Following an Eater tradition, we asked a group of restaurant journalists, bloggers, and friends of the site to weigh in on the year in food. Their answers to the annual Year in Eater survey will be revealed in several posts. First up, the dining experts share their restaurant standbys from 2020.
What were your regular go-to destinations for takeout and delivery in 2020? What about dine-in service?
Scott Roeben, Vital Vegas: On the takeout and delivery front, there are some tried-and-true favorites, including Archi’s Thai and Angara India Spice Grill in Summerlin. Dine-in favorites are Triple George Grill at Downtown Grand and Andiamo Steakhouse at The D. No list would be complete without Esther’s Kitchen downtown.
Melanie Lee, Eater Vegas: Red Rice, Jjanga, and Win Kee were the three spots I turned to most for delivery. I’ve mostly only eaten them as takeout so it felt normal to do so. Nacho Daddy and Shake Shack have been my dine-in/pick-up regulars this year; both locations felt very clean and safe, which was super important to me.
Bob Barnes, editor of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional and Las Vegas writer for Gayot: My takeout picks were also two of my dine-in favorites: Locale Italian Kitchen and Esther’s Kitchen. My dine-in fave continues to be Honey Salt, and this year I discovered their brunch menu, of which my favorite is the breakfast pizza with scrambled eggs, smoked bacon, broccolini, peppers, fromage blanc, and fresh mozzarella. Also, this year I rediscovered Grape Vine Café, which is worth visiting just for the bread baked in-house by the very talented co-owner Moeen Taqi; an extremely reasonable and extensive wine selection; and in my opinion, some outstanding daily happy hour deals.
Ken Miller, editor of Las Vegas Magazine: I didn’t really have a regular destination. I’ve been making most of my meals at home. Been trying not to go out as much as I can.
Philip Tzeng, food blogger at Las Vegas Fill: While not traditional takeout, Ocean Fresh Fish Las Vegas was the most clutch during lock down, pivoting from sushi-grade fish supplier to restaurants to selling it to the public. All anyone needed to do was watch some YouTube videos on how to make sushi and it really satisfied cravings! After restaurants reopened post lockdown, Marrakech was the ideal place to catch up with friends with its festive atmosphere featuring live belly dancing, a six-course feast for $50, and copious amounts of alcohol. I found myself doing that quite often this year.
Krista Diamond, freelance writer at Eater Vegas: I have loved the panang curry at Archi’s since moving to Las Vegas. I could probably eat it for every meal for the rest of my life and not get sick of it. And to be honest, during quarantine it kind of feels like I have. On the dine-in side of things, one of the last places I ate on the Strip before 2020 became a total nightmare was Mayfair Supper Club. What a perfect combination of spectacle and substance. Saying that I especially loved the wagyu and caviar hand roll sounds so stereotypically Vegas, but it’s true.
Rob Kachelriess, Las Vegas writer at Thrillist: My wife and I live in the Southwest and most of our takeaway meals were from restaurants close to home. We ordered often from Graffiti Bao, including Gemma Gemma’s pizza, which operates out of the same kitchen. We also brought home great pizza from Brooklyn’s Best Pizza & Pasta and Pizza Anonymous, and ordered quite a bit from Big B’s Texas BBQ and Me Gusta Tacos. Out of all the sushi places we tried, Other Mama and Sen of Japan were easily the best. As far as dine-in goes, we found ourselves at Sparrow + Wolf and Osteria Fiorella more than a few times this past year.
Sonja Swanson, food and culture writer: I’ve been cooking at home so much more this year, but when I did order out, some of my go-tos have been Afandi, Weera Thai Kitchen, Pizza Rock, and Evel Pie (you just can’t recreate a New York slice at home). The sourdough loaves from Desert Bread sustained me this year. I made good use of the dog-friendly patios at Hop Nuts Brewing and Tacotarian. And my favorite pick-me-up was getting black sugar boba milk tea from Tiger Sugar and drinking it at the park — a tiny, solitary moment of sanity and sweetness.
Louiie Victa, Eater Vegas photographer and co-host of Two Sharp Chefs and a Microphone: 2020 is the year I cooked and ate at home more than dining out. My takeout options are limited to what’s near my house: Soho Japanese Restaurant, Ohana Hawaiian BBQ, The Noodle Man, Mama Bird Southern Kitchen, Spaghetty Western.
Lorraine Moss, co-host of Two Sharp Chefs and a Microphone: To go and takeout — Naked City Pizza, the Back Home Pie, and Metro Pizza Skye Canyon, anything Chris Decker makes. Dine-in — EDO Tapas. You can’t go wrong with chef Oscar’s creativity of flavors and plating for a unique, tasty experience.
Nina King, Las Vegas Magazine managing editor: I took advantage of the re-openings of Big Dog’s Brewing Co. and Tenaya Creek Brewery to score some amazing beers, and had freaking huge potions at Buca di Beppo. I’d forgotten how monstrous the smalls really were. Chica at The Venetian has always been one of my favorites, and I was thrilled to have the cachapas again.
Melinda Sheckells, editor OffTheStrip.com, OnTheStrip.com: For takeout and delivery, I feasted on Graffiti Bao, Kinnara, Sushi Kame, Good Pie, Le Thai, Soho Sushi Burrito, Tao’s sushi box, and lots and lots of Shake Shack (my mom loves it!). It definitely was an interesting year but I believe supporting our restaurants is one of the most important things we can do right now during this time of crisis. EDO and Partage are two of my favorite dine in locations and I bought a lot of wine at Garagiste. On the Strip, I love Lakeside, Majordomo, SW, Bazaar Meat and all of the big luxury restaurants who still managed to serve incredible meals even with changing menus and uncertain occupancies.
Susan Stapleton, editor of Eater Vegas: I spent a lot of time cooking at home, mainly Blue Apron. But when I did venture out for takeout, I tried to spread the love. Del Frisco’s and Lawry’s The Prime Rib had pretty great takeout, with Lawry’s rolling out the cart to show off the meal before I put it in my car. I loved getting birria at Durango Taco Shop and Ay! Jalisco Mexican Grill. Wynn really impressed me for dine-in service, and the new menu from chef Min Kim at Mizumi, the stunning patio dining and langoustines at Costa di Mare, the dinner and a show experience at SW Steakhouse, and the fantastic Mexican fare at Elio were all perfect outings. I cannot wait to dine at Majordomo again.
Disclosure: David Chang is producing shows for Hulu in partnership with Vox Media Studios, part of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater staff member is involved in the production of those shows, and this does not impact coverage on Eater.
• All Year in Eater Coverage [ELV]