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.
Sandra Palomo heads up the kitchen at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at the Venetian. The executive chef earned her stripes in the U.S. Army, where she was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant in 2003 after nine years. She worked as a line cook at The Frontrunner at Santa Anita Park while attending Le Cordon Bleu Pasadena, then moved to Las Vegas to work as a prep cook at The Country Club at Wynn Las Vegas when it opened in 2005. She moved on to become a sous chef for in room dining at Encore, and later she was promoted to executive chef at the resort’s Lobby Bar and ran The Pizza Place. After a stint in Southern California opening a green certified residential dining facility at Cal State Fullerton, she returned to Las Vegas in 2013 to open Double Barrel Roadhouse at the Monte Carlo. She landed at Yardbird as a sous chef and worked her way up to executive chef. “While my dad never wanted me in this industry, he started as a dishwasher and he and mom eventually owned their own restaurant,” Palomo says. “I couldn't see myself doing anything other than this. I love everything about it, including the rough days.” Here she shares some of her favorite places to dine in Las Vegas when she isn’t working.
Do you remember your first trip to Vegas?
Yes. My parents brought me. It's where they had their honeymoon. They were super excited to see the changes and sightsee
What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?
Work. I opened Wynn as a cook at The Country Club. There are many opportunities in this town.
Where do you like to eat breakfast in Las Vegas?
I don't get the opportunity to go out for breakfast very often, but when I do, coffee and French pastries are the best at Cafe Breizh.
What about lunch?
Capriottis is one of my lunch spots and any outdoor people-watching, spots.
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent?
Ventano’s and Metro Pizza. Kahuku Poke and Hawaiian Barbeque is another favorite for lunch or dinner.
What makes them special?
Local, great views, food and the service is always wonderful.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
Depends on the occasion, but any Wynn restaurant is always an amazing experience.
Are there any brunches in town you like to frequent?
I've only had the opportunity to try Bottiglia and it was great. Other than that you can find me running expo at Yardbird.
Let’s say you want to hang out with your friends after work. Where do you like to go? Steiner’s (I'm a huge Dodgers fan). Any sports bar with TVs and good eats.
• All Coverage of Yardbird [ELV]
• All Dining Confidentials [ELV]