You know who never gets Labor Day off?
Chefs. And cooks. And bar backs. And dishwashers.
Nope, they never get three-day weekends. (Well, maybe they do, but not like the rest of us.)
Especially on Labor Day. And especially in Las Vegas (Nevada, not New Mexico).
Because over 315,000 hungry souls invade the High Mojave this weekend looking for fun, sun and sustenance.
And someone has to be working their tails off to feed them. From our vaunted frog ponds to the lowliest buffet, our restaurants will be humming today.
Labor Day also kicks off “The Season” in our humble burg — the time of the year when the bargain-hunting day-clubbers leave, and every conventioneer, honeymooner, bevy of bachelorettes:
….and high-roller in da woild descends upon us, looking for whatever their version of “fun” is.
And, as we said, they all have to eat and drink.
And spend a lot of money doing it.
So, on some level, all those restaurant workers are probably not that unhappy about slaving away at the stoves today, because the living they make at it is probably better than it is in almost any other city in America.
Still though, they’re working today and you probably aren’t, so hats off to them: the good folks who feed us (and 42 million visitors a year), so well.
While we’re at it, The List*:
Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar (Great food, greater than ever, even greater wine list.)
Hachi Japanese Yakitori Izakaya (Just opened – yet another izakaya around Spring Mountain Road – worth a look.)
Mothership Coffee (Get the coffee; use the pastries as a doorstop.)
PublicUs (Coffee and pastries don’t get any better around town.)
Glutton (Downtown’s best right now.)
Therapy (Try to not look at the hot hostesses and concentrate instead on Daniel Ontiveros’s food.)
Morel’s (Under new management, looking to improve.)
Northside Cafe (Pancake whore Michael Uzmann approves!)
Restaurant Guy Savoy (The best, Jerry, the BEST!)
Prime (Simply stunning food, service and decor….after 17 years in operation.)
Chada Street (A critique of pure Riesling.)
Salute (See commemorative plate at top of the page. Opening in two weeks. Prediction: Chef Luciano Sautto will re-set the bar for Italian food in the ‘burbs.)
Szechuan Express (A must for Szechuan and spicy food fans.)
Marche Bacchus (Wine not?)
Tetsu Ramen (The Food Gal® approves!)
Emeril’s Fish House (Better than ever at 20.)
China Poblano (Hasn’t lost its fastball.)
Hearthstone (Red Rock hotspot with remarkable food.)
Other Mama (Daniel Krohmer is killing it.)
Fish N Bowl (Howard Choi leaves you smiling.)
Portofino (Could this be one of the 10 best restaurants in Vegas?)
Wing Lei (Classy Chinese in an elegant setting.)
Cleo (The mighty Mediterranean never tasted so magnificent.)
Bazaar Meat (One of the top 5 steakhouses in the country.)
Pinches Tacos (Remarkably good tacos in Container Park.)
Katsuya by Starck (Top Strip sushi.)
Izakaya Go (Ya gotta go.)
Ku Noodle (Expensive Asian starches, done to a “T” by José Andrés and his SLS crew.)
Julian Serrano (Terrific tapas, super sherries.)
Orchids Garden (Solid dim sum.)
ELV’s Humble Abode (aka Chez Curtas with Chef Mark Andelbradt doing his world famous foie gras burgers):
Isabela’s (Chef Beni Velazquez is busting his butt to bring Latin fusion to people who don’t appreciate it.)
Estiatorio Milos (Fantastic fish, even more fabulous lunch deal.)
Border Grill (Our best Mex, at either location.)
Gelatology (Slugging it out right now with Messina for gelato hegemony.)
Messina Gelato (See above.)
Penn’s Thai House (Worth the trip to the middle of nowhere.)
O Face Doughnuts (Get the doughnuts, all of them.)
Andre’s at the Monte Carlo (Another war horse that seems better than ever.)
Hexx Kitchen + Bar (24/7 out of this world chocolate.)
Zen Curry Express (We heart Japanese curry.)
…and then there was….
Flippin’ Good Burgers (See below.)
Pamplemousse (Inexplicably, this tourist trap remains open.)
* “The List” is where we have eaten in the past month or so, and where, with the exception of the Pamplemousse and Flippin’ Good Burgers,** you should be.
** A waste of time, money, calories, space and real estate.***
*** You have been warned.