Here they are: the hottest single dishes in Las Vegas. Any one of them will light your palate up like Christmas tree, turn your face flush, make your eyeballs sweat, and inhibit your ability to speak a single sentence…which you can see for yourself if you scroll to the 30:09 mark on the video at the bottom of this post and watch us eat five bites of the hottest food you can imagine, any one of which would slay even an average chile-head.
In ascending order of incendiary-ness, they are:
5) Sizzling hot sauce – Sababa (far left)
4) Boiled fish in hot chile sauce – J & J Szechuan (top)
3) Spicy squid salad – Lotus of Siam (middle right)
2) Fire breathing Dragon Roll – Rice & Company (Luxor Hotel) (front)
1) Inferno lamb curry – Mint Indian Bistro (top left)
Rami Cohen’s sizzling hot sauce is really more of a cool, parsley and cilantro salsa — given serious kick by minced, fresh habãnero peppers — and is addictively hot in the tradition of all great hot sauces. You can’t resist its allure even after your body is begging for forgiveness from the heat.
The Fire Breathing Dragon Roll was invented by the chefs at Rice & Company for the Food Network show Heat Seekers and packs both a habãnero and bhut jolokia punch. It is made of spicy tuna, sliced habañero and shrimp tempura that’s rolled in seaweed and rice then topped with spicy crabmeat, micro cilantro, pop rocks and ghost pepper sauce. Whew!
J & J Szechuan’s boiled fish dish is smothered in dried, Szechuan peppers and chile oil, and is no less fiery, but doesn’t wack you over the head at first bite. Instead, it takes a few bites for the heat to achieve a deep, back of the throat sensation that lasts for a good twenty minutes.
Saipin Chutima’s spicy squid salad announces itself right away on your lips and tongue with a reign of fire created by fresh, finely-minced, Thai birds-eye chilies. It achieves an almost hallucinogenic, electric shock effect on your endorphins at a “Bangkok hot” level of “8″ (not “10″!). It is deceptively tame to look at and almost beyond belief when the effect first hits your mouth.
For pure, unadulterated, knock-you-on-your-ass hotness, nothing can top Mint Indian Bistro’s Inferno Lamb Curry. Amazingly, the flavor of the meat comes through a wall of ghost pepper, habernero pepper, jalapeno pepper and serrano pepper paste, that arrives in waves, and refuses to leave your tongue (which inflames almost instantly upon contact with the meat). It is a marvel of spicing and subtlety (yes, we said subtlety) since the layers of flavors come through all the heat.
They make you sign a waiver before they’ll serve it to you (on upper the right of the photo), and if you finish a whole small bowl (impossible to imagine), you get your name on a wall and a $50 gift certificate. To date, according to owner Kris Parikh, only three masochists have done it. When you consider that a jolokia pepper is 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce, and weighs in at over 1,000,000 Scoville units (jalapeños score a wimpy 25,000 Scovilles) it almost seems like cruel and unusual punishment to your palate to even try.
In the video below, they cut away from us just as we took a big spoonful of meat and sauce from the small-but-deadly copper bowl on the upper left, but soon enough, you can see what five bites of the hottest food in Vegas — and one bite of the hottest dish we’ve ever had anywhere — will do to the human body.
ELV note: The three best antidotes for such intense heat are: Thai iced tea and raw cabbage (according to Thai custom), yogurt and mango lassis (according to Indian heat mavens), and two, large vanilla malted milk shakes (according to ELV). It was yogurt and milkshakes that cooled the flames as soon as we were off-camera. It took thirty minutes before our mouth and tongue felt normal again