Van-Alan Nguyen wanted to root himself in the community. The recent transplant from San Diego and former In-N-Out manager (with 10 years’ tenure) delivered something he thought his Las Vegas neighbors would like: a family-friendly smoke- and gaming-free gastropub with revolving craft beers and delicious food. The name 595 Craft & Kitchen is a nod to the strip of Rainbow Boulevard that is also part of Route 595. Inside, the space pays homage to what once was in place of Spanish Trail before the homes, golf course and fountains landed: the Stardust racetrack.
As for the food, Nguyen comes in strong with what he knows well: burgers and fries—his favorite being the craft burger. There are also Southeast Asian–influenced dishes, such as four types of banh mi sliders on a baguette, including traditional and honey soy chicken, which are only $3 each during happy hour. Experiment with flavors like Thai cashew hummus with pickled veggies, or the crispy hot fried chicken sandwich for those willing to take the heat; it comes with spring rolls and a refreshing green cabbage salad. Be sure to test out the hand-cut house fries. And with 25 craft beers that rotate every 10 days or so, it’s reason enough to keep you coming back time after time. 4950 S. Rainbow Blvd., 595craftandkitchen.com
Speaking of returning, the self-proclaimed “6 Pack Chef” and owner of the now-closed Toddy Shop, Hemant Kishore, is back on the scene with his upcoming Public Works Coffee Bar pop-up on April 14 as he presents a South Indian Bar Brunch. Chef’s food is inspired by working-class toddy shops of India’s Kerala region, where savory snacks accompany inventive, rustic drinks. For an 11 a.m. brunch start time, he’s starting with Bloody Kumari. Affectionately called Bloody Mary’s Indian auntie, he explains it’s because the tomato mix is inspired by a South Indian soup called rasam, which incorporates ingredients such as mustard seeds, tamarind, curry leaves and asafetida. Kishore uses a chutney powder (a.k.a. gunpowder) instead of a traditional salt rim and garnishes with a vegetable drumstick called moringa and a sprig of cilantro. If breakfast is more your speed, a few suggestions: Upma, a traditional South Indian vegan breakfast made with spiced semolina polenta, carrots, peas, ginger and mustard seed; Kothu Parrota, flaky flatbread with stir-fried spiced beef; spiced fish croquettes with sweet and spicy tomato aioli; or Kathi Roll, a fried egg with minced paneer, bacon jam and pickled red onion. 314 S. Water St., Henderson
Finally, this year marks the 50th birthday of UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hospitality, which should be a highlight of the 44th annual UNLVino. The event has come a long way from its humble beginnings, when Larry Ruvo founded it as a small wine tasting out of the Southern Wine & Spirits warehouse. UNLVino has grown into a premier wine, spirits and food event for the city, and serves as the year’s largest scholarship fundraiser. Guests can “take a sip for scholarship” to benefit the next generation of hospitality students.
The Grand Tasting takes place on Saturday, April 14, from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Keep Memory Alive event space at Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. An all-star lineup of chefs and restaurateurs is rallying alongside the notable wine and spirit brands. Chefs Brian Howard (Sparrow + Wolf), Scott Conant (Masso Osteria), Charles Phan (The Slanted Door), Hubert Keller (Burger Bar), Terence Fong (Zenshin) and Paul Bartolotta (Ristorante Bartolotta) are among the regional, national and international culinary kings uniting behind UNLVino’s cause. Cheers! unlvino.com