3 Restaurants on the Vegas Strip in 3 Hours
Three foodies enjoy a grazing lunch at three restaurants on
The Las Vegas Strip in three hours.
We were looking to graze on The Strip, to try lots of dishes in a fun and relaxed manner. We were looking for inspired original innovative tastes, famous chefs, trendsetting ambiance, within walking distance of each other, menus that would fit harmoniously with each other, with items that we could all share. (And they had to be open for lunch, as many high-end restaurants are not).
Turns out we chose 3 very different and exciting restaurants with mostly Asian fare: Momofuku by David Chang with a menu that draws influence from the US, Korea, and Japan. China Poblano by José Andrés with dishes encompassing a global voyage that has connected the cuisines of the East and West. And the new Din Tai Fung, a world-renowned Taiwanese restaurant that specializes in soup dumplings and noodles.
How To Plan for 3 Restaurants in 3 Hours
Reservations strongly recommended.
Start at the Aria on the Casino Floor next to the Guest Elevators.
Din Tai Fung 12:30pm -1:30
Walk across the pedestrian bridge to The Cosmopolitan to Level 2, Boulevard Tower (about 10 minutes).
China Poblano 1:45pm -2:40
Walk across the hall to Momofuku (about 2 minutes).
Momofuku 2:45pm -3:45
Note: We let our servers know that we would be grazing, not having a full meal, and would be leaving in about an hour.
Din Tai Fung
Each Xiao Long Bao is carefully weighed (16 grams of meat, and 5 grams of dough) and folded by hand to achieve the signature Golden Ratio of 18 lucky folds. It is stuffed with Kurobuta pork marinated in a proprietary blend of seasonings.
Xiao Long Bao means “little dumpling in a basket.” These broth-filled dumplings are steamed in a bamboo basket.
There is a very specific way to eat soup dumplings: Pour soy sauce and vinegar into the ginger dish with a 1:3 ratio soy sauce to vinegar. With chopsticks, dip dumpling into the mixture. Place dumpling onto the soup spoon. Poke a small hole into the dumpling with the tip of a chopstick to release the broth. Add a few strands of ginger to the top of the dumpling. Then eat carefully, as the liquid is hot.
Wontons are filled with shrimp and Kurobuta pork, served with the signature house spicy sauce and topped with garlic and green onion. Watch the wontons being made by hand.
Beverage pairing: Okunomatsu Ginjo
Interesting fact: The Din Tai Fung huge dining room at the Aria seats almost 1000 people. The space was previously the Aria Café, the largest 24-hour café on The Strip.
China Poblano – Noodles & Tacos
Tacos and noodles come together in a festive setting recalling the vibrant street markets of Mexico and China. Inspired by José Andrés’ travels through these parts of the world, the restaurant brings authentic ingredients and techniques from both cultures, with a healthy dash of José’s unique brand of creativity.
My nephew, Stone, was telling us that Birria Tacos with Consommé had been trending all over social media, and we had to give them a try. So we found probably the only restaurant in Vegas from a Michelin-starred chef that specializes Asian food and well as birria tacos!
Read how Birria became America’s latest taco trend here.
Quesabirria is heirloom blue corn tortillas stuffed with lamb, beef, Menonita and Oaxacan cheeses, onions, cilantro, and served with consommé.
Dan Dan Mian is José’s take on an original Chinese street classic: hand-cut wheat noodles with a rich Szechuan ground pork sauce, toasted peanuts, cilantro and chile pequin, finished with Chinkiang vinegar.
Tuna Ceviche is sushi-grade ahi tuna tossed with a soy dressing, avocado, toasted pecans, cilantro, red onion, fresno and serrano chiles, topped with crispy amaranth.
Beverage pairing: Poema, NV Brut, Spain
Interesting fact: The legend of “La China Poblana” is about a beautiful young Asian princess who was captured by pirates in the early 1600s and taken to The Philippines. There, she was sold to a Spanish ship captain and sailed with him to Acapulco. In Acapulco she was again sold to a Mexican merchant from Puebla, where she would live happily as the man and his wife’s adopted daughter. The townsfolk adored the pretty and kind princess, and eventually the women of Puebla imitated her colorful exotic clothing. They fondly nicknamed her “China Poblana” (meaning Chinese Girl from Puebla). Later in life, she lived in a convent and had mystical visions. Many saw her as a prophetess. She died at 82 years of age on January 5, 1688.
“Momofuku, the name, is Japanese; David Chang is Korean American; the food eludes easy, or really any, classification. There is a focus on good technique, on seasonality and sustainability, on informed and intelligent creativity. But it is deliciousness by any means that they’re really going for.”
From Momofuku: A Cookbook
Shrimp Buns | spicy mayo, pickled onion, iceberg
Pork Belly Buns | hoisin, scallion, cucumber
Spicy Tuna Bap | sesame rice, beni shoga, cucumber
Miso Black Cod | mushroom, dashi, braised daikon
Spicy Cucumbers | togarashi, marcona almonds
Beverage pairing: Honjozo Akitabare Momofuku | Akita Japan
Interesting fact: Momofuku means “lucky peach” in Japanese and was also an homage to Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen, the staple that had gotten Chang through late nights in his Trinity college dorm. He also freely admits that he liked how the word sounded like “motherf***er.”
Your Hosts – Don, Stone, and Lori Lynn
3 Restaurants in 3 Hours from the 3 Foodies who also brought you the Nashville Hot Chicken Tasting in Vegas!