Brooklyn Bowl Rocks; 14 Places for Good Asian Food; Mexican Food, Pizza and Wings!




brooklyn bowl14

What’s Happening at Brooklyn Bowl?

 by nicole rupersburg

Score a perfect summer with a spectacular lineup at The Linq’s Brooklyn Bowl.

Eight different Cirque du Soleil shows; dozens of headlining singers, comedians, and magicians; and the biggest names in electronic dance music ensure there’s no shortage of entertainment on the Strip. But until lately, the options have been limited for those who want an intimate, few-frills concert. Enter Brooklyn Bowl.

At 80,000 square feet, the new Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, located in The Linq, isn’t intimate per se. It’s a sprawling entertainment complex with multiple bars and seating areas, craft beer and upscale comfort food, a 32-lane bowling alley, and a concert arena holding 2,000 people. But the venue is divided into separate sections so it never feels overwhelming. Plus, you can bowl while you listen, thanks to sophisticated acoustics that muffle the sound of pins dropping.

The third outpost in the franchise—the original is in Brooklyn, naturally, with a second in London—Brooklyn Bowl is a game changer for the Strip. This place couples the oversize, ultrachic style of a Strip nightclub with the laid-back vibe of a locals’ joint. The summer concert lineup has something for everyone—rock, rap, reggae, country, and much more. Founder Peter Shapiro prides himself on booking musicians who wouldn’t otherwise play Las Vegas—like New Orleans’s elite Stooges Brass Band (July 24–25), delivering a high-energy mix of traditional Big Easy brass, contemporary jazz, and hip-hop. Shapiro loves the sound of New Orleans jazz, but it’s a genre you won’t likely find at any of the city’s megaclubs or The Joint at Hard Rock. He wants to recreate the experience of wandering down Frenchmen Street in New Orleans and hearing live music pouring from every bar, all within the walls of Brooklyn Bowl.

Reggae fans will have the rare chance to witness the Wailers perform the best-selling reggae album in history—Legend, their greatest-hits collection with Bob Marley—in its entirety to celebrate its 30th anniversary (July 18).

You can groove to the Deadhead stylings of Chris Robinson Brotherhood ( July 10–12), an American blues-rock outfit led by the Black Crowesfrontman, who calls it “a farm-to-table psychedelic band,” or check out the bluegrass/ folk-pop/indie-rock/honky-tonk/ragtime punk group The Avett Brothers (August 29–31). And for those going through Electric Daisy withdrawal, four of the hottest young electronic dance acts—Disclosure (August 6), Chromeo (August 7), Flume (August 7), and Cut Copy (August 8)—will appear at Brooklyn Bowl for a makeshift three-night EDM showcase. The Linq, 702-862-2695




blue fin sushi

14 places for Asian food
Each week Neon spotlights a different cuisine in the Dining Guide, with Asian restaurants this week. Restaurants are rated on a letter-grade scale, from A to F. Opinions by R-J critic Heidi Knapp Rinella (H.K.R.) are indicated by initials. Price symbols are based on the cost of an average entree: $ = entrees less than $10; $$ = entrees $10 to $20; $$$ = entrees $20 to $30; and $$$$ = entrees more than $30.


3827 E. Sunset Road; 898-3358

Amlee’s is an old-school kind of place, Chinese-American with the emphasis on American. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, if that’s what you (like a legion of others) are looking for. The chicken chow mein was in the western style, with soft noodles, and the tomato beef had lots of large chunks of bright fresh tomatoes. And the Amlee’s Plate of appetizers was a true blast from the past. (3/22/13 H.K.R.)

Overall: N (for nostalgic)



3980 E. Sunset Road; 702-898-0037

The fact that Blue Fin differentiates between sushi and rolls was a good initial sign that was followed by a great experience in food, atmosphere and service. We loved the Cajun tuna nigiri sushi, the Marisa Special and Golden Tiger rolls and a Screaming Orgasm starter. (2/28/14 H.K.R.)

Overall: A



9570 S. Eastern Ave., Henderson; 567-4800

Dim sum isn’t exactly tough to find in the valley but most of the places that specialize in it are clustered in the Chinatown area, so no wonder Henderson’s East Ocean is packing them in. Well, that’s not just because of geography but also because of the fresh, well-prepared foods such as shrimp wontons, shrimp noodle rolls, char si bao, pork shu mai, chive dumplings, shrimp dumplings and yellow custard buns. And the carts arrived promptly and repeatedly. (4/6/12 H.K.R.)

Overall: A-



Eureka Casino, 595 E. Sahara Ave.; 702-794-3464

You may not be familiar with the Eureka Casino but Fat Choy took a peripatetic path in getting there and it’s worth seeking out. For what? For the fun Amer-Asian diner vibe and especially for the fusion dishes on which chef Sheridan Su built his reputation, like the Pork Belly Bao, Peking Duck Bao, Duck Fried Rice and Fat Choy Burger. (1/24/14 H.K.R.)

Overall: A



11041 S. Eastern Ave.; 990-4055

I Love Sushi is a “fusion” sushi restaurant, of the genre that are refining and redefining the art to be more in keeping with American tastes. To that end, there’s a heavy reliance on tuna and salmon, but we’re not complaining. We liked the Joe’s Special, Sex on the Beach, the I Love Sushi Special, the Lisa Hand Roll and the Tornado. And a vanilla mochi for dessert. And there’s teriyaki, teppanyaki and yakisoba, in case sushi’s not your thing. (1/15/14 H.K.R.)

Overall: A



6555 S. Jones Blvd.; 434-8856

Tapas restaurants have been successfully borrowing from other cuisines — including Japanese — for years, and Kyara just takes that a step further, with a menu that’s primarily (although not exclusively) Japanese in origin. We liked the cheese tempura, asparagus in bacon, butabara (pork belly), poke, peppered tuna, beef tataki and agedashi tofu, and the serene, soothing atmosphere. (10/5/12 H.K.R.)

Overall: A-



523 Fremont St.; 778-0888

Le Thai’s food, if not transcendent, does represent solid preparations of mostly traditional Thai dishes. Our favorite was our dessert, which was a pancake layered with Nutella and topped with a sweet omelet, but we also liked the pork jerky with waterfall sauce, the Three Color Curry and the Thai fried rice. But the best thing about Le Thai is that it’s perfect for downtown, a pleasant funky-artsy spot that morphs as the evening wears on. (7/13/12 H.K.R.)

Overall: A-



China Town Plaza, 4215 Spring Mountain Road; 702-579-4745

Mother’s succeeded where other Korean restaurants have failed in one major way: It cured us of our fear of kimchi. But the kimchi isn’t the only thing at Mother’s that’s carefully prepared — like your Korean mother would make, probably; we also liked the Dol Sot Bibimbap, bulgogi and dak bulgogi, as well as the various banchan side dishes. (5/16/14 H.K.R.)

Overall: B+



76 Horizon Ridge Parkway, Henderson; 702-508-2008

Thai restaurants have sprung up all over the valley and many of them are very good, but we’d have a hard time naming any that are better than Naga Thai, which offers a number of offbeat dishes among the old-familiars. We thoroughly enjoyed the Golden Cups, Miang Khum, cucumber salad, tom kah, panang curry and garlic-and-black-pepper stir-fry. (11/15/13 H.K.R.)

Overall: A



8595 S. Decatur Blvd. (also at 2051 N. Rainbow Blvd., 10144 W. Flamingo Road and in Pahrump); 702-868-9888

The owners of Ohjah Japanese Steakhouse have a stated aim of making Japanese cuisine — especially teppanyaki — more accessible, and it seems they’ve succeeded. We liked Ohjah’s stack-it pricing, and especially liked the onion soup, salad, noodles and vegetables included with the Hibachi Basic Entree, as well as the scallops, shrimp and sukiyaki beef. (5/30/14 H.K.R.)

Overall: A



Luxor, 3900 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 702-262-4852

Rice &Company didn’t offer much in the way of surprises, but sometimes that’s a good thing. We liked the innovative sushi fusion rolls the Wock and Roll and the Candy Cane, and the Blue Crab &Rock Shrimp Roll, though we thought the Garlic Chicken With Vegetables would have benefited from garlic throughout instead of in intermittent cloves. (12/13/13 H.K.R.)

Overall: B



5985 W. Sahara Ave.; 838-2927

The notion that Americans’ idea of Japanese food has shifted from “steakhouses” to sushi bars was reinforced at Sushi Fever, whose teppan tables sat cold and unused while the sushi bar and dining room were bustling. And no wonder, with fusion rolls such as the Monkey Roll with its slabs of fried banana topped with crab and special sauce, and Linda’s Special, its spicy crab and avocado wrapped with tuna, salmon and yellowtail and topped with garlic shrimp, raw onion and jalapeno, and served with a truly special sauce. Whew! We also liked the high-value two-item combo, for which we chose shrimp tempura and pork tonkatsu. (3/23/12 H.K.R.)

Overall: B+



10890 S. Eastern Ave.; 837-6575

Finding little-known gems is the best part of this job, and Thai Thai — a little jewel box of a place — is one of them. We loved the truly exemplary fresh rolls, plus the Tom Kha Gai, shrimp and scallop basil, Pumpkin Curry and sweet sticky rice with coconut ice cream. (2/1/13 H.K.R.)

Overall: A



375 N. Stephanie St., Henderson; 702-834-5578

“Fine Japanese dining” in an old diner-style restaurant is a visual non sequitur, but while Tokyo Boys doesn’t quite achieve the “fine” level, it definitely comes close. We loved the braised pork belly, the housemade gyoza and the Tiger Roll and liked the Banzai roll, and the hybrid interior. (4/18/14 H.K.R.)

Overall: B+




A Taste of Mercadito, Pizza Bianca and Blue Ribbon Chicken at the Bowl
By Grace Bascos

Red Rock Resort’s new Mexican restaurant Mercadito is now open to the public, but I was able to get a few bites in during the spot’s pre-opening play days. Based on what I sampled—all of which was well-balanced, with interesting flavors and riffs on well-known dishes—Mercadito is a welcome addition to Las Vegas’ dining scene. The restaurant’s Toreado guacamole combines the familiar avocados with sautéed, pureed onions and Serrano chilies for heat. The addition of Maggi (a seasoning sauce similar to soy sauce) delivers an umami punch and a whole new level of flavor. Also, as a nacho aficionado, I am looking forward to Mercadito’s version, which has been created just for the first Las Vegas outpost, and promises to be properly constructed with even distribution of cheese and chipotle mojo so that no chip feels left out.

Meanwhile, on the Strip, the 90-second Neapolitan-style pizza cranked out by 800 Degrees (in Monte Carlo, 702-730-6800) comes in the traditional margherita style, topped with tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil that’s supposed to be an homage to the Italian flag. But I’m more interested in the bianca, or white version, that puts that creamy buffalo cheese right on the chewy, blistered crust along with pungent Parmigiano Reggiano, garlic, oregano and fruity olive oil. Add on any other toppings you have a taste for, but I’m partial to the Tartufo, the specialty pie that uses the bianca as a base and adds truffle cheese, mushrooms, roasted garlic and arugula.

Some of the best chicken wings in town are by Blue Ribbon, and while you can certainly order a bucket of them at the Cosmopolitan’s installation (702-736-0808), you can score them for half the price all summer at Brooklyn Bowl (in the Linq, 702-862-2695) from noon to 4 p.m. and again from midnight to close. The Bowl has also introduced a weekend brunch that includes challah French toast, a meat frittata and two dishes whose names alone have intrigued me to try them: the Jim Morrison, which involves a 10-inch pancake and more fried chicken, and the Sloppy Josephine, made with queso fresco, baked eggs, mashed potatoes and Sloppy Joe meat. Between the aforementioned dishes, the ice cream desserts benefiting Three Square, the bowling and, oh yeah, all the huge musical acts onstage nightly, it seems as if Brooklyn Bowl wants to become your summer destination.

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