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.
SW Steakhouse and Lakeside at Wynn Las Vegas’ executive pastry chef Andy Jin worked at Eleven Madison Park, Gordon Ramsay at The London, David Burke Townhouse, David Burke Fishtail and 16 Handles before heading to Los Angeles, his hometown, to create new menu items at Patina. Here, he shares some of his 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 as an adult was actually about three years ago and I remember being so overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. I was staying at Planet Hollywood and that shopping area alone took over an hour to walk through. My friend and I went around to different hotels and walked the Strip, I remember it being extremely hot and all the lights and sounds of the city that never ended. It was unlike any other city I had been to. I can’t say I ate anything too memorable as it was all just overwhelming.
What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?
I decided to move out to Las Vegas because of the pure concentration of restaurants available on the strip as well as the variety of choices from quick and casual places to upscale fine dining restaurant options. It wasn’t until I moved here that I realized that there was great food to be had outside of the Strip.
Where do you like to eat breakfast in Las Vegas?
I don’t typically eat breakfast but when I do it’s usually something quick and on the way to work. There’s a breakfast spot in Henderson called Munch Box run by Montreal natives that serves a great bagel with lox, as well as poutine if you’re in the mood for something on the heavier side. Mothership Coffee in Green Valley has great coffee and pastries.
What about lunch?
I’ve gone to Café Breizh for lunch many times for their crepes and croques. I usually order the crepe tartiflette which has reblochon cheese, potatoes, and prosciutto and the croquet madame is always good. Ramen Sora for their hearty ramen, Tang Tang Tang has all around good Korean food. Taco y Taco in Henderson has one of the best al pastor tacos I’ve had and I’ve had my fair share of tacos living in LA.
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent? What makes them special? Any dishes you can recommend?
For dinner there are a few restaurants that are my go to. Nittaya’s Secret Kitchen, I’ve never had anything I didn’t enjoy there. The spinach salad sounds healthy until you get a plate full of fried spinach with a spicy fish sauce, lime dipping sauce. The khao soi is delicious, all the curries, the steak with green curry and avocado is phenomenal. Yojie Shabu Shabu is great, they have three different styles of broth to cook your choice of protein in. The sukiyaki is a sweet broth that once you cook your meat, you dip it into a pasteurized egg, it is delicious. Sparrow & Wolf in Chinatown has a great cocktail program, the “Burn the Witch” is a calvados-based cocktail and the glass comes inverted on a plate with a smoldering cinnamon stick that once flipped smells like Christmas and tastes like apple pie. The food is also a knockout, the foie gras with bone marrow and escargot is a gut buster but absolutely delicious as is the skate wing with white barbecue sauce. What these places all have in common besides great food is that the staff is knowledgeable of the food they serve and very attentive.
Are there any brunches in town you like to frequent?
For brunch I like to go downtown to MTO Café for the chicken and waffles as well as Carson Kitchen. Carson Kitchen has great small bites as well as a fine beverage menu all in a hip atmosphere.
Let’s say you want to hang out with your friends after work. Where do you like to go?
When hanging out with friends after work I’ll usually be somewhere where they’re open late, Goyemon Sushi and Izakaya Go has a good sake menu and small bites that are good for days where I’m not too hungry after tasting a bunch of things at work.
• All Dining Confidentials [ELV]