In keeping with the Eater tradition, we asked a group of restaurant critics, journalists, bloggers and friends of the website to weigh up the year of eating. Your answers to the annual Year in Eater survey will be published in multiple posts. Next, the restaurants share their favorite meal of the year.
What was your best restaurant meal in 2020, either take away or dinner?
Melanie Lee, Esser Vegas: The collaboration between Chef Morimoto and Manzo at Eataly was amazing. It was one of my last meals in the restaurant before the casinos closed, but it would still have been memorable because it was such a great meal.
Bob Barnes, editor of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional and Las Vegas writers for Gayot:: I was fortunate enough to be invited to the TABLE (True Aussie Beef and Lamb Experience) pop-up dinner at Every Grain, a five-course meal made with Australian proteins made by Chef Roy Villacrusis, namely Wagyu , Lamb, goat, and grass-fed beef. The chef cited his Filipino background as every dish had an Asian flair, including kilawin wagyu beef and kinilaw prawns with crab fat, coconut vinaigrette, labuyo pepper, and chicharon flakes. Kalbi of shaved lamb loin in Dolsot, a game on Bibimap with lamb instead of beef; Goat caldereta with root vegetables and steamed panda rice; and binchotan grilled grass-fed beef kushiyaki with cauliflower cream, maitake and Honshimeji mushrooms in Wagyu fat and truffled soy butter.
Emmy Kasten, freelance writer: My best restaurant meals of 2020 were hands down at Kaiseki Yuzu. Chef Kaori Azeuchi’s intricate and elaborate presentations shine even brighter at his new location on Spring Mountain. The multi-course “Shou” menu illuminated Uni and Toro to melt in your mouth, as well as Japanese A5 Wagyu beef that we cooked ourselves on individual hot stone plates.
Ken Miller, editor of Las Vegas Magazine:: A brunch at Chica in the Venetian.
Philip Tzeng, food blogger at Las Vegas Fill:: It is a tie and I apologize in advance for the lack of brevity. Enjoy the culinary talents of Chef Michael Rubinstein at Momofuku for the last time before moving to Raiders HQ. It was my first dinner on the Strip Post Lock Down, highlighted by a ton of truffles and fried chicken caviar 5.0 in their lovely private dining room. The one-day collaboration between Partage’s Chef Yuri Szarzewski and Kaiseki Yuzu’s Chef Kaoru Azeuchi was a showcase of amazing techniques and flavors for an unforgettable seven-course meal at Partage. Can’t wait for the next one at Kaiseki Yuzu with a completely different menu in due course.
Krista Diamond, Freelance Writer at Eater Vegas: I’m very glad that Good Pie is now open in the Arts District because honestly we all need pizza in our lives right now. The grandma-style cakes they are known for have the best crust.
Rob Kachelriess, Las Vegas writer Thrillist:: A couple of Sparrow + Wolf meals really stand out. Your new brunch is full of inventive dishes and a welcome change from the same old bacon and benedicts. I love how juice is freshly squeezed to order custom cocktails. We also ordered Sparrow + Wolf’s Thanksgiving takeaway, a huge feast with subtle Asian modifications to popular holiday dishes. Every bite was delicious.
Sonja Swanson, Food and culture author: A few months ago I indulged in a delicious take-away meal from Oh La La French Bistro: steak fries, a chevre chaud salad, and a lemon tart for dessert. At home it wasn’t quite what it would have been there, but I avoid eating inside as I see my parents.
Louiie Victa, Eater Vegas photographer and co-host of Two hot cooks and a microphone:: If I had to name just one, it would be Toridokoro Raku. I was blown away by the way Chef Endo Mitsui interpreted every part of the chicken. For takeaway, JamonJamon tapas blew me away from the quality of their food.
Lorraine Moss, co-host of Two hot cooks and a microphone:: Partage for delicious French enjoyment. When I took a bite of Saboyan with truffles, my eyes rolled back and I experienced pure joy in eating.
Nina King, Las Vegas Magazine Editor in Chief: Din Tai Fung was a big surprise to me because I was never the biggest dumpling fan. But I have to say the vegetarian menu was fabulous.
Melinda Sheckells, editor OffTheStrip.com, OnTheStrip.com:: Mizumi in Wynn. While this is a mainstay, her new chef, Min Kim, has really revolutionized the experience and it always reminds me to dine at his very upscale sister restaurant in Wynn Macau.
Diana Edelman, founder Vegan, baby:: Chikyu Vegan Sushi & Izakaya. Although they are only open for dinner a few weeks a year, the dining experience at Chikyu is exceptional. The sushi is creative, lively and tasty … and the presentation is exquisite even in a takeaway carton.
Scott Roeben, Vital Vegas:: Must be at 8 East in Circa Las Vegas. The food is so simple but also amazing. The must-try items are fried brisket rice, chicken skewers, and pork belly bao. I’m not a pork belly, but everything 8 East does is absolutely delicious. Plus, pretty much anything in downtown Esther’s Kitchen will be a contender for Best Restaurant Food of 2020.
Susan Stapleton, Editor of Eater Vegas: I’ll stick with the Birria Queso Tacos at the Durango Taco Shop, although the recipe tastes different every time I order them. The sloping door in the forum shops in Caesars made me taste more of the menu I say one day.
Disclosure: David Chang produces shows for Hulu in partnership with Vox Media Studios, a company of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater employee is involved in the production of these shows, which does not affect the coverage of Eater.
• The best new restaurants of 2020 in Las Vegas, according to the experts [ELV]
• Where 2020 Las Vegas Food Writers loved to have dinner and order takeaway [ELV]
• The Biggest Stories About Eater Vegas in 2020 [ELV]
• The saddest restaurant and bar to close in Las Vegas in 2020 [ELV]
• Year-round Eater Coverage [ELV]
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