Sure, you can pair the Life is Beautiful culinary program’s scrumptious offerings with the official craft cocktails being featured—there’s a reason why the bars are set up next to the food booths—but this is a music festival, so why not try a different direction. Here are our picks for the best food and music pairings.
The popular Henderson brunch and lunch spot’s top two festival offerings remind us of post-party munchies grub—just elevated to a gourmet level. The Piggy Putin packs a powerful punch by putting spicy cheese curds together with chorizo cheese sauce, steak strips and “guaca” salsa, while the restaurant’s signature Sinful Tots—taters tossed in truffle oil and mixed cheeses, then topped with bacon jam, chipotle ranch and pepperoncini—are potatoes perfected.
As many festivalgoers can call Blink-182’s early releases the soundtracks to their high school and college years, we think Truffles N Bacon’s fare is fit for tracks like “What’s My Age Again?” and “The Rock Show.”
Also pairs with: Wiz Khalifa (Saturday, 11:35 p.m., Ambassador Stage), for obvious reasons—the rapper has his own Khalifa Kush strain of cannabis.
The kalbi sausage sandwich (a Korean BBQ sausage topped with kimchi relish, garlic jalapeño aioli and fried shallots) from this Los Angeles enterprise really brings the heat, as spicy flavors permeate each bite. That makes it perfect for the Jamaican reggae/dancehall artist Sean Paul’s high-energy, booty-shaking beats—specifically tracks such as “Temperature” and “We Be Burnin.”
Also pairs with: Deorro (Saturday, 10:45 p.m., Fremont Stage), for bumping bangers like “Five More Hours (Deorro x Chris Brown).”
We’re pairing Liam’s Mexi-Corn—roasted corn coated in mayonnaise, cotija cheese, cilantro and chili powder—with Las Vegas country act The Rhyolite Sound. While the dish is a variation of the classic Mexican street food elote, there’s (unfortunately) no ranchera, mariachi or Latin pop acts on this year’s bill. The creamy and cheesy kernels reminded us of something a ranch hand might have with a steak dinner—and what’s more cowboy than that?
Also pairs with: Haim (Sunday, 9:25 p.m., Ambassador Stage), as the balance between sweet and savory is similar to the trio’s balance between its in-studio soft-rock sound and its rock-heavy live shows.
Did those umbrella stick-shaped, churro-looking bites grab your eye on the festival’s first day? Us, too. Hawaiian Honey Cones’ J-shaped ice cream cone is filled with deliciously cool soft-serve, and its shape offers a last-bite-of-the-cone taste each time. This quirky, sweet treat was perfect for the equally quirky and sweet Lorde (really, though, she was gushing about Las Vegas nonstop—we love you, too, Lorde!).
Also pairs with: Pretty Lights (Sunday, 10:30 p.m., Fremont Stage), because the DJ/producer’s trippy electronica just screams “dessert.”
The Mario Batali restaurant brought from its outpost at The Venetian a tasty pork sausage sandwich, a housemade link topped with a peperonata and tomato conserva (a thick, chunky jam), which really brightened up the dish and added a bit of a kick. We suggest ordering the fried mushrooms (herbaceous, crunchy morsels of awesomeness, by the way) and sticking a few in the sandwich. There might be a lot going on there, but there was also a lot going on during Two Door Cinema Club’s set—and both were a treat to take in.
Also pairs with: Capital Cities (Saturday, 5:50 p.m., Downtown Stage), because we’re sticking with the sensory overload thing.