Having traveled to so many places in my life, I’ve learned that the best restaurants are sometimes hidden in local neighborhoods. Personally, I like spending a day or two outside the downtown area . Just to get away from the touristy area and see what the city has to offer. By taking the buses, walking in the local neighborhoods and interacting with the locals, you get to see a different side of the city. Exploring like a local really makes your experience unique and memorable. Also, it may save you some money 😛
In Vegas, Kev and I visited a few local restaurants. Here are some Asian places we went. Maybe on your next trip to Vegas, you might consider paying a visit!
Le Thai on Fremont Street
To get to Le Thai, we took the Deuce from the Strip to the last stop (Fremont Street Experience) and walked 3 blocks towards North Las Vegas Boulevard.
The exterior is dark and unnoticeable. If you didn’t pay enough attention to the sign, you might walk past it.
The restaurant transported you directly to South East Asia as you walked in. The wooden interior design and the relaxing atmosphere almost made you feel as if you were on a retreat, where you could unwind and take your mind off all the worries. The indoor dining space is quite small. It was quite packed at lunch time so we were seated at the larger outdoor area.
We ordered the three color curry from the lunch special menu, the awesome flat noodles and a bowl of tom yum soup.
The three color curry ($8.95, with a complimentary drink) was full of flavors, with a mixture of coconut and peanut taste. The dish was loaded with veggies and chicken pieces. Went well with rice and very filling. One downside was that the chicken tasted a bit dry. We chose a one out of a 1-5 spiciness scale, which was mild enough for Kev to handle.
We increased the spiciness level to a two for the awesome flat noodle ($13). The flat rice noodle was stir-fried with egg, bean sprouts, green onions, chicken and garlic sauce. It tasted just like the Char kway teow I used to have in Penang- a little sweet and a little salty. The noodles were thin, flat and chewy. Ah… so yummy. It made me feel nostalgic.
The tom yum soup ($10) was filled with tons of veggies, tofu, mushrooms and tomato. The soup delivered the hot and sour flavors you’d expected. However, I wish it had a stronger lemongrass flavor to it. A two on the scale gave it the right amount of spiciness for us to enjoy this dish.
We enjoyed our meal at Le Thai. Food was tasty and was delivered quickly. I would recommend ordering from the lunch special menu as the regular menu items can get a bit pricey.
Sushi Katsu on E Tropicana Avenue
We stumbled upon this Japanese restaurant when we tried to visit Fukumimi Ramen. Unfortunately, Fukumimi was temporarily closed due to pipe leaks. Stranded in the middle of nowhere, we had no choice but to go to the only restaurant that was open in the area. (The other option we had was waiting in the cold for an hour for the next bus heading towards the Strip. Doesn’t sound fun, does it?). So that’s how we came across Sushi Katsu.
It is a very homey place, without much decoration. You felt as if you walked into someone’s house. The Japanese owners were very polite and attentive.
They have an all-you-can-eat menu, but neither of us could eat enough to justify the cost, so we ordered from the regular menu instead.
The owners were exceptionally kind to treat us some edamame and a bowl of miso soup as appetizer.
The crunchy roll ($9.95) had crab meat, shrimp tempura and avocado on the inside, topped with tempura flakes and eel sauce. Basically, a “fried” California roll. Pretty standard roll.
The rainbow roll ($7.95, now $10.95) had similar filling with fish and avocado on top. Average tasting.
The 911 roll ($5.95, now $9.95) was stuffed with spicy tuna inside and topped with avocado, green onion, sriracha and spicy oil. This roll was really spicy with the sauce and oil, but I found the combination didn’t go that well together.
The fish on the salmon nigiri ($4.95) tasted fresh, but the rice was too moist that they didn’t stick well together.
We were grateful for the hospitality they extended to us. The food was mediocre and reasonably priced. However, with an increase in prices (I noticed they’ve updated their menu), I am not sure if the quality can justify for the new prices. It has been a while since we visited (December 2013), maybe it has changed.
Pho So 1 on Spring Mountain Road
Anyone has a craving for pho? I certainly did in Vegas! Luckily, it is such a culturally diverse city that finding a Vietnamese restaurant is as easy as pie. One day, we took bus #203 to Chinatown and ate at Pho So 1. The restaurant is located in the Spring Oaks Plaza. The big sign makes it easy to be spotted.
This place was extremely busy. Good news is the dining space is spacious enough to accommodate us.
Kev picked pho dac biet xe lau ($7.95), which is the special combo with rare slices of steak, well-done brisket, flank tendon and tripe in the rice noodle soup. He liked how lightly flavored the broth tasted and enjoyed the generous amount of fresh meat. It came with plenty of rice noodles too!
As always, I ordered the spicy pho, bun bo hue ($8.95). Don’t let the color fool you. The soup wasn’t that spicy. It actually tasted as light as Kev’s pho. I was quite disappointed that the pig’s blood wasn’t soft and fresh. Also, the beef was over-cooked and hard to bite. 🙁
In my opinion, the food was average. It is a bit overrated and certainly not as good as the pho I had in Edmonton.
More great places to eat in Las Vegas coming up on my next post! To be continued…
In the meanwhile, read my previous posts to find out more Las Vegas restaurants: