Are you like me and have had it with avocado toast? As culinary trends go, I never really understood this one. What’s the big deal about an open-faced avocado sandwich on toasted bread? But trendy foods have a longer shelf life than the time it takes us to grow bored of them. If something worked once, many chefs seem to reason, surely we can rework it to cash in on the Pavlovian response it triggered: “If a flavor profile is appealing, shouldn’t it be even more appealing on a slice of toasted bread?” So it’s not surprising that the fancy toast trend has moved beyond the humble avocado that launched it. What is surprising, however, is how many of the ideas actually work. So today, let us raise a glass to those toasts that are deliciously taking this trend forward in ways that still make us salivate.
Greek Toast at Beauty & Essex
Beauty & Essex has an entire page of its menu dedicated to Jewels on Toast. The five options include the obligatory avocado, offered with lemon and espelette pepper. (We’re told Nicki Minaj raved about it on a recent visit, if that means something to you.) But there are actually some interesting creations in this little corner of the menu, and the Greek is the best of the lot. Chef Chris Santos piles it high with Hellenic touches of feta, tomato, cucumber, mint and black olive salt—an army of flavor hiding within a Trojan horse of trendiness. $14, in the Cosmopolitan, 702-737-0707, BeautyAndEssexLV.
Wild Mushroom Tartine at Bardot Brasserie
Chef Josh Smith has created a quartet of toasts for the happy hour menu at Michael Mina’s brasserie—but at least he’s showing some originality by calling them tartines (which is French for an open-faced sandwich). Once you make it past the avocado version, you’ll find some very nice specimens. The best are these slices of toasted country bread topped with royal trumpet, black trumpet and oyster mushrooms that have been sautéed with shallots and garlic, drizzled with garlic aioli and topped with sharp goat cheese. $8, served from 5:30-7 p.m. and 10-11 p.m. daily, in Aria, 877-230-2942, Aria.com.
Foie Gras S’More at Top of the World
Don’t let the name on the menu scare you. The toast in this instance is really just a vehicle for the irresistible combination of fatty duck liver and sugar. It begins with white chocolate walnut bread—toasted of course. That’s smeared with a thin layer of marshmallow fluff, then topped with a lobe of foie gras. To finish it off, the whole thing is drizzled with fig balsamic. And completing the dish, tiny piles of crushed graham cracker adorn the plate. $20, in the Stratosphere, 702-380-7711, TopOfTheWorldLV.com.
Shrimp Toast at 8 Noodle Bar
When you think about it, this dim sum item is one of the original gourmet toasts, so much so that it’s become a staple in Chinese restaurants. At its core, it’s a piece of bread that’s been cooked in a coating of minced shrimp. But that, while done quite well, is just the starting point here. Next, it’s piled high with a fried egg, water chestnuts and scallions before being painted with trails of spicy mayo and sweet eel sauce. Trust me—you won’t find anything like this at Panda Express. $5, in Red Rock Resort, 702-797-7576, RedRockSCLV.com.
Caviar & French Toast at Other Mama
This westside seafood hot spot puts a unique spin on a breakfast classic to create a fancy toast like nothing else in town. One-inch-by-one-inch squares of semi-sweet French toast are smeared with the lightest covering of crème fraîche before being finished with a dollop of salty sturgeon eggs. The flavor profile is faithful to traditional caviar presentations, while the mix of light sugar and heavy salinity will make you do a double take. $19, 3655 S. Durango Dr., 702-463-8382, OtherMamaLV.com.