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Desert Companion

Eat this now: Our favorite recent dishes that have us coming back for seconds

Pork belly roll at Kumi

Sushi joints try to outdo each other with excessively wacky ingredients in their rolls. It’s just what they do. But the new sushi joint at Mandalay Bay — it’s more of a sexy palace of Japanese cuisine, actually — is shooting for a very particular kind of wacky. Kumi’s pork belly roll approximates a backyard cookout within a perfect cylinder of sushi rice and nori. The lightly fried morsel of pork is crispy, sweet and slightly creamy and smoky, topped with a simple yet sublime slaw of Brussels sprouts. It’s one of the most odd bites you’ll find on Kumi’s menu, and one that will stay on your mind even after you’ve worked your way through that menu. — Brock Radke

Kumi inside Mandalay Bay, 632-9100

 

Chicken pot pie nuggets at Rx Boiler Room

If you always thought celebrity chef Rick Moonen might be just a little crazy, here’s your delicious confirmation. Who else would make a science experiment out of transforming a piece of warmed-over, typically disappointing culinary Americana into an addictive bar snack? Moonen is making bite-sized pot pies at Rx Boiler Room, complete with all the hot and savory goodness you remember, minus that chunk of frozen gravy in the middle — you know, the one your mom could never cook away. Finally, the chicken pot pie is getting its moment, bite after crispy, wonderful bite. — BR

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Rx Boiler Room inside Mandalay Place, 632-7200

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