Friday, October 22, 2010

Goodbye Las Vegas!

I've now officially been a New Yorker for one week. I have found a job, a place to live, and a few decent places to eat. But I want to take this time to talk about the restaurants that I will be hard pressed to replace even here in the Big Apple. I will miss a few Las Vegas places immensely.

Settebello- New Yorkers think their pizza places trump all others. But in my book this Henderson based Neapolitan style pizza joint beats anything I've had here. With their wood fired oven and fresh toppings the pies here are smoky and earthy in a way coal fired and gas ovens just can't match. I may find something to match it here with a little searching, but I don't think I will find a place to beat it.

Aburiya Raku- Japanese restaurants are not exactly rare in New York City, but finding a place of this caliber with a price point to match will not happen here. This robata grill restaurant offers some of the best small plate options I've had anywhere and it does not break the bank. A party of two can easily get out of here full for under sixty dollars sans alcohol. This is the place you must go if you can get off the strip in Las Vegas.

Bluefin Sushi and Roll- Literally a mom and pop place, this standalone sushi place in a strip mall truly stands alone when it comes to quality and value. I can't count the number of times that I visited Bluefin, but it was more often than any other restaurant in Las Vegas. Before I found this tiny sushi bar about a year ago, I spent countless dollars in sub par establishments just trying to find that one place I could call my home away from home. I could probably pay my NYC rent for the next six months with all that dough. Flawless cuts of fish on well made rice and friendly service make this a can't miss local haunt.

Lotus of Siam- It seems there are Thai places on every other block in New York, but I haven't found one to compare to Lotus, yet. Even usually mundane dishes like Pad Thai are an experience not to be missed at this now large establishment in the same mall as the famous Green Door sex club. The service is spotty, but that cannot overshadow the sublime food and wonderful wine list. The execution and recipes here are top flight.

These four places are all Las Vegas Valley originals that are great at their respective cuisine. Sure, being on the East Coast means no In-n-Out, but we have Shake Shack and some other burger joints which are as good, albeit more expensive. There are other places I wish I could have brought with me, but the restaurants listed above are the best at what they do in Las Vegas and could compete with, if not beat, anything out here.

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.