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 readers to these potential discoveries, Eater Vegas enlisted some of the city’s food players to share their recommendations for a feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Jainine Jaffer, the executive chef at Shiraz, takes her travel experience spanning the globe to incorporate it in her menu at the new Persian, Indian, and Pakistani restaurant. Her interest in cooking started as a youngster, when she watched PBS shows from Julia Child, Jacques Torres, and Martin Yan. Later she graduated from Le Cordon Bleu and worked as a personal chef for years. Here, Jaffer, who adheres to a halal diet but still visits non-halal restaurants, shares some of her favorite places to dine in Las Vegas
Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What happened that was memorable?
My first trip to Vegas was actually when I relocated from Los Angeles way back in 1989. I was six years old, and even back then, I knew this city was going to be a magical place for me.
Where do you like to eat breakfast in Las Vegas?
I’m not a big fan of breakfast, but when I do go, I go to The Stove and I am so in love with the “Crabbypatty” lump crab benny with a perfectly poached egg. If I’m in the mood for something sweet, I will pop over to Crown Bakery for an adzuki bean doughnut or a matcha bean bun.
What about lunch?
A long time favorite spot of mine is Thai Spice. I’ve been going there regularly for the past 15 years or so, and I couldn’t be happier than when I have the spicy basil eggplant or some vegetarian pad Thai (extra spicy, of course!).
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent? What makes them special? Any dishes you can recommend?
About two years ago, I decided to only eat halal meat, so when I go out, unless it’s one of the top steakhouses that I know utilizes a halal meat distributor, it’s primarily seafood or vegetarian options for me, and there are a lot of great places to get that. Esther’s Kitchen has never disappointed me. Some of my favorite things are the yellowtail crudo, cacio e pepe, and agnolotti. Food that is simple and delicious is what makes me happy. Another place I enjoy is Beauty & Essex. They have an amazing vegan menu and I’ve eaten just about every item! Street corn ravioli, Thai-style shrimp, and broccolini are always on my table.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
In my world, any time away from my restaurant is a special occasion! I recently went to Nora’s Italian Cuisine for the first time and it was a beautiful restaurant, great staff, and outstanding pasta; I had the rigatone gorgonzola, without chicken.
Are there any brunches in town you like to frequent?
I used to enjoy going to Lake Las Vegas, but I haven’t gone anywhere for brunch in awhile.
Let’s say you want to hang out with your friends after work. Where do you like to go?
The Cornish Pasty Co. They’re open late, it’s got a cool vibe, you can play pool or shoot darts, and they have an out-of-this-world sticky toffee pudding.
• All Coverage of Shiraz [ELV]
• All Dining Confidentials [ELV]