With a year of stellar openings nearly to a close, let us take a look back at which restaurants made 2015 a great year for dining in Vegas.
Some of the most high profile restaurants in town are less than a year old, and with even more that have just opened in these last weeks of 2015, it was certainly a boon year. The most recent openings (Harvest, Herringbone, Mr. Chow’s, Jardin, Costa di Mare, and F.Pigalle) are a little too green to properly assess, but for the rest of the year, these were the best.
Another James Beard Award-winning transplant striking out for Vegas, this is vintage class at its most gorgeous. Sporting a menu of 50s and 60s era staples gussied up with modern techniques, this cozy spot is worth living it up like Sinatra – and dropping the coin to match.
Aria: 3730 S Las Vegas Blvd, (877) 230-2742 aria.com
Opened in the first days of 2015, but dove headlong into the hearts of diners from novice to expert, Michael Mina’s foray into 20s and 30s “Belle Epoque” Parisian cuisine struck a cord. It’s been called everything from a trend-setter, to a game-changer, to even a place that – with their brunch – has “Out-Bouchon’d even Bouchon.”
Aria: 3730 S Las Vegas Blvd, (866) 359-7757 aria.com
Where Kabuto left off, Yui picks up. The head sushi master from Kabuto struck out on his own to have an expression of his dream without being fettered. For the serious fish-nerd and one that can truly appreciate high-end Edomae sushi, provided they have the budget, this can be a truly mind-bending experience.
Chinatown: 3460 Arville St. Ste HS, (702) 202-2408 yuisushi.com
Alain Ducasse brought his concept Rivea to Vegas, after his great success with it in Saint-Tropez and London. Based off a philosophy of simplicity, rare ingredients, and rustic Italian dishes, Rivea is a more honest approach to Alain’s passion for food. The menu is almost entirely small plates, so variety is keenly represented in any meal here.
Delano: 3940 Las Vegas Blvd. (702) 632-9500 alain-ducasse.com
Greg Fortunado has had a notorious history of opening extremely creative Asian restaurants, and finally planting himself off-strip has given him the room to create an experimental, wild, seasonal dining experience. Using stellar ingredients and a penchant for adding a little Uni butter here and there, the menu is hit after hit after hit.
Chinatown: 6000 W Spring Mountain Rd. Ste 1B, (702) 248-0588 inyolv.com
When Bank Atcharawan left Lotus of Siam to open Chada Thai, few expected a restaurant that would not only seriously compete, but in many instances succeed Lotus for the title of Best Thai in Vegas. Now his Chada Street, a love letter to Thai market-stall food, brings some deep-cuts and bizarre flavors. Things like a fish sauce-marinated deep fried pork belly will hook patrons for life.
Chinatown: 3839 Spring Mountain Rd. (702) 579-0207 yelp.com
Andiron Steak & Sea
Another Summerlin offering from husband-wife team Elizabeth Blau and Kim Kanteenwalla, this South Beach inspired steakhouse has generated quite the following. From fun ideas like bacon-wrapped matzo balls to classics like the Sundays-only prime rib, they have let themselves really stretch their wings.
Downtown Summerlin: 1720 Festival Plaza Dr. (702) 685-8002 andironsteak.com
flock & fowl
Based on a truly interesting concept, Hainan Chicken, this is a spot that gives justice to what is quietly one of the most popular street-foods in the world. Nothing more than poached chicken, rice, broth, and various dippings and toppings, Sheridan Su has done a great job of making a great restaurant experience out of humble building blocks.
380 W Sahara Ave Las Vegas, NV 89102. (626) 616-6632 flockandfowl.com
Downtown just keeps getting better and better, and Therapy is one of the best there. Opened and staffed by ex-Comme Ca chefs, the menu brings real strip creativity downtown. A fun spot for lunching professionals and date-night shenanigans, winning dishes like the fried pig ears and red velvet chicken ‘n’ waffles have cemented themselves as a staple in dining north of Charleston.
Downtown: 518 E Fremont St. Las Vegas, NV 89101 (702) 912-1622 therapylv.com
Lauded by nearly every professional chef in Vegas, Other Mama is a concept that would be at home either Downtown or in a high-value casino spot, but opted for a cozy neighborhood joint. Definitely the best food for miles around them, they combine hip comfort food and Asian classics to make some seriously interesting dishes. If that wasn’t enough of a reason, their oyster selection and quality literally puts half of the strip to shame.
Spring Valley: 3655 S Durango #6, Las Vegas, NV 89147 (702) 463-8382 othermamalv.com