Among the many things we can be certain of in the dining world, chicken fingers on kids’ menus is one of them. Not that this should be entirely discouraged, because, let’s be honest, chicken tenders and mac ’n’ cheese are easy on the little ones’ palates. But a few Las Vegas dining spots are challenging the status quo and turning up the food (and the fun) with an eye toward picky eaters, so that parents can go out on the town, skip the boring kids’ menus and enjoy a “proper” meal (wink, wink).
Sunday brunching at Americana (2620 Regatta Drive, americanalasvegas.com) is a delectable experience for adults and kids. The waterfront location adds to the overall enticement, and kids can enjoy a little maritime activity after they finish their meal with the big kids. Americana’s Sunday brunch items include cheesecake-filled crepes with strawberries, French toast with berry compote, carne asada fries and huevos rancheros burritos, to name a few dishes that appeal to kids (children under 8 eat for free). After a full stomach, they can enjoy freshly spun cotton candy and a spin on the lake with pedal boats. Sunday brunch, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Tom Ryan, founder of Tom’s Urban (inside New York-New York, tomsurban.com), created a dish inspired by his children called the Pot Sticker Salad. While he often tried to encourage them to eat their greens, he had the brilliant idea to combine their favorite food—dumplings—with leafy greens, veggies and great-tasting sauces. This “eat-the-salad-then-you-can-have-the-dumplings” thinking worked and led to the Pot Sticker Salad, which is on the regular menu. No kids’ menu needed here.
Honey Salt (1031 S. Rampart Blvd., honeysalt.com) offers dishes that are more elevated than standard kids’ fare, combining innovative dishes with a commitment to locally sourced and sustainable ingredients, just like the regular menu. Among a variety of choices for the kiddos are the incredibly crunchy Corn Flakes Crusted Chicken Fingers and Mac and Cheese-y, Yes Please-y, which is made of orecchiette smothered in a tasty blend of Gouda, cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. After a healthy dose of grilled asparagus, the finale is the sushi-inspired dessert—sweet and chewy bites of Milky Way and Fruity Pebbles rolled into a Fruit Roll-Ups strip.
Sushisamba (inside The Venetian Las Vegas, sushisamba.com) has beautifully presented kids’ dishes celebrating the flavors of Brazil, Peru and Japan, such as shrimp and vegetable tempura, Wagyu sliders, anticuchos grilled organic chicken or beef served with rice, assorted sushi bites and ramen in miso broth. Exotic libations for kids made from fresh fruit juices, such as watermelon mojo and coco leites, make perfect pairings. Sushisamba keeps the fun going throughout the entire meal by providing soy crayons, a coloring page and take-home training chopsticks designed by celebrated Brazilian neo-pop artist Romero Britto.