Vegas hits the jackpot

The city's new restaurants offer a big payout

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Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill

Puck's new prototype restaurant resides in the middle of the MGM Grand casino. "The ultimate California patio," he's calling it. We'd call it a Las Vegas-style diner (views over the shoulders of blackjack players being rare on California decks).

He does have the ultimate Las Vegas snack ― crisp, warm, paper-thin potato chips drizzled with creamy blue cheese sauce and pungent white truffle oil; pair them with a glass of champagne.

All the grill favorites are here in fresh, fine form: crab cakes, Puck's signature duck bratwurst sausage, and wood-fired pizzas. Drinks are even better ― try a prickly pear mojito or a fruity "chop chop." $$$. MGM Grand, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; or 702/891-3000.


A kaleidoscopic wall behind the sushi bar draws people into this Japanese restaurant. With executive chef Eiji Takase's fresh fish, in sweet, earthy, briny rolls of salmon, shiso, and avocado topped with salmon roe, or the ultimate silky toro sushi, that would be enough. But dining rooms follow ― one a kelp-forest world of both traditional and innovative dishes, like miso-glazed wild salmon with a lotus root-and-ginger sauce; another, a line of teppan grills where simple cooking becomes performance art.

Here, stellar ingredients ― Kobe-style beef from Oregon, organic chicken from California, oyster mushrooms ― are grilled in front of you and offered up in a series of courses. Sake served in flights or cocktails shows its range of styles and quality. Try the Kah Pah ― cucumber sorbet shaken with sake and vodka ― with a salmon roll. $$$$. MGM Grand, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; or 702/891-3001.



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