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Does anyone but ELV remember when this place was called Shanghai 808 (or was it 888?)… back in the stone age of the mid-90s?

Since then, this space on the second floor of the original Chinatown mall has been at least two other operations — both distinguished solely by their steadfast devotion to spending as little as possible on either the interior or the food.

Now, a new operation has taken over, renovated the interior, spruced things up, and brought forth yet another entry into Vegas’ ever-expanding roster of hot-n-spicy Chinese eateries.

It’s too early to tell whether Spicy City will challenge Yunnan Garden, Dong Ting Spring or J&J Szechuan for spicy city supremacy, but our one meal there was a vast improvement over the dingy mediocrity that has plagued this location for over a decade.

We found the dumplings in chile oil were fresher and spicier than those we’ve encountered recently at Emperor’s Szechuan right next door, and the vegetable stir-fries seemed crisper and not as tired to our western palate. Unfortunately, tired exactly described the twice-cooked pork. Limp, oily, and barely spicy, it tasted like Chinese food cooked for round eyes…not the silky, spicy dish that is so beloved by ELV and his staff.

Thus was SC clean enough to be inviting, and good enough to warrant a second visit — which we shall be undertaking soon, now that we’ve relocated our law office near Spring Mountain Road. Next time, though, we’re going to play it safe and order the bullfrog.

(Btw: if you go on to Yelp and Chowhound, you will find people complaining about how dirty and salty SC is…to which ELV can only respond: the yelpers sound like competitors trying to undermine this place’s business, and complaining about salt in a Szechuan restaurant is like griping about violence in a Cormac McCarthy novel. Yet more reasons why (most) yelp-sters should be ignored…or throttled.)

The dinner for two seen above came to $33 + $7 tip.


4215 Spring Mountain Road B205

Las Vegas, NV 89102


5 thoughts on “SPICY CITY

  1. FYI..Same ownership as the previous restaurant (New shanghai) which had major problems with the health department. you can verify ownership on the Clark county website. Also I know (Can’t tell you how I know but I do) they are employing illegal workers. Just thought you should know.

  2. are you thinking of 168 shanghai? ohhhh how i miss that place… interesting side note, your review of that stone aged place was the very first restaurant review of yours that i heard and followed (thank you npr). that first dinner and many subsequent others cemented my status as firmly entrenched curtas food follower… you have never steered me wrong, and as a desperate foodie looking for guidance way back then this thank you is long overdue!

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