Address: Grand Canal Shoppes, 3327 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Hours: Open from 5 p.m. to midnight daily
Los Angeles-based chef Ricardo Zarate tests the waters with his very first Las Vegas restaurant Once, making its debut on Sunday at the Grand Canal Shoppes at the former Table 10 space vacated by Emeril Lagasse on New Year’s Eve. He promises a Peruvian Nikkei dining experience at Once, pronounced on-seh, which means “eleven” in Spanish and symbolizes Zarate’s spot in his line of 13 siblings.
Zarate’s menu focuses on 11 dishes that blend flavors from Peru and Japan that take their inspiration from Zarate’s childhood. Every week might feature something different since the dishes rely on seasonal ingredients. The opening menu promises big eye tuna sashimi ceviche with black truffle and kizami tigers milk; arroz chaufa, a Peruvian fried rice with snow crab, yuzu aioli, and crispy calamari; oxtail bibimbap with black mint stew, tacu tacu rice, fried egg, and plantains; and nasu panka miso with braised eggplant, blue cheese, and kiwicha.
Zarate keeps up the numbers game on the drinks menu with 11 cocktails, including a gin and tonic made with a “slushee” machine.
Zarate, who is a pretty big deal in his homeland of Peru, designed the restaurant to mimic his home country with a rustic interior that includes floor-to-ceiling living plant walls, Edison lighting, and seating for 160. Another five communal tables sit on the patio, surrounded by plants.