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.
Colorado Springs, Colorado, native Mark Sandoval works as executive chef of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ William F. Harrah College of Hospitality. He joined the university in 2012, working as an adjunct professor for the UNLVino class, a credited course in which students plan and execute the annual food, wine, and spirits festival that serves as a scholarship fundraiser for the College of Hospitality, and this year takes place on April 14.
The former executive chef of Wolfgang Puck’s former Postrio at The Venetian, and as sous chef saucier of Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand also worked as the executive chef for the M Resort’s Jayde Fuzion and Anthony’s Gourmet Burgers & Brews. Here he shares some of his favorite places to dine ahead of UNLVino.
Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What happened that was memorable?
My first trip to Las Vegas was in 1996. It was an awesome trip. And even though I lost all my money, we got to see The Sands Hotel & Casino implode.
What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?
I moved to Las Vegas to work for my culinary idol: chef Joël Robuchon. I was on the opening crew for Joël Robuchon at The Mansion.
Where do you like to go for lunch in Las Vegas?
I like any spot on the Strip that is pool-side. They are always good for people watching. Mon Ami Gabi is another great restaurant- I love the baguette and French butter and oysters on the half shell.
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent? What makes them special? Any dishes you can recommend?
Chada Thai & Wine on Jones and Desert Inn. I love the duck Penang, spicy herb spring roll, and crab lettuce cups.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
My wife and I try to experience a different restaurant every year for our anniversary. The most memorable dinners so far have been L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Guy Savoy.
Are there any brunches in town you like to frequent?
Bardot Brasserie is definitely a favorite as I really like the bottomless rose and the food is fantastic. Close second is Hearthstone at Red Rock Resort.
Let’s say you want to hang out with your friends after work. Where do you like to go?
Crown & Anchor pub is a good spot and close by UNLV.
• All Dining Confidentials [ELV]