I think you’d agree that coffee is a beverage that brings magic to many lives. But regardless of how experienced we are with making coffee, we all have a bad cup from time to time. Born out of the necessity to find good coffee every time in Las Vegas, Jerad Howard delivers Vesta Coffee Roasters (1114 S. Casino Center Blvd., vestacoffee.com). Howard respects the multitude of variables that affect the flavor and quality of coffee—from the soil, climate and genetics to processing and brewing.
That’s really part of the magic of coffee, the exploration and discovery of its perfection. Sustainably sourced throughout the world, Vesta’s beans are primarily organic, fair trade, bird-friendly and rainforest alliance certified. Coffee at Vesta—from on-demand roasting to the pour-over—is prepared lovingly from the start, ensuring a good cup every time. Howard is excited about the beans from the Elida Estate from Panama, which have a distinct taste of sweet wild berries with hints of exotic chocolate, best enjoyed black to savor all the aromas and flavors. Specialty coffees include the macadamia-almond latte, a comfort to the lactose-intolerant system. But a personal choice of all the specialty drinks is the Golden Milk. One sip of the golden-hued hot beverage containing turmeric, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, black pepper and almond milk makes you feel like you just took in a dose of “health.” As for craveable bites to go with the coffees, the Basic is Vesta’s simple and pleasurable avocado toast with an option to add a poached egg on top. All the Things is an everything-seasoned croissant with house-made fromage blanc, and the Hawaiian Benedict Sandwich features an over-easy egg, Spam, cheddar and Sriracha hollandaise. The name Vesta comes from the Roman goddess of hearth, home and family, and Downtown’s roaster is a great place to stay for a while.
Like its unique golf experience, the food at TopGolf Las Vegas (4627 Koval Lane., topgolf.com/lasvegas) is far different from the food shacks of traditional golf courses. Chef Chris Vaughn recently revealed new handcrafted fare to enjoy between swings, and you don’t even have to walk up to a window. Choose from a selection of locals’ favorites such as deviled eggs with steak, bacon or crab; a burrata cheese board—my personal favorite—which comes with a pile of fresh arugula complemented with honeycomb, housemade tomato jam and grilled sourdough bread; crispy chicken salad, topped with cornbread croutons, blue cheese and barbecue vinaigrette; grilled New York strip, with twice-baked potato croquettes and baby arugula. Chef Vaughn also offers some familiar and inventive dishes that are new to the existing menu: the deep seven-layer dip, with avocado, sour cream, ranchero beans, pimento, roasted salsa, jalapeño pico, cheddar jack and tortilla chips; spicy tuna and crab stack, with toasted nori rice, avocado and rice crackers; and chicken Boursin and bacon flatbread.
The slow discovery of Naked City Pizza (6935 Blue Diamond Rd., nakedcitylv.com) in an unexpected Southwest location was a pleasant surprise, adding to South Rainbow Boulevard’s increasing culinary fame. Located at the very south at Blue Diamond Road is Blue Diamond Saloon, the newest spot for Palmeri family’s Italian eatery. It’s similar in concept to the original Naked City Pizza inside Moon Doggies Bar & Grill on Arville Street, with a walkup window where customers can place their orders and pay, and the staff delivers the food to a table or the bar. Recurring must-tries include the pizza, homemade sauce and dough, roasted garlic buns and wings. Ask for the housemade habanero sauce if you like heat.