There are only a few moments I can pinpoint where I knew my life had transformed: The night after my first shift as a cook in college; when I met my dog at the shelter; seeing Underworld perform “Born Slippy” live for the first time. Christian Dolias of Desnudo Tacos has promised me seven more such moments on July 27 during his seven-course pop-up titled Unbreakable, which he says “will change your fucking life” (6 p.m., $65 per person, 3240 Arville St., 702-982-6435). High expectations notwithstanding, Dolias is one of the edgiest chefs in town. He’s been banging out SoCal-inspired Mexican food at Desnudo, so it will be cool to see him unleash the fury for an evening. The menu has been revealed in bits and pieces, including surf-and-turf carpaccio, Bloody Mary clams and chorizo, and foie-gras tiramisu, with more to come, all undoubtedly exciting and fun. Will this meal actually inspire you to take on a new career path, accept responsibility for another living thing, or discover the song of your soul? We’ll see.
Sometimes life changes, and sometimes it just chugs along to a new location, as is the case with the new Charcoal Room in Palace Station (702-221-6678). The original Charcoal Room in Santa Fe Station, a classic neighborhood steakhouse, has long been a hit among locals. The Palace Station outpost, closer to the Strip, is housed in a more contemporary dining room, but features the same high-quality cuts of beef and has added the massive Seafood Jumbo Jackpot, a platter chock-full of crustaceans on ice. So now even visitors don’t have to venture too far off the Strip to get a steak the locals love.
At a steak house, a good knife is everything—well, everything after a good piece of meat. And Strip House (Planet Hollywood, 702-737-5200, StripHouse.com) has its meats down thanks to the Pat LaFrieda beef adorning its plates. The seductive steak joint has announced a partnership with Schmidt Brothers Cutlery to produce custom knives for the restaurant’s New York and Las Vegas locations, as well as retail sets that come in an attractive red-oak box—a great gift for knife nerds, from pro chefs to home cooks. The Strip House piece features a five-inch, 100-percent German stainless-steel blade with a patented, curved Schmidt Brothers bolster and black ash-wood handle, and it cuts like a dream. Or like a knife through a well-marbled piece of steak.