Las Vegas is solidifying its status as America’s top destination for entertainment, with everything from the upcoming Formula 1 extravaganza, to U2’s residency at the much buzzed-about Sphere, to next February’s Super Bowl LVIII adding even more excitement. But as always, a lot of the over-the-top fun in Las Vegas is happening inside high-energy restaurants. From Israeli food with a party vibe, to one of the most iconic steakhouses in the country, to a neo-Neapolitan pizzeria that’s worth an off-Strip trip, Las Vegas keeps getting more delicious. Here are five new restaurants that are shaking up the scene.
3325 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109
Legendary Tel Aviv chef Eyal Shani has made his Las Vegas debut with HaSalon (and adjacent casual spot Miznon) at the Venetian’s Palazzo Tower, and his flair for the dramatic translates well here. Come for the late seating at HaSalon and you’ll likely see guests and also members of the staff dancing while a DJ spins, and the free-spirited party-hearty vibe might make you want to stay here instead of going to a nightclub.
But HaSalon also works well for an early dinner with a side of theatrics. Shani has a popular dish called the “terrifying hammer” that involves a server pounding grass-fed beef carpaccio tableside. “Flawless potato diamonds” are topped with Osetra caviar, while asparagus is “exemplarily arranged inside a paper envelope.” An assortment of raw seafood, including luscious toro and a caviar-topped scallop, is presented on a rock with seaweed.
There’s a lot of serious culinary skill along with all the playfulness. Okra is perfectly cooked and served with yogurt and a splash of tomato. Snapper is bathed in an excellent spicy tomato sauce. Lamb shank falls off the bone. This is a terrific spot for a family-style feast.
3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89109
One New York legend has replaced another New York legend at Caesars Palace, where Peter Luger has opened in the space that was formerly home to Rao’s. If you’ve been to the original Williamsburg location, founded in 1887, you already know the order: sliced tomatoes and onions, sizzling extra-thick bacon, dry-aged porterhouse (listed on the menu as “steak for two,” “steak for three” and “steak for four,” and those portion descriptions usually exceed expectations, no matter how hungry you are), creamed spinach and German fried potatoes.
This has the potential to become the No. 1 steakhouse in Las Vegas. Or, just come for lunch to enjoy a steak sandwich and one of the best burgers in America.
3853 Spring Mountain Road, Las Vegas, NV 89102
Inspired by Japanese pizza makers and powered by his desire to perfect every aspect of baking, Michael Vakneen is making spectacular neo-Neapolitan pies at his off-Strip pizzeria in Spring Mountain’s Road wonderfully diverse Chinatown. These pizzas are light and nicely chewy without being floppy or overly wet. Textbook marinara and Margherita pies prove that Vakneen excels at the fundamentals. Housemade lacto-fermented pickles, crisp and umami-laden little gem Caesar salads, beautifully composed specialty pizzas (like a white pie with garlic butter mushrooms) and $7 whiskey-and-sodas with a blend of Japanese and American spirits demonstrate the restaurant’s range, accessibility and attention to detail.
Ask Vakneen why he’s focused on pizza and he might show you a mound of focaccia and explain that the art of bread-making consumes him day and night. You can taste the passion when you eat at Double Zero.
3655 S Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109
Martha Stewart’s first restaurant is designed to feel like you’re at a luxurious but comforting dinner party inside her farmhouse, and the must-order here is what’s known as Big Martha’s pierogies. The recipe is from Stewart’s mom, and these dumplings (available at dinner and also at the Bedford’s newly launched lunch) with potatoes and brown butter are a hearty appetizer worthy of entrée status. During the World Series of Poker this past summer, many players showed up during the dinner break of tournaments to devour these pierogis. (We hear that the restaurant is working on an express dinner menu for next year’s tournament.)
Other crowd-pleasers at this restaurant inside the Paris Las Vegas include an expertly constructed crab cake (bursting with lump crab), crispy-skin roast chicken and halibut in tomato broth with clams, potatoes, heirloom cherry tomatoes and basil. For a splurge, you can have your smashed baked potato topped with Osetra caviar.
6840 Helen Toland St, Las Vegas, NV 89113
Chef Ray Garcia has resurrected L.A.’s beloved B.S. Taqueria in Las Vegas, and this new-school Mexican restaurant is an off-Strip winner. Located inside the Sundry food hall at the buzzy new UnCommons mixed-used development, B.S. Taqueria serves excellent chorizo nachos, grilled short ribs and taco options including quesabirria, swordfish and cauliflower. Margaritas, agave flights, tres leches cake and churros keep the party going.