual fresh greens and juices along with comfort foods like nachos and macaroni and cheese reimagined with vegan ingredients. Try an organic smoothie made with dates and goji berries or opt for a completely meatless bacon cheeseburger with tempeh bacon.
Violette's Vegan Organic Cafe and Juice Bar, 8560 W. Desert Inn Road; 702-685-0466
Your slice of heaven
Despite being recognized by Guy Fieri, Those Guys Pies still remains the ultimate hidden gem. Located in a small space in the Lakes Town Plaza, Those Guys Pies serves East Coast pizza with a Las Vegas flourish. The Maui Wowie pizza, made with a barbecue-tomato sauce, pulled pork, cured bacon, fresh pineapple and jalapenos is a perennial favorite, but the Philly-style cheese steaks aren’t to be missed either. Try one with broccoli rabe and provolone for something different or stick with the original and let the thinly sliced rib-eye steak speak for itself.
Those Guys Pies, 2916 Lake East Drive; 702-629-2626