“Roy brought his ambassadorial love for LA here to Vegas,” said executive chef Diego Echavarria, an original crew member who codeveloped the Korean-Mexican fusion menu at Best Friend. “We welcome everyone here to have fun their way.”
Appetizing “OG” amigos include Choi’s Kogi Short Rib Tacos, spicy Slippery Shrimp, and the banchan basket of Korean sides including kimchi and cucumbers. Sinful BBQ items include the Yuzu Shrimp, lobster tails, and ribeye, while my new BFF is the crispy, secretly seasoned, gluten-free Buttermilk Fried Chicken.
Another fellowship-minded LA chef, Kris Yenbamroong, brings his much-celebrated Night + Market to off-Strip Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. Embracing the Thai way of “aharn glam lao,” Yenbamroong intentionally fires up his Thai street food to “facilitate the drinking of natural wine and having fun among friends.” From the spicy larb meat salads to the Vegas exclusive lobster pad thai, the more you eat, the more you imbibe.
The Virgin resort updates the former Hard Rock Hotel, where in 1999, Nobu Matsuhisa made his Vegas debut. His legacy continues with the updated Nobu Las Vegas.
The Japanese superstar is also among the big names at Caesars Palace. Black cod with sweet miso, yellowtail with jalapeno, and exclusive teppan tables are highlights at Nobu, which adjoins the integrated Nobu Hotel Las Vegas. A third Nobu is scheduled to open at Paris Las Vegas in early 2022.
Epicurean emperors also have MR CHOW at Caesars Palace. Launched in London on Valentine’s Day, 1968, Michael (“M”) Chow’s haute Chinese culinary theater remains the place to be seen. Celebrity fans range from original habitues Mick Jagger and Jackie O to Andy Warhol and David Hockney, both of whom painted “M”.
His seventh global location is a domed pleasure palace in dazzling white. Show elements include the morphing ceiling-suspended Moon sculpture, noodle-pulling demonstrations, Beijing Duck carved tableside, and classic Champagne trolley.
Emulating a bird’s nest, Beijing Noodle No. 9 is yet another high design concept at Caesars Palace. Featuring giant fish tanks, the lattice-like room creates an enveloping stage for the mix of street food and exotic dishes from Northern China and Hong Kong. Transporting bites include the balsamic-marinated Cloud Ear mushrooms; marinated jellyfish; Wagyu and scallion dumplings; and face-numbing Dan Noodle with minced pork and spicy sauce.
From TAO Asian Bistro to the futuristic interactive dinner theater of The X Pot, Asian concepts figure prominently in the innovative culinary roster at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas. High in the mix is fine-dining Mott 32. Named for NYC’s first Chinese convenience store from 1891, this seductive Hong Kong lair blends high design with Cantonese- led dishes mixed with Szechuan and Beijing influences. Signatures include the Applewood Roasted Peking Duck and Korobuta Pork Siu Mai dumpling, housing a soft-boiled quail egg, Iberico ham, and black truffle.
Masterminded by star Aussie barman, Sam Ross, The Venetian’s mixology program includes The Cocktail Collective, a trio of bars helmed by three Asian-American lead bartenders skilled in personalizing guest experiences around conversation and cocktails.
Bringing elite LA and Vegas experience to her command post at The Dorsey Cocktail Bar, Juyoung Kang favors “building layers of flavor and complexity to innovatively craft modern classics.”
Her Coney Island Express, for example, is a delicious kick starter of rum, cold brew coffee, vanilla, and CioCaro, Italy’s finest amaro, served in NYC’s iconic “Anthora” Greek coffee cup.