Desert Companion

DEALicious meals: 50 dining adventures

Very large donutGot a taste for adventure? An appetite for some (literal) spice in your life? A hunger for something different? Hold on to your fork and take a ride on the wild side with our DEALicious Meals Adventures Edition. Whether you’re craving cuisine that’s big in flavor, just plain big, or off the beaten path, you’ll get your fill here. No map necessary. (But a big glass of water might be a good idea.)

1 | Alaska donut

Real Donut

If Homer Simpson had any say in the matter, the Alaska Donut ($7.50) at Real Donuts would be named a national treasure. These scale equivalents of about 10 traditional donuts can be custom-ordered in a selection of flavors, including owner Jose Solares’ yeasty, pillowy, chocolate and classic glazed varieties. If you’re not quite ready to conquer Alaska, take on the Texas ($2.50). At the size of a Frisbee, it’s still a challenge, but it disappears surprisingly fast. (JH) 1811 W. Charleston Blvd., 388-9958


2 | Parilladas de Carne

La Hacienda Restaurant

How’s a serving tray of meat sound? If you’re doing your best Pavlov right now, then La Hacienda is the place for you. This unassuming restaurant en el barrio offers a myriad of meat on an actual catering serving tray lid — easily enough to feed a family of four for less than $40. Since man cannot live on steak, chicken and pork alone, the tray is also adorned with queso fresco, patas bravas, fresh avocado and handmade tortillas. Nothing like a little food pyramid balance in a meal. (JB) 5482 E. Lake Mead Blvd., 437-3608

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3 | nairobi feast

Wine 5 Café

I appreciate a meal that must be ordered in advance. It requires a strong commitment to eating that most people don’t possess. If you have that kind of devotion, then Wine 5 Café’s Kenyan feast (requiring 24 hours’ notice) is just the meal for you. The meal combines your choice of meats with traditional Kenyan sides for an introduction to a cuisine you’re not familiar with. Just trust me when I say under no circumstance should you miss their samosas — you’ll thank me for the suggestion. (JB) 3250 N. Tenaya Way,


4 | Nachos

Carlos’ Kitchen

Nachos are standard bar fare, and like much of chef Carlos Fernandez’ offerings, not uncommon on watering-hole menus. What’s uncommon is the attention to detail he lavishes on them ($6.99) in his cookery inside Charlie’s Bar. His chips are always house-made, as are his salsa and guacamole. Toppings are plentiful and fresh — no bright yellow congealed cheese here — while his carne asada and chicken are exemplary and always moist. If he cares this much about his nachos, shouldn’t you? (JB) 4420 S. Durango Drive,


5 | Carne asada breakfast burrito

Phat Phrank’s

What makes a great breakfast burrito? It must be filling but not overly heavy, establishing a hearty base for the day’s activities while not inducing a full-on food coma. Chef Frank Miranda walks this line for less than $5.50 a wonderful tortilla-wrapped bundle. Carne asada, potatoes, egg and cheese intertwine in each bite, providing an irresistible meld of flavor and texture. (JB) 4850 W. Sunset Road,


6 | Le Titanic

Las Famosas de Jose

Sixteen ounces of chicken breast, cheese, beans, tomatoes, avocado, jalapeño peppers and lettuce sandwiched between two humongous slices of fried bread make up Le Titanic, una torta gigante or, as I like to call it, A REALLY BIG SANDWICH (technical specs: 12 inches long by 5 inches wide by 4 inches thick, $15). But the novelty of its size isn’t a mere gimmick; on top of that, the ingredients are fresh, making for a gloriously juicy monster. Add in some of owner Fernando Rojas’ homemade, secret recipe salsa and you, sir, have got yourself a sandwich (A REALLY BIG SANDWICH). I recommend sharing — with up to 3 people. But if you’re broke and starving, Rojas will buy you and your friends’ meals if you can gobble up the five pound La Paquita ($18) in under 15 minutes. (DM) 2635 E. Tropicana Ave., 450-2444


7 | Lunch specials

Norm’s Egg Café


Norm is no one-trick pony. He serves more than just eggs from his Eggs Café. Besides brunch standards, most of which do involve eggs, his menu boasts a pretty impressive array of $6 lunch specials. His meatloaf, beef stew and chicken curry are all notable — not only for the quantity of food for the price, but more particularly the quality of it. Norm is quite the Renaissance man. (JB) 3655 S. Durango Drive #29,


8 | Gorditas

Las Gorditas

With three locations around town, it doesn’t get more convenient than Las Gorditas, unless you’re talking about the gorditas themselves — thick, fresh corn tortillas split and stuffed with all kinds of goodies ($2.45). Not Taco Bellish goodies. We’re talking chicken mole, tender cactus in tomato-chile sauce, or addictive pinto beans and salty, melty cheese. More please. (BR) multiple locations,


9 | All you can eat SUSHI

Sushi Mon

Let’s be real: Sushi Mon (not the one on West Sahara, the other one) is the only place you should be eating all-you-can-eat sushi. At $21.95 for lunch or $26.95 for dinner, it’s one of the biggest and best deals in town, nigiri, rolls and sides done to the highest standard without excessive, crazy sauces or methods. (BR) 9770 S. Maryland Parkway #3,


10 | Barbacoa de chivo


They call it a small plate or appetizer at Diego, but in truth, it’s a huge pile
of the best meat anywhere, slightly funky or gamey goat marinated in guajillo chile salsa and slow-braised to create a truly unique texture. The powerful flavor will make you forget carne asada forever. I’m not sure if there’s a better taco in town than what you can assemble at your table with warm tortillas and three fresh salsas. (BR) Inside MGM Grand, 891-7433


11 | Whitefish salad platter

Bagel Café

Bagel Cafe Whitefish Salad Platter

Still the home of the biggest, chewiest, crackliest bagels in town, Bagel Cafe is a lock for great dining deals thanks to its gigantic portions, fresh ingredients and traditional delicatessen wizardry (seriously, is there a better deli in town?). Pair the bagel flavor of your choice with this smoky, creamy, wonderfully moist whitefish salad ($13.50) and decorate with ripe red tomato, red onion, cucumber and cream cheese. (BR) 301 N. Buffalo Drive,


12 | Beef chimichanga

Mi Tierra

One of the newest entries into the category of friendly neighborhood Mexican restaurants, Mi Tierra does classic Mexican-American food quick, cheap and cozy. There’s no shortage of favorites on the menu. For $8.25 (and 75 cents as a lunch special) you can attack a mammoth, shredded-beef and bean stuffed chimichanga, crispiness coated in sour cream, cheese and rich red ranchero sauce. Hits the spot every time. (BR) 1780 N. Buffalo Drive #101,



13 | Fire-breathing dragon roll

Rice and Company

A sushi roll so hot it’s famous? This spicy tuna, shrimp and crab roll, flecked with habañero peppers, earned Rice and Company (the quiet pan-Asian restaurant in Luxor) some TV time on Food Network’s “Heat Seekers” show. It’s a seriously spicy, tasty bite before a generous drizzling of ghost pepper sauce pushes the heat level to beyond volcanic. Sweet sushi rice or a quick dip in soy sauce won’t save you this time. (BR)

Inside the Luxor, 262-4852


14 | Grilled corn on the cob

El Elote Loco

Broadacres may not appear to be a culinary destination. But tucked away just inside the north entrance to the North Las Vegas swap meet is a stand whose English translation is “the crazy corn.” They essentially serve one dish in multiple ways — think of it as a Bubba Gump restaurant actually worth checking out. The grilled corn-on-the-cob is the best option, grilled crisp and slathered with margarine, mayo, chili flakes and cotija cheese and a steal at $2. You’re welcome. (JB)

Inside Broadacres Swap Meet, 2930 N. Las Vegas Blvd., 642-3777


15 | Fire sauce

Parsley Mediterranean Grill

Parsely Med Grill

The only reason Parsley isn’t legendary for their fat, fresh falafel wraps for $4.95 — brick-thick and bulging at the folds — is because they’ve only been open for about seven months. Just give ’em time. I predict they’ll also be legendary for their fire sauce. Understatement alert! Oh, you don’t squirt or smear this substance. Rather, you dole it out in judiciously microscopic amounts from the tiny plastic capsule that itself suggests potency, caution and danger. One capsule of this chunky tapenade of serranos, japaleños and habañeros will easily cover your falafel and all your friends’, but you’ll want to snag an extra dose for experimentation in your home lab. (AK)

6420 S. Pecos Road #B1,


16 | Spicy wontons in red chili oil

Beijing Noodle Café

Beijing is one of the valley’s rare purveyors of hand-pulled Chinese noodles, making their Lan Zhou beef soup a signature dish that attracts urban explorer and suburban pilgrim alike. But I urge adventurous eaters to go off the map: Try the spicy pork won tons in red chili oil ($4.95), a dozen, sausage-like dumplings swimming in rich sauce. For a deeper, duskier heat, follow up with the dan dan Szechuan mein bowl ($6.95); below the crumbled pork and tender noodles hides a thick, creamy, smoky broth that’ll set your tongue to a tingling simmer. (AK)

4130 Sandhill Road, 641-0666


17 | Beef caldereta with pickled green chilies

Fiesta Filipina Cuisine

Caldereta is beef short rib stew, a traditional Filipino dish. Slow-cooked to perfect tenderness, Fiesta’s rendition boasts flavorful beef that falls off the bone. Their homemade pickled green chilies are the perfect complement to the dish, giving the savory stew a bit of crunch and kick. This cafeteria-style restaurant is not only easy on the palate but on the wallet; the two-item combo with rice is only $5.99. Try the Okoy, a shrimp and vegetable pancake, for your second. (DM)

multiple locations,


Hot links18 | Wicked hot link

Sassy Sal’s BBQ

Most barbecue joints don’t focus on sausages, but that’s your best bet at this northwest takeout spot. Sassy Sal’s hot link ($3.99 single, $5.99 sandwich) is dripping with garlicky, peppery juices with every bite, and you can see the grainy, fatty goodness encased inside. And this kitchen doesn’t slather it with coleslaw to douse the heat, just crispy onions, cheddar cheese and Carolina mustard sauce. Get ready to sweat. (BR)

7785 N. Durango Drive #105, 458-7427


19 | Bacon jalapeño PBJ

Border Grill

What would you pay for crispy bacon, jalapeno, peanut butter and homemade grape jelly on a scratch-made biscuit? Spicy and sweet, creamy and salty, it tastes even better than it sounds. Personally, I’d pay $29.99. But for that price, you
can have as many as you want, plus an unlimited barrage of amazing small plates at Chef Mike Minor brunch at Border Grill, stuff like machaca chilaquiles
and Oaxacan chocolate pancakes. (BR)

Inside Mandalay Bay, 632-7200

Border Grill


20 | Spicy fried chicken


Ichiza’s spicy fried chicken ($5) is a bowl filled with bite-sized morsels of chicken covered in the sweet-hot “spicy Chinese sauce” — think the grown-up, foodie version of chicken nuggets. The chicken is fried (but surprisingly ungreasy) and coated with a thin glaze of sauce, served with crunchy white sprouts. But don’t look for it on the menu. Like many of Ichiza’s dishes, the spicy fried chicken is one you have to ask for. And while you’re there, be sure to try the magnificently fresh sashimi or the pork udon with a broth so savory you’ll drink it straight from the bowl. (DM)

4355 Spring Mountain Road, 367-3151


21 | Inferno Menu

Mint Indian Bistro

Mint Bistro’s Inferno Menu promises food so hot you’re required to sign a waiver before they’ll let you eat it. The items on the Inferno Menu will burn your taste buds — but in a delectably tasteful way, so as to trick you into taking bite after bite of fiery goodness. While I’m only brave enough to nibble the pepper-packed Inferno Naan with Paneer Cheese ($5.99), featuring ghost chilis and spices, the Inferno Curry ($19.99) promises to be the hottest item on the menu. It comes with a perk: a $50 gift certificate if you finish your plate. (DM)

730 E. Flamingo Road,


22 | Roast duck curry

Weera Thai

Red chili paste runs wild in this Northern Thai curry ($14.85) at one of our city’s great unsung ethnic restaurants. It’s far from one-dimensional, getting sweetness from pineapple chunks and red pepper, and vegetably goodness from tomatoes and tons of basil. Best of all are the huge chunks of juicy duck breast, roasted to perfection, combining with the heat for one satisfying, sublime stew. (BR)

3839 W. Sahara Ave. #9, 873-8749


23 | Pad prik pao (Chili Paste Delight)

Mr. Chop Chop

Mr. Chop Chop’s menu promises a Chinese and Thai fusion, and the Chili Paste Delight ($9.95 with shrimp) fulfills it. The dish is a plentiful array of veggies, red and green bell peppers, onions and carrots, combined with cashews and your choice of meat glazed with chili paste (get it with the shrimp, catfish or seafood combo). It all swims in a thick, dark-brown sauce, a combination of Thai chili paste and Chinese sauce. The chili paste keeps things hot — even with a vanilla undertaking of 0 level heat — but you can brave up to level 5 if you’ve got the courage. Want to push it further? There are always the bowls of chili sauce at each table. (DM)

5075 S. Pecos Road,


24 | Spicy miso ramen

Ramen Sora

Vegas’ newest ramen bar focuses on Sapporo-style noodle soup, which is where miso was born. Japanese food is known for being refined, but they spice up this $8.50 dish, adding dollops of scary-red, multiple-pepper chili paste into a smooth, clean-tasting broth stacked with chewy noodles and ribbons of succulent roasted pork. The only thing better than a hot bowl of ramen is a HOT! bowl of ramen. (BR)

4490 Spring Mountain Road, 685-1011


25 | salsa
Cardenas markets

Gringos are slowly venturing into Cardenas as the Mexican market chain expands beyond its east side bloc, with its most recent location opened on the site of the old Mervyn’s on Decatur Boulevard. Go for the cheap produce and humming in-store eatery serving tacos and tortas, but don’t miss out on their veritable rainbow of house-made salsas, for sale by the pound. On the flavorful end, you’ve got guacatillo ($2.99) and tomatillo ($3.29). On the daring end, you’ve got rojas rancheros ($2.99) and molcajete rojas ($3.29). And on the far, fanning-your-hands-in-front-of-your-smoking-mouth end, you’ve got 100 Fuegos ($4.99), a deep red, soupy salsa with a long finish. Try a sample from the nice sample lady first. But be warned: She really pours it on that chip. (AK)

Multiple locations,



26 | Quail

Public House

Public House’s menu is so humble. This is actually a scrumptious version of chicken and waffles, with tender, buttermilk-fried quail and a thin, crisp waffle (everything Eggos ought to be), plus bacon-braised Swiss chard and a maple syrup glaze made with Moose Drool Brown Ale. At $26, it’s lovely as an entrée, or perfect as a shared plate, if you’re willing to share. I’d make ’em order their own. (BR)

Inside the Venetian,


27 | Budae jigae


Budae jigae was born out of necessity; now it’s a novel hangover cure. The spicy stew — made with Spam, chopped hot dogs and melted American cheese — was originally intended to feed starving citizens during the Korean War, but more than 50 years later, the taste for processed food has endured. At Soyo, you can watch the younger set dig into this communal hot pot ($18) after a long night of drinking — somehow it makes them feel better instead of worse. (DL)

7775 S. Rainbow Blvd. #105, 897-7696


28 | Boardwalk fries

Crab Corner

Traditional East Coast fare abounds in this hallmark of Maryland seafood. While the crabs are exemplary, they present a time-consuming endeavor for precious little meat. A timelier and equally delicious option is the $3.50 boardwalk fries. Crab Corner’s are cooked in peanut oil, a medium not used often enough in light of the subtle nuttiness it endows. With ample amounts of J.O. crab seasoning and malt vinegar, you’ll be transported back to Ocean City, minus The Situation and Snooki wannabes. (JB)

4161 S. Eastern Ave.,


29 | Turkey tail torta

Burritos Juarez

Finally, there’s a reason to eat turkey outside of November. Whether you’re a breast or leg man, Burritos

Juarez will convert either with its colitas de pavo, or turkey tail. This overlooked cut of meat is minced and flash-fried until crisp, then stuffed in a torta with generous amounts of avocado and other yummy fixings. One bite of the fatty, flavorful sandwich ($4.95) and you’ll agree it’s the best tail in town. (DL)

3655 S. Durango Drive, 242-0055


30 | Rick’s Tasting Game 

RM Seafood

Ice Cream

For anyone possessing confidence in the sophistication of their palate, Rick’s Tasting Game ($18) at RM Seafood will serve a huge blow to the ego. Sixteen small scoops of unconventional ice creams and sorbets are served “blind,” accompanied by a quiz sheet to populate with flavor guesses. Despite incorrectly identifying cilantro, gin and tonic, vanilla beer, Campari, and carrot (which I swore was sweet potato), my server assured me that my 50 percent score was “very respectable.” Score 100 and dessert is on Rick. (JH)

Inside Mandalay Bay,


31 | Adjarski Khachapuri


KhachapuriForte’s no longer the hidden but sketchy gem it once was. The eclectic Eastern European tapas joint has undergone a facelift in anticipation of its soon-to-be-aired episode of Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” That shouldn’t dissuade you from visiting for their adjarski khachapuri, a strangely named sulugini-style (pickled) cheese-stuffed bread baked in a canoe shape, before the crowds arrive. The coup de grâce is the raw egg cooks to over easy in the seat, resulting in an undeniable, addictive gooeyness in every bite. Check it out before Fieri ruins it for the rest of us. (JB)

4180 S. Rainbow Blvd. #806,


32 | Roasted beef marrow and oxtail Jam

Comme Ça

Bone marrow is usually consumed in very small amounts, the decadent crown on a dish like osso bucco. At Comme Ça, it’s the main attraction: two bone canoes filled with rich, gelatinous treasure, sticky and luscious, served with not nearly enough crostini and a bowl of ultra-savory oxtail-tomato jam. This meal ($18) has transformative powers: Eat it all and you’ll never, ever consider vegetarianism. (BR)

Inside The Cosmopolitan, (877) 893-2003


33 | Very vegan pizza

Pizza Fusion

Vegan soy cheese? Let’s put the niceties behind us and not pretend it tastes just like real cheese. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a delicious topping. Paired with crimini mushrooms, roasted garlic and freshly made organic tomato sauce, Pizza Fusion’s Very Vegan Pizza ($9-$24) is not only a treat for earth-adoring grass-grazers, but even adventurous meat-lovers. (DM)

10345 S. Eastern Ave. #110, 896-9669


34 | Kawa kushi

Kyara Izakaya

Some people eat pretzels with their beer; the Japanese prefer chicken skin. The crispy crackling may be the bane of dieters, but to true gourmands, it’s the only redeeming quality in an otherwise boring bird. At Kyara Izakaya, shards of it ($1.50-$10) are skewered and tossed over a flame until all that’s left is a glorious mix of salt and crunch. Don’t worry about what happens to the meat — sometimes beauty really is only skin deep. (DL)

6555 S. Jones Blvd. #120,


35 | Rambo Burger

Rambo’s Kitchen

Some updates are good (Heath Ledger’s Joker) while some aren’t so much (New Coke, anyone?). The Rambo Burger ($10.89) is the former. Unless you’re originally from Land of 1,000 Lakes, you may not be aware of the cheese-stuffed Jucy (yeah, it’s spelled like that) Lucy. Luckily, one of Rambo’s Kitchen’s owners is, and has taken the classic and smothered her American and Swiss cheese-stuffed patty with pulled pork. The resulting burger is a carnivore’s dream. Who says tradition can’t be tweaked? (JB)

6085 S. Fort Apache Road,


36 | Peanut butter Belgian waffle


Strangely, Roxy’s manages to cater to both Baby Boomer tourists and food-lovers, hiding remarkably clever dishes among singing waiters in a faux ’50s diner. My favorite is the peanut butter Belgian waffle ($8.99), unveiling an unholy matrimony of peanut butter, Bananas Foster and white chocolate mousse in one fell swoop. Executive chef Rick Giffen demonstrates remarkable restraint in not adding maple syrup, molasses and honey into the mix, but rest assured the result is still sweet enough without being cloying. (JB)

Inside the Stratosphere, (800) 998-6937


37 | Bulgogi Potato Pizza

K Jun Chicken

Korean-Mexican fusion has been in Vegas for a while now, with spicy and sour Asian ingredients sneaking into tacos and burritos. But what about Korean pizza? Got that, too. Hit K Jun Chicken in the Greenland Market food court and, for $10, experience the insanity of a hot, crisp, cheesy pizza laced with thinly sliced sweet potatoes and bulgogi, grilled beef marinated in soy, sugar, sesame and chili. It’ll confuse your taste buds in a spectacular way. (BR)

6850 Spring Mountain Road, 281-9310



38 | Bulgogi burrito

KoMex Fusion Express


I’ve espoused my adoration of KoMex’s bulgogi fried rice so often they named the dish after me. Why then include the bulgogi burrito instead? Well, chef Sonny Yi actually threatened bodily harm if I pimped the fried rice any further — apparently all that wok-frying is tough on his arm — so the swirl of smoke and  sweet in his fusion burrito is the next best option. Truthfully, their bulgogi is great in
any form, and the burrito ($4.99) is just as worthy a vehicle as the fried rice. Now only if he had a fried rice burrito … (JB)

633 N. Decatur Blvd. #H,


39 | Lhamejun (Armenian pizza)

Ron’s Market

The “Armenian pizza” at Ron’s Market is a bit of a misnomer, but it’s still the best cheap eat in town. Ninety cents gets you a disc of paper-thin dough spread with a veil of ground beef and chopped bell peppers, baked until the crust is golden. It’s best when reheated at home and treated the traditional way, with a squeeze of fresh lemon over the top. Bet that’s something you’d never do to your slice of Domino’s. (DL)

6085 S. Fort Apache Road #140, 431-6444


40 | Poutine

Naked City Pizza Shop

Sure, Vegas is nowhere near Canada, but since chef Chris Palmeri is from Buffalo, I figure he actually may be a Canuck. That’s the only possible explanation for his spot-on rendition of the Quebec staple. Palmeri layers his hand-cut fries with cheese curds and savory gravy in an artery-clogging epiphany ($4.25-$6.50). Next time you’re there, get your taste of the Great White North and demand to see his green card. We can’t be too careful, you know. (JB)

Inside Moondoggies Bar, 3240 Arville St.,


41 | Lamb kubideh

Flame Kabob

It’s been a long time since I’ve discovered food as shockingly good and dirt cheap as the Persian cuisine at Flame Kabob. The kubideh ($4.99 rack, $7.99 ground), kabobs made of minced meat and spices, are impossibly moist and flavorful, too big to finish but too good not to. The lamb version packs the biggest punch, rich in flavor yet light in texture. The colorful rice and fresh bread as side dishes are just as delicious. (BR)

multiple locations, 438-7400


42 | #10 pork roll sandwich

Lee’s Sandwiches

Having conquered Southern California, Lee’s Sandwiches has now infiltrated our Chinatown and, most recently, Henderson, and domination never tasted so good. Served on fresh baguettes, these banh mi sandwiches ($3.29) are crazy cheap no matter your filling of choice, but I recommend the cured pork and pork roll combo. Two kinds of pig are better than one, and it’s just the right meaty mixture to balance with the standard crisp, pickled vegetables. (BR)

multiple locations,


43 | Chip Butty

Crown & Anchor

We’ve all had French fries and buttered bread, but it would normally take a trip across the pond to see the two combined in a sandwich. To the likely dismay of the late Dr. Atkins, Crown & Anchor serves this iconic British snack — known as the chip butty — to hungry drunks, homesick Englishmen and plain old carb fiends. Douse yours in ketchup or add a side of curry and expats may mistake you for one of their own. (DL)

1350 E. Tropicana Ave.,


44 | Nose-to-tail steam table station

Yunnan Garden

Heat-seekers revere Yunnan Garden for its spicy Szechuan dishes, but there’s more to the menu than food doused in crimson oil. For true thrills, visit the steam table — a miniature cafeteria of curiosities — and assemble a custom plate of various odds and ends. On a recent visit, chicken feet, duck heads, and tripe were some of the more easily identifiable selections. Point at and taste the other items at your own risk. (DL)

3934 Schiff Drive, 869-8885


45 | Cheese bread


Magura, the valley’s only true Bulgarian restaurant, serves a surprisingly large local ethnic community. Strangely enough, pizza is amidst the menu staples. Amongst these pies lies the genesis of their cheese bread ($2.75). The dish is simple enough — a more-than-ample layer of cheese on housemade dough; however, the coup de grace is the Bulgarian spice mix on the crust — think of it as an Eastern European Krazy Jane’s Seasoned Salt. Best of all, it’s free! Other places dole out stale dinner buns while Magura serves addictive cheese bread. That’s how Bulgarians roll. (JB)

1305 Vegas Valley Drive #B, 693-6990


46 | Soondae

Honey Pig

You’ve conquered Korean barbecue and kimchi — now it’s time for something a little more challenging. Consider soondae, or pork blood sausage ($20), your stepping stone. At Honey Pig, this popular street snack is served on a large platter with chewy slivers of steamed pig ears on the side. Sure, it’s an awful lot of offal, but the flavors are mild and serve as a welcome respite from the spicier dishes on the table. (DL)

4725 Spring Mountain Road, 876-0711


47 | Special kitfo


Tartare doesn’t scare people, so why kitfo? Raw meat is raw meat, even if it is Ethiopian. Kitfo is a traditional homeland dish and Merkato serves an interesting variant. Their special kitfo ($9.50) melds lab (Ethiopian cheese) spinach and ample amounts of mitmita, a traditional spice blend, in an overwhelmingly-sized single dish. Scooped up with injera, a spongy flatbread serving as a utensil for most Ethiopian dishes, it’s more than enough for a meal in itself. (JB)

855 E. Twain Ave., 796-1231


48 | $20.12 Lunch with lavraki

Estiatorio Milos

No DEALicious list could be complete without the inclusion of Estiatorio Milos’ $20.12 lunch. Granted, it is a penny more this year but I think it’s completely worth the additional Lincoln. Amongst the entrée options, I always get the lavraki — a grilled and lightly seasoned Mediterranean sea bass that would cost you a minimum of $35 alone for dinner. With this in mind, your appetizer and dessert are just icing on the cake and completely worth every penny — even the additional one this year. (JB)

Inside The Cosmopolitan,  (877) 893-2003


49 | Arroz con pollo

Che Inka Chicken Grill 

I’m not a big fan of restaurant chicken, as it’s easily overcooked; however, Che Inka has got chicken dialed in. Their menu highlights a variety of Peruvian specialties, one of which showcases their rotisserie chicken — the arroz con pollo ($10.99). A quarter of a rotisserie chicken with perfectly crisped skin is served on cilantro-laden rice for an outrageously oversized meal. The spice mix infused into the skin is a revelation, while the rice could serve as a meal onto itself. And the chicken? Its moistness should be the standard for which all fowl strive. (JB)

845 S. Rainbow Blvd.,


50 | Brie and grape quesadilla

Sushi Freak

Quesadillas are the last thing you’d expect to find on an all-you-can-eat sushi menu, but at Sushi Freak, Mexico meets France for a creative finish to a Japanese meal. Wedges of brie are tossed with grapes and melted between flour tortillas until crisp — an idea that’s not so unusual (think cheese and crackers), except that it’s served alongside a bounty of poke, edamame, and yellowtail. At $8.50, it's a cheap reminder that Vegas is the ultimate melting pot. (DL)

8665 W. Flamingo Road #106, 453-8897

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