Bars with "exciting" food options rarely live up to the hype. On the other hand, a restaurant that puts a large amount of energy into its bar program is something that will excite me almost every time. First Food & Bar is one such place. They put the food first in both name and in execution, but they certainly don't neglect the bar.
The place is loud. Not the patrons, the music. It's loud, but it's supposed to be. It's a rock and roll place for a rock and roll crowd. But all that volume fades to background noise once you receive your food and drink. Then you realize why this is "Food and Bar" rather than "Bar and Grill."
First is not without faults in its food however. When you go, stay away from the entrees. Uninspired execution is present in the main dish section of the menu to a degree that leaves sauces which look beautiful on the plate somehow completely lacking in flavor. The small plates, however, are inspired in concept and deserve all of your attention. From a breakfast on a stick to potstickers that taste like a really good Philly Cheesesteak, I have yet to find a small plate I couldn't recommend. Desserts are not an afterthought for the kitchen and they shouldn't be for you either. Save room for a short stack of fresh made, delectable doughnuts.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night, First is the top option in my book for Strip dining with a little edge and excitement.
Brian William Waddell is a foodie, beer geek, and author. His numerous blog posts range from food to politics. He also has a book of poetry, Fractured Prose, available here, and is ready to publish his second poetic endeavor.