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If ever there was a restaurant ELV was prepared not to like, it was Nu Sanctuary Lounge.

Why, you ask? Because of the following:

> It’s in a shopping mall;

> It’s in Town Square, ELV’s least favorite shopping mall in town*;

> It’s next to a movie theatre (generally a sure sign of sub-standard sustenance);

> It has a contrived, tells-yu-nuthing-name;

> It calls itself a lounge when it’s really a restaurant;

> It has a something for everyone menu filled with everything from pierogis to pizzas;

> It hypes its hookahs — another sure sign of mediocrity (see for example, Mediterranean, Paymon’s);

> It has a funny, non-restaurant name and it’s in a shopping mall for chrissakes!

In other words, Nu Sanctuary had about seven strikes against it before we set foot in the joint.

But we love it. No, we really do. We love it because the food is so damn tasty you’d have to have a bowling ball for a brain (and a tongue made of tin) not to.

That tasty food all sounds like one big cliche at first glance, but then you notice sneaky little tweaks and twists that Chef Brian Howard tucks into his repertoire — like deconstructed hummus, seared beef carpaccio “steak and eggs,” and “spring” chicken wrapped around Taleggio cheese and spinach (with a bright, lemony beurre blanc) — and you realize this is standard fare not at all.

Still skeptical, you then order the “Nu” burger — expecting another, by-the-numbers-nuthing-nu beef sandwich. Instead, what shows up is a hunk a hunk o’ burnin’ burger love made of brisket, filet and short rib, on a house made challah roll with house made pickles and chips, tasting of good, roasted beef. Suddenly, you start rethinking all those preconceptions and prejudices….whilst wondering why, in a town full of gourmet ground meat, few of them taste this good.

From there it’s on to a chickpea coated scallop over a cauliflower “risotto” that bestows some real ingenuity on this tired shellfish, a grilled summer (local) corn soup with a dollop of Dungeness, and those potato and cheese stuffed pierogis that are better than anything your nagymama made.

(ELV pre-broadcast correction: On Thursdays Dishing and Dining on KLAS TV Channel 8 with the Emmy Award-winning Denise Valdez, we will mistakenly refer to the scallop as a crab cake. Probably because we had a rough night, preceding the taping.)

Another reason to like Nu Sanctuary (remind ELV to ask where the *&^$*^%$ name came from), is their use of local, filtered water, carbonated on premises for those of us who drink carbonated mineral water….like it’s water.

Finally, there are the prices. That boffo, $14 burger is as good as any on the Strip costing $3-5 more; the tasting menu of soup, a “4 way tasting plate” (pictured above) and nitro caramel corn (or creme brulee) is only thirty dollars, most small plates are under a tenski, and the most expensive thing on the menu (a superb, spicy lamb tagine over Israeli couscous) is $25.

Everything is priced to sell, as they say, and we only hope the hoi polloi catches on, and starts filling this place up instead of wasting their money at the bankrupt The Grape, or their beer guts on the stale suds at Yardhouse. If they do, it will restore ELV’s faith in humanity….or at least its taste buds.


Town Square Las Vegas

6605 Las Vegas Blvd. South Suite 145

Las Vegas, NV 89119


* Actually, ELV hates all shopping malls. He just reserves special enmity for Town Square because of its distance from his house, and the pain in the ass it is to get (and leave) there.

7 thoughts on “NU SANCTUARY LOUNGE

  1. Nice hype up on the trending NU.

    I give NU a rating number between 5-7, which depends greatly on who’s your server.

    The perogi – tasted cheap or more like some weird variation on upscale stoner food, which because of the hard texture of the perogi dough and the rich “cheesy” like sauce ladled on the plate reminded me of getting nachos at a 1988 roller skating rink. The American Caviar was warm and tasteless.

    NU tartare – was odd in presentation and the busboy responsible for the tableside serving task was so god damn nervous. Truthfully he some how tainted the dish before we even got to enjoy its meally terrible prepared texture.

    Shumai – Overly fried and flavorless.

    Falafel – Average

    Pizza – based on the flavor of the dough I would assume this place uses some sort of master recipe for all the doughs, considering there was similiar flavor or texture to that in the bread basket. Pizza dough had no sour, little flavor and thick, yet thin crust. Something of the quality of a frozen tombstone. The quartered meatballs, were just that. Very similiar to the recent picture ELV posted of that shitty ass
    Italian restaurant.

    Enjoying this meal during happy hour, after having two mojitos and my companion having 2 cosmos, I have to say those were some of the stingiest alcoholic beverages on the planet. No mood change, no enheightened times at NU, but the DJ’s music was annoyingly loud at 5pm.

    Nu is old in my book.

  2. id have to disagree with the last post to this review nu is exactly how elv has reviewed it only in my opinion one of the best meals i had in vegas. as a chef and avid foodie, i dont believe you have a clue to what is good food. ill admit nu meaning “naked”, entrance and outside is exactly that.. needs work. nu sanctuary keep doin what you do and stay nu

  3. “It has a contrived, tells-yu-nuthing-name;”

    Hey, “nu” is a perfectly good Yiddish word. Of course, it translates to…pretty much nothing; perhaps “well.” So, I’d claim that it isn’t contrived; it just “tells-yu-nuthing!”

  4. O come on — Ciylife praised this place months ago (or am I just time-warping?). LOL — really glad to see join on he bandwagon

  5. I agree with this review, myself and my wife visit this establishment a lot, townsquare needed somewhere with a little class, there is only so much spit and sawdust bar atmosphere I can stand (see yard house, millers ale house).

    The first comment looks to be written by either a competitor, maybe from “the grape” LOL or an ex-employee!

    Nu isnt perfect but hey what new business is, however each time we visit the experience just keeps getting better!

  6. NU sanctuary.. LOVE IT ! definitly a foodie spot that has something for everyone. dont be afraid to ask about the chefs tastings we had 13 courses on our last visit and they all effen rocked. foie gras sea urchin duo. amazing! i dont like hookah smoke but they dont have them inside so it didnt bother. its a destination for me and my wife. im a huge fan and dont agree with the yelps and negitive posts.. anywhoot

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