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Summer Dining 2018: The Grill

Goong Raw Platter Sides
Kalbi, Courtesy of Christie Vanover
Kalbi, Courtesy of Christie Vanover

The Grill


Our favorite grilled and barbecued dishes in the valley

[ DC Bonus: All the grilled goodness we couldn’t fit in the print edition!

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Tri-tip at Big B’s Texas BBQ

The Lone Star State is cattle territory, something celebrated abundantly with the tender tri-tip at Big B’s Texas BBQ, smoked with mesquite and oak logs trucked in from southern Texas. On the side, opt for creamed corn, fried okra, and cornbread. There’s also smoked pork, chicken, and turkey if you want to branch out from Longhorns. 3019 St. Rose Parkway #130, GT


Burnt ends at Rollin’ Smoke Barbeque

Nestled in an industrial area under the shadow of DI on Highland, the original Rollin’ Smoke feels like an authentic BBQ joint. For your immersive foray, just sidle up to a picnic table with an order of juicy, smoky burnt ends, cheese-laden mac and cheese, and mash rife with all the makings of a loaded baked potato. Multiple locations, JB

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Prime rib at Bob Taylor’s Ranch House

For decades, Las Vegas has been a prime rib kind of town. At Bob Taylor’s Ranch House, hefty slabs of beef are infused with mesquite smoke over a dramatic indoor open grill. Upgrade your plate into a surf-and-turf classic with a lobster tail on the side. Other entrées include honey barbecue chicken, rack of lamb, and seared steaks. Just don’t fill up first on the complimentary garlic cheese bread — it’s addicting. 6250 Rio Vista St., GT


Pulled pork and pig roasts at Mountain Springs Saloon

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Get your motor running up Blue Diamond Highway to the venerable Mountain Springs Saloon for a bit of free-wheeling eating amid pinyon pines. The roadhouse serves up pulled pork sandwiches and burgers with plenty of beers and whiskey shots on the side. Unexpected dishes include chicken gumbo and hobo stew (hamburger meat and mixed veggies on noodles). On the last Saturday of each month, they roast a whole hog party-style. 9350 Williams Ranch Road, 702-875-4266 GT


Marinated meat combo platter at Goong Korean BBQ 

Going to Goong? Go hungry. Feel free to nibble upon the ample banchan, traditional Korean sides ranging from spicy fish cakes to marinated radishes. But don’t overindulge, because ribeye, pork outside skirt, and chicken await, each marinated flavorfully without obscuring its inherent flavors. All you have to do is bask in the heat and the scent in this impromptu meat spa. 7729 S. Rainbow Blvd. #5, 702-979-9118 JB


Chicken Asado at El Pollo Mobile

You can’t miss the billows of smoke that waft above El Pollo Mobile food truck. They emanate from a wide, mesquite-fueled grill filled with whole chickens. Paired with rice, refried pinto beans, and tortillas, they’re saving graces for potluck parties. If the aroma makes you  hungry while passing by on errands, turn around for a few quick street tacos and a can of Orange Crush. 2425 N. Rainbow Blvd., GT


Tri-tip at Big B’s Texas BBQ

Photography by Sabin Orr

The Lone Star State is cattle territory, something celebrated abundantly with the tender tri-tip at Big B’s Texas BBQ, smoked with mesquite and oak logs trucked in from southern Texas. On the side, opt for creamed corn, fried okra, and cornbread. There’s also smoked pork, chicken, and turkey if you want to branch out from Longhorns. 3019 St. Rose Parkway #130, GT


Kushi at Kyara Japanese Tapas

Japan’s rendition of grilling utilizes binchōtan, a white charcoal native to the country which imparts a strong smokiness to ingredients typically cooked on skewers — aka kushi. Ingredients run the gamut from asparagus and shiitake mushrooms to tsukune (ground chicken and pork) and negima (chicken thigh). And while both tare (teriyaki) and shio (salt) preparations are available, the milder shio highlights the robata’s smokiness more. 6555 S. Jones Blvd. #120, JB


Laotian beef jerky at Sister’s Oriental Market

For a surprising patio-party appetizer, add beef jerky from the foodways of Laos to your spread. At Sister’s Oriental Market, chefs dry cuts of lean beef that have been marinated in fish sauce (nam pla), soy sauce, and black pepper. Then, the umami-laden strips are flash-fried and served with a potent tomato-chili chutney for dipping. 1732 Fremont St. #A, 702-386-9557 GT


Teriyaki steak at Island Flavor

Home to tens of thousands of ex-pat Hawaiians, Las Vegas is often called the “ninth island.” Some of the best local Aloha State cuisine is served at Island Flavor, including grilled steak with sweet-salty teriyaki sauce. Beyond beef, chicken dishes are numerous, from furikake to tonkatsu styles. Ahi tuna arrives as poke, both raw and pan-fried. Whatever main dish you chose, loosen your hula skirt and order an extra scoop of the incredibly rich macaroni salad. 8090 S. Durango Drive #103, GT


Beef brisket sandwich at Jessie Rae’s BBQ

Assembled with both fatty and lean smoked meat, the double brisket sandwich at Jessie Rae’s BBQ is a double whammy of beefiness served inside a locally baked bun with crisp coleslaw. Add sauces from traditional tangy-sweet tomato and North Carolina vinegar to South Carolina mustard and Alabama mayonnaise styles, plus an incendiary hot pepper potion. Other meats on the menu include pork spare ribs, chicken, and hot links. 5611 S. Valley View Blvd., GT


Smoked Jerk Chicken Wings at Jammyland

Enter Downtown’s new reggae-inspired bar, and dig into a plate of 24-hour smoked jerk chicken wings. With deep hickory nuances and hints of allspice, cumin, and chili pepper, they weigh in at a third of a pound each. Other Jamaican specialties include curried beef patties and smoke-braised oxtails. 1121 S. Main St., GT


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Burnt ends at Fox Smokehouse BBQ

Hidden away near a Boulder City industrial park, Fox Smokehouse BBQ is the brick-and-mortar outpost for a seasoned competitive BBQ team hailing from the gateway to the Hoover Dam. There’s no need to hit the competitive circuit to sample their wares; instead, meander down the 11 — our new freeway! — to partake of lightly smoked, flavorful ribs, fork-tender brisket and meaty burnt ends. Get the latter seared in spicy BBQ sauce with a side of green chile-laced mac & cheese for the ultimate savory and gooey combination. JB

1007 Elm St., Boulder City,


Shrimp paste sugarcane skewers at Pho So #1

Fragrant with lemongrass, shrimp paste grilled on sugarcane skewers (tom nuong vi) is a celebratory taste of Vietnam. Imagine a tropical seafood meatball appetizer on a stick. One of Chinatown's first eateries, the venerable Pho So #1 was recently upgraded by its owners, the Vu family of District One, Le Pho and Viet Noodle Bar fame. The overall menu is vast, from noodle soups to rice dishes. GT

4745 Spring Mountain Road,


Chinese roast duck and pork at BBQ King

When it comes to Chinese barbecue, it doesn't get more authentic in Las Vegas than BBQ King. Stop by the unassuming establishment for soy-lacquered roast duck and pork. Planning a backyard feast of imperial scale? Order ahead for a whole suckling pig. GT

5650 West Spring Mountain Road #A,


 “BLT” BBQ oysters at Other Mama

Chef Dan Krohmer’s westside haunt is known for its rotating array of raw oysters but his “BLT” BBQ oysters are a destination dish. The mollusks are splashed with sake, topped with a complex compound butter including shallots, Nueske’s bacon and harissa, and cooked into a bubbling, buttery burst of smokiness. JB

3655 S. Durango Drive, #6,


Hot links at John Mull's Road Kill Grill

Sausages usually don't take the barbecue spotlight, but they're essential in smoked cuisine — like the beef hot links at John Mull's Road Kill Grill. Made with natural pork casings, they have a snappy bite and a mild taste that invites a slathering of spicy sauce. Beef rib tips and pulled chicken are popular additional choices at the outdoor-seating compound. Be prepared for long lines that are more than worth the wait. GT

300 Thom Blvd.,


Baby back pork ribs at Ellis Island

Barbecue dishes often become local traditions, like the baby back ribs that have drawn fervent fans to Ellis Island BBQ for decades. Slow-cooked and doused in a tangy root beer-infused sauce, they're accompanied by corn on the cob, baked beans, cole slaw, and garlic bread. A tried-and-true plating. Not into pork ribs? They also serve barbecued chicken, and the nearby Village Pub and Café does a brisk trade in roasted prime rib and grilled top sirloin steaks. The casino is currently celebrating 50 years, and recently opened the “Front Yard” beer garden to embrace the joys of outdoor living. GT

4178 Koval Lane,

Trash ribs at Virgil’s Real Barbecue

The “trash ribs” at Virgil's Real Barbecue aren’t scraps or castoffs, but rather petite pork ribs marinated in a mild sauce. After slow cooking, the tidbits are served with mustard coleslaw for an extra punch. Other proteins included pulled pork and chicken, as well as beef brisket and grilled catfish. Located on the LINQ Promenade, Virgil's is a fun venue to play tourist for a day. GT

LINQ promenade,


Char-broiled oysters at Lola’s: A Louisiana Kitchen

At Lola’s, blistering hot oysters on the half-shell arrive at your table fresh from a showcase open grill, layered with charred Pecorino Romano atop a garlicky lemon butter. For those familiar with the Big Easy, the bivalves are reminders of such New Orleanian stalwarts such as Drago’s or Acme, minus the tariff to Louis Armstrong International. Just remember to scrape the char from the shells and sop up the buttery leftovers with the accompanying grilled bread. JB

Multiple locations,


Boneless kalbi on a stick at KoMex Fusion

When the second KoMex location opened on Buffalo, chef/owner Sonny Yi inherited a liquor license. So naturally, he assembled some snacks to pair with Korean bar staples such as soju and Hite. Enter meat on a stick — specifically, slightly-sweet short ribs on skewers — the grilled meat a foil to alcohol’s sweet, sweet burn. And if you’re not in a kalbi mood, Yi’s got you covered with unctuous pork belly and spicy chicken skewers also. JB

Multiple locations,


More Summer Dining

Summer Dining 2018: The Drinks

Summer Dining 2018: The Patio

Summer Dining 2018: The picnic

Summer Dining 2018: Our favorite picnic-worthy parks and must-gave gear to grab