by Steve Kieva

During 2020 I made over 75 visits to Las Vegas restaurants. Below you will find the 10 restaurants that I enjoyed the most.

Please keep in mind this list was composed before Covid hit. Also please note that Mesa Grill is now closed.

10-El Dorado Cantina

El Dorado Cantina has three locations throughout Las Vegas, with the newest restaurant located in Spring Valley.

This visit was made to the restaurant on Sammy Davis Jr. Dr.

My wife Dorene and I had dinner in the back room where it was very romantic and quiet. The main restaurant had that Fiesta atmosphere if that’s your thing.

Menu selections included the best ever Albondigas soup filled with delicious meatballs. A special combination of beef and chicken Taquitos were brought to the table and was outstanding. The Mexican corn was wonderful. We both chose the same entrée’ Judi Siegel Platter, marinated grilled organic chicken and grilled marinated steak. It was served with caramelized grilled onions, grilled asparagus, cilantro rice and a choice of refried or black beans.

The entire meal was fantastic.

9– Jade Asian Kitchen & Noodles –Rampart Casino

Jade Asian Kitchen & Noodles is a flavorful journey through Chinese, Japanese and Korean cuisines in a contemporary setting.  Guests can either dine in the main dining room, a secluded Teppanyaki room with two group tables, or a communal/social sushi room, a casual noodle spot perfect for lunch or dinner and a lush outdoor patio with koi fish swimming in ponds, the sounds of waterfalls and a beautiful landscape.

The food and service is excellent.

Steve’s Suggestions: A very unique style of Chicken Lettuce Wrap, Wok Charred Filet Mignon, Chicken Lo Mein and Hong Kong Style Noodles.

8- Distill

From Summerlin to Henderson to Southern Highlands and Centennial Hills, Distill is Las Vegas locals and vacationers’ “home away from home.” All locations feature fun and casual good times in beautiful and eclectic atmospheres with state-of-the-art gaming, hand-crafted cocktails, house-made tavern fare, friendly staff, fun events, two daily happy hours and the ultimate home for sports action.

Distill prides itself on its gaming, hand-crafted food and amazing service. Chef Jeffery McCarthy (Executive Chef) has his staff in tip top shape, always creating fresh food from scratch with great quality ingredients.

All Distill locations are open 24/7.

I can’t recommend specific items as menu is continually changes. I can recommend the hand carved burgers as they are a menu staple.

7- Zuma at Cosmopolitan

Zuma, award-winning contemporary Japanese restaurant from creator and co-founder Rainer Becker, opened its doors in early 2017 for the first time in Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan.

Zuma features modern Japanese cuisine and award-winning world-class cocktails in an elegant and sophisticated environment. Inspired by the informal izakaya dining style, the international restaurant features a modern Japanese cuisine that is authentic but not traditional.

Zuma’s menu features a variety of dishes from its three kitchens—the main kitchen, the sushi counter and the robata grill. True to the izakaya experience, guests are offered dishes designed to be shared and brought to the table continuously throughout the meal. The menu offers a wide selection of elegantly presented dishes, including many items that are bolder in flavor than traditional Japanese cuisine.

The food here is incredible.  Perfect flavor balances with fresh, high quality ingredients.

Steve’s Suggestions: Sake glazed chicken wings with sea salt and lime, chicken with spring onion, rib eye with chili ponzu and roasted potatoes with shiso butter and sancho lime salt prepared tableside.

6- Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace

Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, located in the heart of the iconic Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip, has an authentic British Pub feel that cannot be matched. Guarded by the wall of kegs in honor of the 25 ice-cold draft beers on offer as well as an oak fire grill serving up delicious wagyu and prime steaks, not to mention pub classics and signature Ramsay dishes like the Beef Wellington and Sticky Toffee Pudding, it is a must visit on your next visit to Las Vegas!

The restaurant offers a relaxed, neighborhood feel and the patio side offers the traditional pub experience that everyone loves and where new friends are made! There are also 25 big screen TVs showing all of the latest live sporting action!

Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip

The centerpiece of the restaurant is a striking bar with an array of beer taps and a backdrop reminiscent of iconic British telephone booths. A patio area extends the restaurant toward the casino floor where guests can be part of the action. A series of casual dining rooms and a private dining room give guests a variety of culinary experiences to fit any mood.

The menu has an eye toward dishes that pair well with beer, including English ale onion soup, shepherd’s pie and the classic fish and chips.

The grill section of the restaurant features dishes including Scottish salmon and grilled rib eye.

Steve’s Suggestions: English Ale & Onion Soup, 24oz. Prime Bone in Rib Eye, 6oz. Wagyu Filet and Butter Chicken Curry.

5- Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace

Bobby Flay brings his passion for bold and innovative Southwestern fare straight to the heart of the region that inspired it at Mesa Grill, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.

Flay developed his signature style of American cookery, marrying the flavors of southwest with his love of grilling at Mesa Grill. Mesa Grill presents dishes like New Mexican Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Bourbon-Ancho Chile Sauce, Sweet Potato Tamale and Crushed Pecan Butter. In a nod to the West, he also includes a Chipotole Glazed Rib-Eye with Red and Green Chile Sauce.

Las Vegas’ proximity to Mexico gives the restaurant access to some of that country’s highest-quality tequila and mezcal offerings and the expansive wine list has a global reach yet maintains an emphasis on top American wines.

On the brunch, lunch and dinner menus at his Caesars Palace restaurant, Mesa Grill presents delectable dishes. There is an expansive tequila and mezcal selection, along with an extensive wine list.

A cocktail menu features signature drinks such as the Mesa Pisco Sour, Bitter Frenchie and, of course, the perfectly mixed Mesa Grill Margarita.

4– Top of the World at The Strat

This makes the third time Top of the World has made my Top Ten list. So what’s the secret to this achievement? The menu is always being redeveloped and changed as was the change of Stratosphere Tower to The Strat.

This iconic restaurant is not only revolving but it’s always evolving.

Located more than 800 feet above the Las Vegas Strip in the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower, the award-winning Top of the World Restaurant offers an unparalleled dining experience. Enjoy breathtaking views of Las Vegas as the restaurant revolves 360 degrees every 80 minutes.

Start with Wagu Beef Arachini or Tuna Tartare. Next, my favorite the 22oz. Bone-in Prime Rib. Each bite is better than the bite before. If beef isn’t your thing, try Maryland Crab Stuffed Chicken or 12oz. Australian Lobster Tail.

Whatever you choose, your dining experienced will be enhanced by the spectacular staff and spectacular views of the city.

3– Sushi Roku at Forum Shops at Caesars Palace

Sushi Roku is a pioneer of contemporary sushi, incorporating diverse, non-traditional ingredients from Latin America and Europe into its edible works of art. This unique culinary experience that bridges past and present is the result of an eagerness to embrace new ideas and a profound respect for tradition. The bold and diverse menu also offers an array of hot and cold specialty appetizers and an extensive selection of exotic entrées.

Sushi Roku combines the finest, freshest fish from pristine waters around the globe with the kind of artistry that can only be provided by a mature sushi chef ensuring superlative traditional sushi, together with a splash of California innovation. Sushi Roku is a pioneer of contemporary sushi, incorporating diverse, non-traditional ingredients from Latin America into its edible works of art.

This unique culinary experience that bridges past and present is the result of an eagerness to embrace new ideas and a profound respect for tradition. Sushi Roku’s bold and diverse menu also offers an array of hot and cold specialty appetizers and an extensive selection of exotic entrées.

Steve’s Suggestions: Spicy Cucumbers Sunomono, Beef Rib Eye wrapped in Asparagus, Japanese Fried Chicken and Grilled Lamb Chops.

2– Silverado Steakhouse at South Point Hotel & Casino

Following the tradition of Las Vegas’ fine dining steakhouses, the Silverado Steakhouse offers the charm and service that discerning patrons have come to expect. Hand painted mural scenes and vintage photographs line the walls above plush high backed booths, providing an intimate meal in an elegant yet unpretentious setting.

The menu, designed to offer the best in American steakhouse cuisine, centers on top-quality steaks and chops, fresh seafood and continental dishes. Perfect for finishing off an evening of play in the casino or watching an event in the Equestrian Center, a trip to Silverado will leave you wanting to come back.

Silverado Steakhouse is an elegant but affordable restaurant, serving the finest cuts of steaks, chops, seafood and chicken.

The steakhouse is one in only a handful of gourmet restaurants in Las Vegas that offers a complete dinner with your entrée. This includes a salad that is hand tossed tableside.

Steve’s Suggestions: House smoked Baby Backed Ribs, Silverado French Onion Soup, Tomahawk Rib Eye (lowest price in Las Vegas) and Prime Rib.

1– Trustworthy at Grand Canal Shops

All I can say is WOW!!

As the only brewery on the Las Vegas Strip to focus on artisanal small batch craft beers, Trustworthy Brewing Co. & BBQ is pouring award-winning West Coast-inspired beers brewed on site as well as from their Burbank brewery, along with a full bar.

Executive Chef Lloyd Bansils’ menu complements the beer with a selection of smoked meats and barbecue dishes such as pork ribs maple and mustard brushed St. Louis-style; a grass-fed, hand-rubbed beef brisket smoked low and slow; the Trustworthy Burger with grass-fed beef, Tillamook cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and red onion served on a brioche bun; beef ribs with Trustworthy’s garlic and herb rub and 16 oz. thick cut hickory-smoked prime rib with parmesan garlic mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts and au jus.

The Grand Canal Shops are located in the Palazzo and Venetian casino resorts in Las Vegas

The Pitmaster’s Feast features choice of any three smokehouse meats served with a choice of three sides, cornbread and house pickles, served family-style. Other highlights include deviled eggs, ketchup-seasoned fried pork rinds, pulled pork nachos, brisket burrito, watermelon salad and four different kinds of scratch-made mac & cheese with rotelle pasta, cheddar and gruyere, including traditional, herb-crusted, bacon and brisket.

An elevated 60-seat bar with a lighted movie sign marquee greets guests while a five brite beer tanks sit behind banquette seating for direct draw service to the bar used to brew its five brewed on site beers holding a combined 1,150 gallons of beer. Oversized booths in bright primary colors and bold geometric patterns surround the space and a beer garden at the front offers prime viewing into the shops.

With seated capacity of 430 people, the brewery features several private and semi-private dining vignettes including an 80-seat banquet function room as well as the gallery room with seating up to 20 and a wall-to-wall graffiti mural paying homage to the iconic Bill Murray. The brewery also offers a game room with skeeball for a chance for some friendly competition along with couches for relaxing.

Steve’s MUST TRY ITEMS: Soy Glazed Pork Ribs – The best in Las Vegas, Chicken Wings, BBQ Chicken Salad and NY Strip. All meats are grilled over red cherry wood that adds a distinctive flavor to every bite. I loved Trustworthy.

Author Steve Kieva has been writing about Las Vegas for over 20 years. He is a longtime columnist for Casino Player magazine writing the column “Strip Search.” His articles have also appeared in Strictly Slots magazine. Steve also publishes the multi-award winning Las Vegas website: Membership to the website is free. You send Steve an email
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