Sampling the Grub on the Buffalo Trail

One West-side strip mall is a covert international culinary crossroads

Flamingo Village Plaza

Flamingo Village Plaza | Photos by Jon Estrada

Flamingo Village Plaza, a strip mall behind a Walgreens on the southwest corner of Flamingo Road and Buffalo Drive, doesn’t look like much as you drive by. But if you slow down for a good look, this little enclave offers an eclectic collection of restaurants, from Japanese sushi, Filipino baked goods and Korean-Mexican fusion to British fish and chips, Italian-American favorites and classic American breakfast. If you’re in the neighborhood and hungry, you should definitely find something to suit your taste. Here’s a rundown of what is offered.

Off the Hook fish 'n' chips

Off the Hook fish ‘n’ chips

Off the Hook Fish ’n’ Chips

Las Vegas isn’t exactly teeming with chippies (as the Brits refer to fish-and-chip restaurants), so the opening of Off the Hook a few weeks ago immediately caught my attention. In addition to traditional battered, fried cod with fries, they also offer fried calamari, scallops, shrimp and soft-shell crab—either in baskets or sandwiches. And proving they’re willing to deep fry just about anything, the dessert menu features fried cheesecake, Oreos, Snickers, Baby Ruths and Twinkies. 4155 S. Buffalo Dr., Suite 105, 702-222-3474.

Hikari Japanese Steakhouse

While Hikari calls itself a steakhouse, and puts its teppanyaki tables front and center, the real reason to visit is the all-you-can-eat sushi bar. The overall quality of the fish is well above average. And while the chefs demonstrate little-to-no knife skills in their rush to feed the masses, it’s the only place I know of that includes sashimi in a deal like this (so you’re not forced to fill up on rice). Priced under $30 (exact prices vary by the hours), it’s an amazing offer, and worth overlooking some roughly cut fish. 4175 S. Buffalo Dr., 702-889-6660.

KoMex’s bulgogi nachos

KoMex Fusion

This is the second location of this innovative little spot that boldly mixes Korean and Mexican influences. Marinated grilled meats, such as bulgogi (beef), dak-bulgogi (chicken) and daeji bulgogi (pork), as well as Korean vegetables and tofu, are offered in tacos, burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas and other traditional Mexican preparations. I suppose it’s possible that you’ll find a more interesting fusion restaurant in Las Vegas, but you aren’t going to find many where you can enjoy a meal for under $10. 4155 S. Buffalo Dr., Suites 103 and 104, 702-778-5566,


With four locations in the Valley, this breakfast and lunch spot has a massive following. So expect to wait 30 minutes or more for a table during prime weekend hours. But it’s worth it for the gourmet breakfast offerings. Pancakes (18 varieties, plus daily specials) include such decadent options as rocky road, red velvet, banana cream pie, Cinnabun, carrot cake and lemon ricotta crepes. French toast, waffles and eggs are also available. And the menu is dotted with Filipino and Hawaiian dishes, including adobo fried rice, a Spam scramble and various kalua pork dishes. 4135 S. Buffalo Dr., Suite 101, 702-207-6432,

Chef Zen

This tiny family-run spot is primarily a Filipino bakery. Alongside doughnuts and other familiar offerings, you’ll find sweets such as cream cheese croissant rolls and a flaky shortbread candy known as polvorons (available in mango, taro, green tea and other flavors). But Chef Zen also specializes in empanadas and boba drinks. Those empanadas are either traditional or adobo—but the latter are made in limited numbers, and are so popular that they often sell out from pre-orders a day in advance. 4135 S. Buffalo Dr., Suite 102, 702-889-0433.

Café Chloe

For the past 15 years, this locals favorite has been serving top-notch Italian-American food the way your grandmother used to (assuming you’re Italian). Expect all the classics: rigatoni puttanesca, linguine with clam sauce and fettuccine Alfredo. The portions are huge, with most dishes large enough to share. But beware: The restaurant does charge a $10 fee to split an order. You’re better off ordering two and taking home the leftovers. Trust me: They won’t go to waste. 4155 S. Buffalo Dr., Suite 114, 702-248-7048.


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