The List

Dear Readers: In his capacity as both restaurant critic and attorney to the stars, ELV is always being asked (besides: “How do you stay so young, thin and good looking?”): What are your favorite restaurants?” or “What are the top places in town?” Recently, we found ourself answering these questions so frequently that we decided to do a post that sums it all up.

As you’ll see, the only true “rankings” are the first category – Best of the Best, and steakhouses (Best Beef Eatin’). All other listed names are randomly placed within the category. And in case you’re wondering — yes, we have eaten in every one of these places multiple times over the years

The Best of the Best – when price is no object:

1) Joel Robuchon
2) Guy Savoy
3) Restaurant Charlie
4) Michael Mina
5) Picasso
7) Le Cirque
8) RM Seafood

9) Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare
10) Valentino
11) Spago
12) CUT Steakhouse
13) Bradley Ogden
14) Shibuya
15) Wing Lei
16) Nobu

Great eats at (sometimes slightly, sometimes greatly) lower prices:

Lotus of Siam
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
Daniel Boulud Brasserie
Fleur de Lys
Cafe at Spago
Cafe at RM Seafood
NobHill Tavern


Shanghai Lilly


Border Grill
Cafe Giorgio

Payard Bistro and Patisserie

Enoteca San Marco
Mon Ami Gabi
Mesa Grill

Emeril’s Fish House
B & B Ristorante
Top Local/Off-Strip Restaurants

Lotus of Siam
Vintner Grill
Todd’s Unique Dining
Sen of Japan
Nora’s Wine Bar
Marche Bacchus
Mimmo Ferraro’s
The Fat Greek

Best Beef Eatin’

SW Steakhouse


Country Club Grill
Charlie Palmer Steak (despite the worst bar-menu burger in town)
Strip House
Capital Grille
Smith and Wollensky

Golden Steer

Good and cheap and mostly Asian:

Dong Ting Spring
Yunnan Garden
China MaMa
Emperor’s Garden Szechuan
Nhu Lan
Hue Thai’s Famous French Sandwiches (That are neither Thai nor French, nor all that famous)
Pho Saigon #8
Tofu Hut
Mother’s Korean Grill
Los Molcajetes

El Sombrero
Los Tacos
Samosa Factory
India Oven
Kan’s Hong Kong Kitchen
Korean Garden Barbecue

Ping Pang Pong


Noodle Palace
Capital Seafood
Penang Malaysian

Not unless they pry my knife and fork from my cold, dead fingers (A short list of the most overrated places in town):

Andre’s at Monte Carlo
Eiffel Tower Restaurant
David Burke
Cafe Martorano

13 thoughts on “The List

  1. Wait a second ELV. How could you not include The Golden Steer under your best beef eatin joints. The catcher mitt size prime rib, thoughtful renditions of old standbys like beefsteak tomato’s w mozzarella and (off the menu) Hunter’s chicken really impress. Plus you get an old Vegas vibe and huge cocktails in their cool, if small bar/lounge. Say it aint so ELV!

  2. I’m so glad to that you finally admitted (okay, maybe not officially) that Pho Saigon #8 is the best pho in town.

    One more question. Where’s Mezzo on your list? Great local eatery on the NW side of town with rustic, reasonably priced Italian food. Even the RJ gave them a nod on their Top 10 list a few weeks ago. I visit there with my “wine husband” regularly.

  3. For truly off strip…Pips still rings in as one of the best spots in town. Beautiful room, great host and spot-on Italian cuisine at North Las Vegas prices. Aliante is a bit of a hike but this place is really well worth the trip!

  4. Los Tacos is indeed great cheep food. Why anyone in this town would ever go to Taco Bell when we have such good taquerias is beyond me.

  5. To quote one of my least-favorite phrases: Simon’s is what it is….

    ELV doesn’t consider it overrated, just a waste of Kerry Simon’s (considerable) talents.

  6. Now if only you could let me know what to order when I go to all of those places.. what is the item that I have to try? I have probably been to most but it looks like I have some work to do.. oh the torturous job I have ahead of me! Thanks ELV!

  7. Pips? You are joking I suppose? Great Host? I have met this vicious man several times and he is as rude, cocky and obnoxious as they come. Yes I have dined there and the food is mediocre at best but the fact that this “great host” is involved guarantees they will be forced to change owners/managements within 6 months because most cant stand the ‘great host”
    Irene, I agree with Mezzo. AWESOME! John, well said about Simon

  8. Hey Mike – you thinking the food iat Pips is mediocre is of course your opionion, taste above all things is one of the most subjective things out there, so I won’t argue what you do and don’t think qualifies as outstanding in that regard. But you using words like vicious makes me believe that you have a personal issue against this Great Host, one that goes beyond anything you may have experienced inside his restaurant as a guest.

  9. Agree as to the Eiffel Tower restaurant being overrated. I went there and ordered the Veal Porterhouse. For $65, I expected a tender (medium rare) and juicy steak. I received a medium well to well done piece of rubber. I sent it back and received another one of similar temp and texture. They finally got it right the third time. Unfortunately by then, my date had finished her meal. They failed to remove the veal from my bill and offered my their “delicious” sorbet. It came out 20 minutes later and half the sorbet was melted. The view of the cranes at the City Center was pleasant…LOL

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