The Best Restaurant in Town

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It’s tasty.

It’s fresh.

It’s unique.

It’s inexpensive.

It’s chef-owned.

That chef is always at the stoves.

It’s good.

It’s good for you.

It’s as vegetarian or meat-centric as you want it to be.

It’s as spicy or tame as you desire.

It’s clean.

It’s charming.

It’s intimate.

It’s open all the time, i.e. throughout the day.

The service is unfailingly sweet and efficient.

It’s got food that isn’t fancy.

In fact, a lot of it looks like this:

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Or this:

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And sometimes you combine them to have this:

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…or add some tasty condiments:

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…to make your tasty plate look like this:

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And if all you want is the world’s most perfectly fried chicken (and who doesn’t love fried chicken?), you can always order this:

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As you can see, this food isn’t complicated and it isn’t expensive.

It’s what ELV calls deceptively simple cuisine — food that exists both technically and metaphorically on a different level — like Japanese food in general.

And get this: Takaya-san gets it right every time. We have eaten here almost ten times since it opened and have never ceased to be blown away by the precision and perfection behind every bite. (Those who don’t consider deep-frying an art will get an education with one bite of any of the above-pictured proteins.)

It also happens to be very good for you. (As much as ELV loves Savoy and Gagnaire and Robuchon and Carnevino and Spago, he can’t say with a straight face that he always feels healthier when he walks out of them.)

But when he walks out of The Best Restaurant in Town, he always feels like he’s done something nice for his body, mind and soul.

And did we mention that the chef is always there, cooking his superb recipes, and that those spice-infused concoctions have health-giving properties, and that those spice, herb and vegetable-rich dishes he makes top out at around $12.50?

Add all that up and you have a most excellent eatery and one that puts to shame many a high-flying “concept” restaurant, i.e. places conceived by consultants and run by accountants, e.g., Tivoli Village and every friggin’ spot opening downtown or having opened on the Strip in the past four years.

Some might kvetch that the drink menu is limited (a few good Japanese beers, a couple of middle-brow sakes), and that there’s no dessert to speak of (mochi, coffee jello), but when Snowflake Shavery is right next door, and Sweets Raku is right across the parking lot, there’s no need for such caloric caterwauling.

Besides, when you consider the money and calories you save, you should give the staff a major “domo arigato” for keeping your temptations to a minimum.

Don’t worry if your Japanese isn’t perfect, because everything else about this place is.

Find us a better place in town that combines all of the qualities we’ve cited above, and ELV will personally take you to lunch there.

ELV has never been comped and never spent more than $30 for two at….


5020 Spring Mountain Road

Las Vegas, NV 89146


7 thoughts on “The Best Restaurant in Town

  1. Thank you John for opening the eyes of soo many to these gems!!…ill be there tomorrow for lunch!
    And to think ive been going to Monta for a year now and havent stopped in here once!


    Great tonkatsu is based on great pork. Great teppanyaki requires the best possible beef. Great yaki tori requires really good chicken. I think Japanese cuisines in general is more reliant on great protein ingredients than the European cuisines I’m familiar with, meaning if the beef ain’t top notch, you can’t obscure that fact with a good sauce in teppanyaki, though great sauce is equally required. For dipping, not pre-immersed

  3. And I mean no offense to Honey Salt, I had a nice meal there. But the Eater Awards were ridiculous.

  4. Eater awards is a joke. The restaurant that can manipulate their social media the best wins. I have tried Honey salt a few times and its just ok, nothing special.

  5. Can’t wait to try this place. Chada Thai, Kabuto (Elizabeth Blau is there all the time), Raku, Sweet Raku, and Trattoria Nakamura-Ya – it figures the Japanese can “do” Italian way better than most Americans, these places have saved our stomachs. Living in the restaurant wasteland of the southwest, Spring Mt. Road has been a saving grace. Thankfully, Settebello has recently opened at Sahara & Ft. Apache.

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