Las Vegas has always been an easy target for out-of-town pundits who pass through and pass judgment (et tu, Henry Rollins?). But on occasion, we do get some love from our literary visitors. New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells is probably best known for his gone-viral takedown of Guy Fieri’s New York eatery, but his recent column on Las Vegas went off-Strip to praise restaurants that most tourists skip.
Seeking “food that wasn’t advertising anything other than itself,” Wells starts in Chinatown with sashimi at Kabuto and a range of southern Thai dishes at Chada Thai & Wine, plus sumptuous deserts at Raku. Downtown, he enjoys Eat’s breakfast and Carson Kitchen’s “antic and border-crossing” small plates, as well as a beer and a snack at Le Thai. He closes with a trip to Honey Salt on the west side, stating, “If you’re lucky, you have a place like this in your neighborhood.”
Alas, it wasn’t all valentines. Wells also wrote a short review of Giada De Laurentiis’ namesake restaurant at the Cromwell. It isn’t a Donkey Sauce bloodbath, but there is mention of “a pizza that might have come from the children’s menu of any restaurant in America except an Italian one …”