The Rest of What’s Best
Rounding out our list of favorites from the past year is Crush (at left), a celebration of tastes from across the globe, presented in an array of large and small plates designed to be shared; we love the decadent ricotta gnocchi, the refreshing octopus ceviche and the simply divine short rib. MGM Grand, (702) 891-3222. The savory Italian restaurant Portofino is so unique, chef Michael LaPlaca created his very own pasta: Ripatelli, with pesto and house-made sausage; we also like the decadent Burrata Agnolotti, with lobster, chanterelle mushrooms and roasted corn butter. Mirage, (702) 791-7416. The second location of Martorano’s, at Paris, offers expanded menu choices, such as hoagies, chicken cutlets and cheesesteaks—and it’s also open for lunch—but it’s got the same happenin’ vibe as the Rio original. Paris, (702) 946-4656. And when we need our fix of hearty Japanese noodles, delicious buns and hot street food, we head for Yusho, where the hot grill provides intense flavors from seasonal proteins and vegetables, grilled to order. Earlier this winter, Yusho chef Brian Lhee was named Eater Vegas’ 2014 Chef of the Year. Monte Carlo, (702) 730-7777. Last but certainly not least, we can’t say enough good things about the restaurant on everyone’s lips, Bazaar Meat, José Andrés’ tribute to all things carnivorous—and meats of all kinds, from meats of the sea to meats from the garden. His innovative concept has won over critics, celebrities, locals, the jet-set and visitors alike.