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The bar at Best Friend

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The Prettiest Las Vegas Restaurants That Opened in 2019

Look back at some of the gorgeous dining rooms that arrived this year

The bar at Best Friend
| Amelinda B Lee

Local restaurants and bars alike debuted pretty new spaces in Las Vegas over the past year. Gorgeous Mott 32, fun Best Friend, and captivating Mama Rabbit brought feasts for the eyes to the Strip, while La Strega, Lamaii, Greene St. Kitchen, and Hatsumi offered off-Strip eye candy. Take a look at some of the prettiest new restaurants to open in Las Vegas in 2019.

Mott 32 main dining room
Mott 32 main dining room
Amelinda B Lee

Mott 32

Opened: Late 2018

The Look: The new Cantonese restaurant at the Palazzo, Mott 32, has perhaps one of the most luxurious interiors of any restaurant in Las Vegas. Mott 32’s parent company Maximal Concepts brings a menu of dim sum at the bar and Peking duck on the menu, adding a dash of Las Vegas neon to the space exquisitely designed by Joyce Wang. Diners walk up to the 11,400-square-foot restaurant come to a wrought iron fence surrounding the lounge with works from Hong Kong artist Joe Joe Ngai that include Chinese characters and birds. One of the works in the main dining room features Anna Wong, considered to be the first Hong Kong-Chinese American Hollywood movie star.

Inside the Over-The-Top and Luxurious Mott 32 [ELV]

The dining room at Best Friend
The dining room at Best Friend
Amelinda B Lee

Best Friend

Opened: Late 2018

The Look: All things Los Angeles find a home in Roy Choi’s new restaurant Best Friend, the Korean barbecue with LA roots at the Park MGM. Diners walk into a liquor storefront with bar stools for grabbing quick bites or picking up swag. Customers then head into the main dining room through a pink plastic freezer door to find a bar to the right. The dining room in bright colors almost vibrates with its rainbow hues. Plants hang from the ceiling, and a mural from Los Angeles artist Phung Huynh adorns one wall. A deejay booth spotlighting LA artists takes over one wall.

A Liquor Store, LA Artwork, and a ’70s Chef’s Table Fill Roy Choi’s Best Friend [ELV]

The main dining room at Old Soul
The main dining room at Old Soul
Amelinda B Lee

Old Soul

Opened: February 2019

The Look: Natalie Young spent six months scouring the antique stores of Las Vegas to find the perfect tables, mismatched china, buffets, and an old fireplace to decorate the elevated American comfort food in her self-described pre-Prohibition restaurant Old Soul at the World Market Center. A mercury mirror is from around 1860, while the fireplace is from the 1920s. Dramatic blue velvet drapes buffer the entrance from the dining room, while the hostess stand is made from buffet doors, removed to make the piece of furniture open and bigger to fit the space. Young estimates that about 95 percent of the antiques came from stores on Main Street, and many she sanded and stained herself in preparation for the opening.

Natalie Young’s Sexy New Restaurant Features Antiques Galore [ELV]

La Strega
La Strega
Amelinda B Lee

La Strega

Opened: February 2019

The Look: Inside Summerlin’s La Strega, greens, clays, and earth tones make up the color schemes, while moon-shaped lights with dozens of discs lights the space. Italian marbles, velvet seating, and eclectic accents look into the open kitchen. The cocktail bar is made from with a custom glass facade from Sicis, a Ravenna, Italy-based glass company. The Loggia offers al fresco dining and cocktails, as well as a “witch’s garden” designed by Marinelli to grow produce and herbs for La Strega’s seasonal dishes.

Meet the New Italian Restaurant in Summerlin [ELV]

Lamaii
Lamaii
Amelinda B Lee

Lamaii

Opened: February 2019

The Look: Fans of Bank Atcharawan and his Thai food can now dine on his cuisine and drink from his wine cellar stocked with bottles that are not only inexpensive but pair well with Thai cuisine. His sexy new restaurant Lamaii is shrouded in delicate dove grays on the chairs, walls, and booths, coupled with dark woods on the tables. Gold chandeliers and lights hang down to give a space an even more intimate feel, while diners can sidle up to a five-seat bar for a drink before dinner.

Bank Atcharawan’s New Thai Restaurant May Be His Sexiest Yet [ELV]

The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails
The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails
Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas [Official Site]

The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails

Opened: March 2019

The Look: One part barbershop, one part swanky cocktail lounge, and all found off the casino floor at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The new speakeasy The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails from Clique Hospitality features a barbershop at the front and a cocktail lounge entered through a Janitor’s Closet. The cocktail lounge offers a mahogany bar from Kentucky originally built in the 1800s. Overhead, crystal chandeliers, while a “now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t performance stage” sits at the far end of the room.

See Both Sides of the Cosmopolitan’s New Boozy Barbershop Before It Opens [ELV]

“Endless Night” by Cleon Peterson at Greene St. Kitchen
“Endless Night” by Cleon Peterson at Greene St. Kitchen
Amelinda B Lee

Greene St. Kitchen

Opened: April 2019

The Look: The Palms now has Las Vegas’ first permanent work by elusive street artist Banksy. “Smiley Coppers Panel I,” a 2002 piece by the artist, features two heavily armed police officers with neon yellow smiley faces all done in spray paint. The artwork sits inside Greene St. Kitchen. Artwork abounds in the space that features an arcade room at the entrance and a secret door to the restaurant accessed through a former Coca-Cola refrigerator door. The maze-like restaurant designed by Rockwell Group features five spaces outfitted in street art commissioned from Kenny Scharf, Cleon Peterson, Vhils, Pose, Martha Cooper, DabsMyla, Slick, and more. After walking into the restaurant, diners find a tunnel painted by New York City-based graffiti artist CES, who pays homage to New York City’s street art of the 1980s and ’90s with tags from graffiti legends such as Seen, P-Nut, Blaze, and Stay High 149.

Banksy Makes an Appearance at the Palms’ New Restaurant [ELV]

Hardway 8
Hardway 8
Louiie Victa

Hardway 8

Opened: May 2019

The Look: Henderson’s ode to the UNLV basketball program Hardway 8 from Bryant Jane and Lyle Cervenka, the co-owners of Starboard Tack features a wall features a series of photographs featuring athletes out of uniform, just chilling. Hardway 8’s bar is made from reclaimed bleachers from the 1970s, the same bleachers that people sat on to watch Hardway 8, complete with gaming. A smaller bar is dubbed the Trophy Room. The front features a garage door that rolls up during nicer weather. Even the restroom signs are sports themed. Aside from UNLV basketball, the bar pays tribute to jai alai, a popular sport in Las Vegas during the 1960s. A jai alai mural and a pennant nod to that era.

An Ode to UNLV’s Hardway 8 Opens in Henderson [ELV]

Hatsumi
Hatsumi
Louiie Victa

Hatsumi

Opened: May 2019

The Look: Dan Krohmer’s Hatsumi in at Fergusons Downtown brought on Ryan Brunty of Depressed Monsters to create the cartoon artwork inside the new Japanese restaurant. The character, named Yerman, dances around the interior of the space, as well as at a building across the street. Brunty’s genderless streetwear clothing line that he launched in 2014 tries to bring mental health awareness to the masses through Yerman, street art, and public speaking engagements.

Dan Krohmer’s Japanese Restaurant Debuts Downtown [ELV]

Valencian Gold
Valencian Gold
Louiie Victa

Valencian Gold

Opened: July 2019

The Look: Light, airy, and fast-casual. The new Valencian Gold brings paella in a different format to Las Vegas. The restaurant features pops of orange paired with natural woods and a living greens wall make up the space. Two murals add some color to the space that offers floor-to-ceiling windows and clear chairs at the gray tables.

A First Look Inside the New Fast-Casual Paella Restaurant Opening in the Southwest [ELV]

Water Grill
Water Grill
Louiie Victa

Water Grill

Opened: July 2019

The Look: Southern California’s Water Grill at the Forum Shops at Caesars features an interior from Hatch Design Group fashioned like an old, sea-worn wooden ship with wide plank wood floors, a polished copper bar top, and the large wooden support beams throughout the restaurant. The restaurant’s bar features an oyster chandelier made from 14,000 oyster shells hand shucked by crew members, along with stylish fish scale tile that not only lines the raw bar, but accents each step of the staircase leading to the second level private event rooms.

A Sailor’s Paradise Features a Chandelier Made from 14,000 Oysters [ELV]

A brightly colored bar
Mama Rabbit
MGM Resorts [Official Site]

Mama Rabbit

Opened: August 2019

The Look: Mama Rabbit, the mezcal and tequila bar at Park MGM, tapped DesignAgency to create the look of the cocktail lounge the celebrates all things Oaxaca, the Mexican state where LA’s Bricia Lopez, the inspiration behind the bar, hails. She worked with Anwar Mekhayech to come up with the design and decor for the space. The mural from Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel acts as a starting point for customers, who see the pop surrealist image of Mayahuel, the goddess of agave, and her 400 rabbit children who each represent a different form of drunkenness and spirituality. Mother Natura includes three sculptures — two deer flanking a rabbit — holding a slot machine. The rabbit holds an agave plant, the only reference to the source of mezcal in the bar. The painted walls take their inspiration from the architecture of Luis Barragán, and colorful, geometric patterns pays homage to the region’s vibrant art scene. Two main rooms are separated by double-sided bar that features a 40-foot high open display that showcases Mama Rabbit’s vast collection of artisanal mezcal and tequila bottles. To the left, above a textured brick wall, a grid of 400 barro negro rabbit figurines, custom made by local Oaxacan ceramicists, overlooks the space. Mama Rabbit’s main lounge features gaming, lounging, live music, and DJs, with intimate enclaves and open seating arrangements that create an inner courtyard.

Stunning Oaxacan Artwork Touches Every Corner of Mezcal Haven Mama Rabbit [ELV]

A view of an open kitchen
The open kitchen at La Monja
Louiie Victa

La Monja

Opened: September 2019

The Look: Chef Dan Krohmer also opened a Mexican cantina at Fergusons Downtown, just across the courtyard from sister restaurant Hatsumi. La Monja, Spanish for “the nun,” takes its inspiration from classic coastal Mexican regional fare modernized. The restaurant grinds its own corn in house for the tortillas and features what it calls the largest mezcal list in Downtown Las Vegas. Two murals anchor the dining room, one featuring a naughty nun and another drama masks. Krohmer partnered with his childhood friend, artist Brent Patten, to create a space and vibe representative of the art and culture of their hometown community in Sacramento.

Colorful Murals Anchor the New Mexican Restaurant at Fergusons Downtown [ELV]

A pink social media wall at Cafe Lola
A pink social media wall at Cafe Lola
Louiie Victa

Cafe Lola

Opened: November 2019

The Look: Cafe Lola opened its second European cafe-inspired location with floral displays, pastries, and afternoon teas in Henderson. The space features a floral wall display, pink banquettes, a tea and Champagne lounge, a tree with a swing and a bicycle, and a phone booth, all meant to inspire social media snaps. This location has a communal table meant for bachelorette parties or mommy and me teas with a chandelier overhead.

European Cafe-Inspired Cafe Lola Debuts a Second Location in Henderson [ELV]

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La Monja

1028 Fremont Street, , NV 89101 (702) 848-3530 Visit Website

Valencian Gold

7960 South Rainbow Boulevard, , NV 89139 (702) 776-7707 Visit Website

Mott 32

3325 Las Vegas Blvd. S. , Las Vegas, NV 89109

Water Grill

1401 Ocean Avenue, , CA 90401 (310) 394-5669 Visit Website

Cafe Lola

10075 South Eastern Avenue, , NV 89052 (702) 840-3362 Visit Website

Hatsumi

1028 Fremont Street, , NV 89101 (702) 268-8939 Visit Website

La Strega

3555 South Town Center Drive, , NV 89135 (702) 722-2099 Visit Website

Best Friend

3770 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 730-6770 Visit Website

Old Soul

495 South Grand Central Parkway, , NV 89106 (702) 534-0999 Visit Website

Lamaii

4480 Spring Mountain Road, , NV 89102 (702) 238-0567 Visit Website

Mama Rabbit

3770 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 Visit Website

Greene St. Kitchen

4321 West Flamingo Road, , NV 89103 (702) 942-7777 Visit Website

Hardway 8

46 South Water Street, , NV 89015 (702) 410-5124 Visit Website

The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails

, , NV 89109 (702) 698-7434 Visit Website
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