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The Urbanist’s Las Vegas: Where to Eat

Carson Kitchen  

Hedge Your Eats
Vegas foodies break down the city’s wildly varied food scene.

Brand-new Celebrity-Chef Spots

“ ‘Rock n’ Roll Chef’ Kerry Simon really hit his stride with Carson Kitchen (124 S. 6th St., Ste. 100; 702-473-9523). The fried chicken skins with smoked honey are my current guilty pleasure, and the patio is a great place to grab a cocktail and people-watch.”
—Mariena Mercer, mixologist at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

“At Giada’s (3595 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 855-442-3271), De Laurentiis has lightened and brightened many traditional Italian dishes. She’s in the kitchen almost every week; you won’t find better Italian food anywhere in Vegas.” —John Curtas, restaurant critic and author of Eating Las Vegas

Casino Holes-in-the-Wall

Fat Choy (595 E. Sahara Ave.; 702-794-3464) chef Sheridan Su once worked at Joël Robuchon; now he has his own little diner inside the Eureka, a smoky slots casino Off Strip. The bao, the short-rib grilled cheese, and the duck fried rice are all must orders.” —Susan Stapleton, editor of Eater Las Vegas

“You’ll get the best white pizza at the secret pizza place inside the Cosmopolitan (3708 S. Las Vegas Blvd.). There is no sign or hint of it being a pizza joint, but if you see a line of people in an unmarked hallway, get on it.” —Hilary Billings, founder of the Nomad Grad and a former Miss Nevada

Strip-Mall Fine Dining

Lotus of Siam (953 E. Sahara Ave., Ste. A5; 702-735-3033) is one of only two five-star Thai restaurants in the country. It’s located in an industrial park with, like, a swingers’ club and a thrift store and a bad Mexican place; you’ll never find it, and that’s part of the joy. The food is really spicy. I get the sea bass with drunken noodles.” —Penn Jillette, illusionist and comedian

China Mama (3420 S. Jones Blvd.; 702-873-1977) is the real deal. It was one of the first spots to do xiao long bao, or Shanghai soup dumplings, properly, and it’s the only place in town where I’ll eat hot-and-sour soup. Be sure to order the beef roll or the buttery fish fillet immersed in a cauldron of incendiary red-chile oil.”—Grace Bascos, food writer