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.
Flower Child’s Las Vegas executive sous chef Dino McDonough grew up in the kitchen and sharpened his skills while traveling coast to coast working as a chef making a variety of cuisines. The self-described health food nut found Flower Child to be a perfect fit. Here he shares some of his top dining picks in Las Vegas.
Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What happened that was memorable?
I was 21 the first time I made the short drive from Long Beach to Las Vegas. The wolf pack and I were determined to make it a memorable trip! It was hard to conquer all Vegas has to offer in just two nights, but we made a courageous effort. Making our way through every casino maze, buffet line, and day pool party we could; I knew right then and there I would be back to Sin City soon enough.
What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?
After working and living in So Cal for most of my life I decided to venture out and Las Vegas has everything I needed. The food scene is great out here and I love the heat.
Where do you like to eat breakfast in Las Vegas?
There are so many great options for breakfast in this city. Personally, I like something more low key in the morning rather than a fancy Bouchon type restaurant. Hash House a Go Go is where I go go if I’m near the Strip. They have the best BLT bloody Mary and the sage fried chicken and waffles pair very well. My go-to spot is actually this place in Spring Valley called Squeeze In. It’s a little hole in the wall spot with random decor everywhere. The portions are huge!
What about lunch?
Pho Kim Long! Best pho place and best lunch/anytime place to eat, including at 3 a.m. in the morning. Located in local food scene heaven, Chinatown has not let me down yet. Pho Kim Long definitely hits the spot. Special combination beef pho and two orders of crab Rangoon is my go-to. Flower Child is also amazing for lunch and dinner. I would recommend trying the rebel beef wrap and a side of Brussels sprouts!
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent? What makes them special? Any dishes you can recommend?
I eat heavy during the day and tend to crave something on the lighter side for dinner. That leaves me with my local sushi spot as the place that knows my name and what I want to eat. Sushi Tower & Steakhouse in Summerlin is the name and saki time is the game. The fish is always cold and fresh. I always sit at the bar and order halibut sashimi, baked green mussels, and then whatever the sushi chefs are feeding me. Secret hint... the more sake you give the sushi chef, the faster treats fly at you.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
I have a chef friend of mine who runs a wonderful restaurant at the Bellagio called Fix. It’s a great place to have dinner and wow your friends. Lobster tacos, hot rock sirloin strips and the best tomahawk 32-ounce rib-eye steak you’ll find! Don’t forget to wash it down with a Smoked Old Fashioned.
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