The burgeoning food scene in Las Vegas' Chinatown District has given the city a boon of authentic Chinese restaurants, among them Chengdu Taste. Like many of the area's restaurants, it's located in a strip mall, but don't let the nondescript exterior fool you. The menu is full of Szechuan food, much of it loaded with rich spiciness, all of it full of authentic flavors. Beef, chicken, fish, lamb, pork, seafood and vegetable dishes are cooked in a variety of ways, most spicy enough to ensure you'll want to have a beverage nearby. Several dishes come with in the Hot & Spicy style: frog in casserole, chicken gizzard, pig ear and pork belly, but the menu is full of spicy options. Other menu choices include items like sautéed beef with bamboo, chicken cooked in hot chili pepper, steamed whole fish and ginger scallion lamb, among many others.
Recommended for Chinese because: The authentic, spicy Szechuan food at Chengdu Taste draws both locals and tourists.
Terrisa's expert tip: Chengdu Taste has a large selection of vegetable dishes that also pack a spicy punch, including cabbage with spicy pepper, eggplant in garlic sauce and shredded dried tofu in chili pepper sauce.
Mott 32 brings flavors from Cantonese, Szechuan and Beijing to its dishes. The comfortable yet refined setting includes a bar and lounge, all in a well-designed space. The menu offers an array of wonderful dishes to be savored. BBQ options include the Apple Wood Roasted 42 Days Peking Duck in the "Signature Mott 32 Cut," Peking Style Spicy Crispy Duck Rack, minced duck with lettuce cup, Iberico pork and crispy roasted pork belly. Steamed, baked and fried dim sum is offered--each artfully prepared and full of flavor. Among the many exceptional dishes, you'll find Bird's Nest dishes, Main Lobster with black truffle and egg white and braised whole Japanese sea cucumber with oyster sauce.
Recommended for Chinese because: Mott 32 takes Chinese cuisine to a new level with artful preparations and unusual dishes rarely found in Las Vegas.
Terrisa's expert tip: Happy Hour at Mott 32 offers excellent deals with $8 wine, $9 cocktails, and dim sum and appetizers for under $10. From 4 to 5 p.m., only cocktails are available, but from 5 to 7 p.m. and again at 9 to 11 p.m., food and drinks are offered.
The posh new Red Plate at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas brings upscale Chinese dining to the resort. Roasted meats, Chinese hot pot and dim sum are menu highlights, but the selections cover a wide range. Starting dishes include a King Crab spring roll, crispy tofu with fried garlic or abalone in cold sake. For dim sum, choose from such tempting options as pork potstickers, caviar taro puff with quail egg or lobster shumai. Chinese style BBQ and roasted dishes include BBQ Iberico pork with a honey glaze, roasted chicken or, with pre-order, a whole suckling pig or Peking duck. Beef, vegetable and seafood selections use the best ingredients for the artfully prepared dishes. Live seafood is offered, as are abalone and dried seafood.
Recommended for Chinese because: Red Plate offers a menu full of authentic Chinese cuisine with an upscale, modern influence.
Terrisa's expert tip: Red Plate's wine list is extensive, featuring both domestic and imported wines, and the cocktail menu offers some tasty creations with ingredients like Lychee, yuzu, Matcha Tea and Japanese Whisky.
China Mama is one of Chinatown's standouts for Chinese food. The comfortable, but unfussy dining room gives diners an inviting space to enjoy the delicious fare. Appetizers include vegetable spring rolls, wood ear mushroom salad and cucumber salad with mashed garlic. For pastries, you'll find potstickers and steamed juicy pork buns, among other options. Seafood selections include sliced fish with pickled mustard, sliced fish in hot chili oil and honey walnut shrimp. Beef, lamb, pork and poultry choices range from the expected (orange chicken) to distinctive (tea-smoked duck). Guests can stick with something they know, but why not be daring and try something new? China Mama has a menu sure to tempt you with something you haven't eaten before.
Recommended for Chinese because: Authentic flavors and well-crafted dishes continue to win new fans at China Mama.
Terrisa's expert tip: Don't forget to order dessert at China Mama, which features Japanese Mochi Ice Cream, ice cream with Matcha, red bean sticky rice balls or wine-brewed black sesame sticky rice balls.
District One is a Las Vegas Chinatown favorite. Its food isn't strictly Chinese, instead of taking inspiration from a handful of Asian regions: Vietnam, Thailand, China and Japan. The menu features a variety of plates, like edamame, spring rolls, chicken wings, grilled whole squid, fried calamari, fresh oysters, deep-fried soft shell crab and a host of other dishes. If you like pho, you'll find a whole section of the menu for this Vietnamese soup--the restaurant is well-known for it, especially the whole Maine lobster pho. Other entrees include dishes like Clay Pot Chicken Rice with Chinese sausage, steak and eggs and Coconut Pork Belly. For adult beverages, a full bar offers wine, beer, cocktails and sake.
Recommended for Chinese because: District One's Asian Fusion dishes offers guests an array of original, flavorful dishes that draw inspiration from several regions.
Terrisa's expert tip: District One offers a reasonably priced menu, but for even better deals visit during happy hour, Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
At first, Ping Pang Pong at the Gold Coast feels like a typical casino restaurant, with rows of gaming machines, just steps away. But that's only until you sit down and start reading over the extensive menu. You'll find familiar favorites like Mongolian Beef, Orange Chicken and sweet and sour, as well as dishes you wouldn't expect, like lamb tenderloin or stir-fried jellyfish and sliced roast duck. The recently re-decorated restaurant is casual and welcoming, offering a large enough menu that both American favorites and more traditional Chinese dishes can co-exist. Frequently winning reader awards from the local press, Ping Pang Pong continues to be one of Las Vegas' most popular Chinese restaurants.
Recommended for Chinese because: Ping Pang Pong's casual, welcoming atmosphere and a wide selection of Asian dishes make it a perennial favorite in Las Vegas.
Terrisa's expert tip: Ping Pang Pong is located at the Gold Coast, which is just west of the Strip. Parking is plentiful and free here, so there's no need to worry about extra costs for parking.
The beautifully decorated Blossom provides the perfect background for the restaurant's fine Chinese food. Both traditional Chinese dishes and Americanized plates are served here, with the menu featuring 100 items to choose from. Appetizers include egg rolls, BBQ ribs, lettuce wraps and potstickers. Seafood selections are numerous and include lobster, crab, prawns, clams and live fish served steamed, fried, braised or garlic pickled. Chicken and beef dishes cover a range of styles and spice levels, but with a menu this large, you'll also find veal, duck, pork and more. Noodles include chow mein, vermicelli, chow fun, and the fried rice comes in many varieties.
Recommended for Chinese because: Blossom's elegant atmosphere and an extensive menu of 100 Chinese dishes combine to create a memorable dining experience.
Terrisa's expert tip: Blossom's Signature Tasting Menu is a great deal at $79 per person, and the wine pairing is $39 per person. The menu features main courses like beef tenderloin and crisp-fried Chilean Sea Bass.
Flock & Fowl isn't your average Chinese restaurant. The menu here is succinct, and their signature dish is the Hainanese chicken rice (to use their words, they have an "obsession" with perfect chicken rice). This unassuming small restaurant keeps attracting attention and fans because of the flavor-filled food. Sauces are made in-house, including the soy. No MSG is used, and they strive to use organic ingredients as much as possible. In addition to the signature Hainan chicken rice, the menu offers a nice selection of cravings-worthy dishes like bone broth, mac & cheese, the very popular chicken wings or fried chicken. Flock and Fowl also offers a cocktail menu full of tasty, original creations.
Recommended for Chinese because: A stylish, casual interior sets the stage for a meal at Flock & Fowl, known for its Hainanese chicken rice.
Terrisa's expert tip: The "Flocktail Hour" happens daily from 5 â" 7 p.m. and again from 10 p.m. until the restaurant closes. Enjoy drinks for $3 to $6, chicken wings for $1 and select appetizers for half off.
Wing Lei at Wynn offers guests refined Chinese cuisine in an elegant and stylish setting. The restaurant was recognized with one Michelin star during the time when Michelin rated Las Vegas restaurants, and it was the first Chinese restaurant in North America to receive this distinction. Guests can dine on a variety of delectable dishes, including the Imperial Peking Duck, carved table-side, or the Garlic Beef Tenderloin with heirloom bell peppers, sugar peas, mushrooms and black pepper sauce. Live seafood offerings include clams, prawns, crab, cod, and Maine Lobster. Numerous chef's selections are noted, like the marinated jellyfish, wok-tossed sea cucumber, pan-seared lamb chops and braised pork belly. Fried rice, chow mein, hand-pulled noodles and steamed rice are available, and the menu includes vegetarian selections.
Recommended for Chinese because: Acclaimed Wing Lei's Chinese dishes showcase the best of Cantonese, Shanghai and Szechuan flavors in a fine dining atmosphere.
Terrisa's expert tip: Wing Lei offers vegetarian fare that goes well beyond a few side dishes. Selections include tofu dishes, Wok-Tossed Mushrooms and Three Cup Eggplant with basil, ginger, scallions, garlic and a soy reduction.
In Las Vegas, many people associate Hakkasan with its nightclub, but it also includes a noted Cantonese restaurant. Hakkasan has outposts in cities throughout the world is known for dishes like the signature Peking duck with caviar, crispy chicken and Pipa Duck. In Las Vegas, the menu also includes dishes exclusive to Vegas, like the crispy prawn with pineapple and the braised supreme seafood in abalone dressing. Hakkasan is fine dining, and the eye-catching interior design gives diners an appropriate setting to enjoy the remarkable food. A team of talented chefs is at the helm in the kitchen, creating dishes that offer a refined version of classic cuisine. An extensive selection of wines and cocktails is also offered.
Recommended for Chinese because: The enchanting Shanghai-inspired design of Hakkasan Restaurant provides the perfect setting for the authentic Cantonese cuisine.
Terrisa's expert tip: On Thursdays at 10 pm, enjoy All That and Dim Sum, which offers a menu of small bites and cocktails. Hakkatini Nights happens nightly from 6 to 7 p.m., also offering small plates and drinks.