ELV note: I’m tired of updating my resume. After 21 years of restaurant writing I don’t feel like I have to show anyone a curriculum vitae to justify my opinions or expertise. Plus, resumes are a pain in the ass. If you don’t know who I am or what I do, then I suggest you google my name and find out. If you insist, this is the last one I think I’m ever going to do:

John A. Curtas has been the voice of the Las Vegas food and restaurant scene since 1995. As a resident since 1981, he has seen Vegas grow into one of the leading restaurant cities in the world. His weekly radio commentaries air were heard on KNPR-Nevada Public Radio, 88.9 FM www.knpr.org for 15 years, and since 2008, he can be seen Friday mornings as “Las Vegas’ Favorite Foodie” on KSNV (NBC) Morning News in Las Vegas (http://news3lv.com/news/wake-up-with-the-wagners).  He is the author of EATING LAS VEGASThe 50 Essential Restaurants, which will have its 5th edition published in December, 2016, as well as being the author of the Eating Las Vegas website (www.eatinglv.com). Mr. Curtas is also the Las Vegas correspondent for FoodieHub (www.foodiehub.com), and has been the restaurant critic for the Las Vegas Weekly, Las Vegas Life, SCOPE and Desert Companion magazines. He also and writes (or has written) on Las Vegas restaurants, food and wine for a variety of publications and web-based sites, including VEGAS magazine, VURB, BestPlaces Las Vegas, Fodor’s Las Vegas, TimeOut Las Vegas, and the Virtual Gourmet (www.JohnMariani.com).  He has also been a member of the North American voting panel for Restaurant Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants in the World issue and has been the Las Vegas voting correspondent for the James Beard Foundation. John has also made a number of appearances on national TV shows, including as a judge for the finale of Top Chef Masters (twice) and Iron Chef America (four episodes), and will appear in 2017 as a featured critic on the new Man v. Masters TV show debuting in 2017 on the FYI Network.

If you want to see what some of my earlier profiles read like (or, if you’re having trouble sleeping), by all means, keep reading…

ELV note: When we launched this Web site on April 1, 2008, the following was true:

John A. Curtas has been the voice of the Las Vegas food and restaurant scene since 1995. As a resident since 1981, he has seen Vegas grow from The Town That Taste Forgot, to one of the leading restaurant cities in the world. His weekly radio commentaries air on KNPR-Nevada Public Radio, 88.9 FM www.knpr.org, and he can been seen Friday mornings as the restaurant critic for KLAS TV, CBS Channel 8 in Las Vegas, www.klastv.com.

In addition to those duties, he is the restaurant critic for Las Vegas Weekly magazine and has served as the local correspondent for The James Beard Foundation, and writes (or has written) on Las Vegas restaurants for a variety of publications and web-based sites, including VEGAS magazine, Citylife, Las Vegas Life, Desert Companion, VURB, BestPlaces Las Vegas, Fodor’s Las Vegas, TimeOut Las Vegas, and JohnMariani.com. He is also a member of the North American voting panel for Restaurant Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants in the World issue.

Along with Max Jacobson and Al Mancini, he will be publishing Eating Las VegasThe 50 Essential Restaurants through Huntington Press in November, 2010.

John Curtas can be reached at either johncurtas@mac.com or john@curtaslaw.com (his law office which pays  (most of) the bills for his expensive and outrageous gastronomic habits).

Things have changed in the six years hence (to say the least):

Our book went through three editions of being published (2011-2013); after 15 years on the air, we’re no longer with KNPR (your guess is as good as ours as to why not); and we made a number of appearances on national TV shows including Top Chef Masters (twice) and Iron Chef America (four episodes).

(We also got into a Twitter feud(s) with Anthony “Fuck Nuts” Bourdain, and a Japanese-American blogger of questionable intelligence, but the less said about them the better. We also wasted a year of our life filming a stupid TV show that will never see the light of day…and the less said about it really the better.)

Instead of being on KLAS TV Channel 8 in Las Vegas, you can now see our cheerful countenance every Friday on KSNV TV (NBC) Channel 3, where we occasionally Wake Up With the Wagners and often join them for their News 3 at Noon program to report on our local food and restaurant scene. We are still the local correspondent for the James Beard Foundation, and occasionally write for other serious restaurant Web sites such as John Mariani.com.

2015 marks our 20th year of reporting on the Las Vegas food and restaurant scene, and at this point, we can confidently claim to have eaten in more restaurants in Las Vegas, more often, than all other critics, critic-wannabes, Yelpers, bloggers or free ‘zine freeloaders combined. No brag, just fact.

(For the record, we consider Yelp to be a valuable resource tool, but consider its participants to be largely children playing in a sandbox.)

If you want to contact me personally, please use johncurtas@me.com. If you leave comments on the site, they will be welcome, no matter how contentious or contrarian. (The only thing we prohibit is witless profanity or ad hominem stupidity.)

Best and bon appétit,


42 thoughts on “About

  1. My name is Alex and I’m an associate producer for the show Taco Trip on the Cooking Channel. We are shooting a full episode in Vegas and I would love to get some of your recommendations! In each episode we feature four different spots. They can be new age “gourmet” tacos to unique to authentic Mexican street tacos. I’ll have to pitch probably 8-10 different spots to the network so however many recs you have to give (along with anything interesting about them/which taco), I’ll take them! Also, if you know any other “foodies” that would be good to talk to, I’d love to have their contact info or you can pass on my information.


  2. Hello,

    I’d like to inquire if it’s possible to purchase advertising space on eatinglv.com

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  3. do you have a list of the best steakhouses in vegas that are NOT in a casino hotel/resort? local flavor? be great to read.

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    PS1: This is a onetime email and you may ask us to “REMOVE”.
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  5. Mr. Curtis, you have no ideal about The asshole nakano, he is a fake and a big jerk! I use to work with him at Nobu. He has ripped off nobu’s menu and style, he has nothing original of his own! You have been duped cause you’re a white guy! Wake up!!! Go to nobu. Everyone that has worked with nakano at nobu, all say the same thing. He’s a asshole and acts like a chef. A big ass copycat. No taste and overcharging!!!

  6. Hi John,

    I have a client asking for recommendations for good Indian Restaurants in Las Vegas. Can you give your insight?

    Thanks in advance


  7. I saw the story that you were bothered about the women who was not dressed to your standards and bitched about it. if the restaurant let her come in dressed that way, your bitch is with them not her. I would bet you didn”t not have the “balls’ to say anything to her. If you ever said anything to me I would have stuck the filet up your ass real quick, Asshole

  8. ELV responds (to K Fitz): Please advise as to whether we are supposed to say something to the offending party (so as to exhibit our “balls”), or say nothing – thus losing some respect in your eyes? What you seem to be advocating is for us to offend the offending party (for instance, if it were you) in order to allow you the opportunity to stick a fine piece of meat up our ass. This would accomplish nothing for either of us…unless you are the type who likes doing that sort of thing…and methinks you are, since assholes seem to be a fixation of yours.

  9. When the Mirage first opened, I remember restaurants like Moongate, Mikado, Kokomos, ect…There was a restaurant where Samba is now. I think it was Southwestern. Racking my head but can not remember the name or the type it was. Remember seeing it there. Does anybody remember it?

  10. Dear Mr. Curtas and the readers
    The Mirage recently had Samba that closed a while back. When the hotel opened, there was a restaurant in that space, I believe was Southwestern or something else. I remember staying at the hotel back then and can’t remember it. Does anybody remember the name and what type of food? Someone told me it was Kokomos, but that is something else.

  11. Hi John,

    I saw on Twitter you have been to Chinatown a dozen times. Have you tried Cafe Sanuki yet?

    The Japanese restaurant, which is located in Chinatown, specializes in authentic udon noodles. Really, owner Henry Fan studied the art of noodle-making from an udon master in Sanuki, Japan before opening Cafe Sanuki. The restaurant uses fresh, natural, quality, and imported ingredients from Japan in its menu, which includes udon noodles, hand rolls, rice bowls, and tempura dishes.

    Cafe Sanuki has received rave reviews. I think you should find out what everyone is talking about. As Cafe Sanuki’s PR person, I can help set up a tasting and/or interview with Mr. Fan for a restaurant review.

    Feel free to email me so we can schedule a day and time for you to try the best udon noodle dishes in Las Vegas.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Nicole Johnson

  12. Thank you very much for all the contributions to this website and indeed the food scene in Vegas over the years. From Raku to China Mama to Boteco to EATT and countless others my family and I owe your our gratitude for your insightful reviews and thoughts. My wife is a crispy brussels sprouts aficionado now and we owe that to Yonaka and particularly your praise of the aforementioned dish back in the day. Although I’m sad to see you move on (for selfish reasons) from regular postings I wish you the very best in your future endeavors. I love great writing (harder and harder to find on the internet) and so I will dearly miss your missives.

  13. You must check out this new restaurant called Da’ Crust Pizza and Kitchen. They won the international pizza expo. Their pizza is the best. They also have a authentic Chicago deep dish like no other.

    Da’ Crust Pizza and Kitchen
    2555 Wigwam Parkway
    Phone 702-565-7575

  14. I’m Alyssa. I am the author and owner of the recipe website club.cooking.

    I liked your site and therefore I would like to buy from you a link to my site.

    This will help the development of my project, and besides, I will provide you with my own unique content specifically for your site.

    How much will it cost? Thanks in advance.

    All the best, Alyssa.

  15. I want to invite you to try the fresh, modern Japanese cuisine and sushi at 172, located upstairs Masquerade Village inside the Rio. 172 is quickly becoming known as the newest live music venue in town, but few know of the cutting edge, high quality offerings prepared by Executive Chef, Joe Richardson. We’re open Wed through Sun, 5pm to 2am. Please tell them Gina sent you and use the code WMC172 for 15% off your food bill. :-)

  16. Looking for help launching our .Vegas domains.

    Have some great names and could use some new content and a great writer for some articles.When you have time please check it out would like your feed back.

    Many more,
    William Cuva

  17. Hi John,
    I was hoping to reach out to you. We had a mutual friend who tragically passed away last April. There were a couple of times our paths were to cross while eating and drinking some of his (and mine) favorite libations but for one reason or another we never did. Please let me know if I can reach out to you via email, I’d love to connect.

  18. I’m a food and wine writer out of Napa and I’ve never got the whole tasting menu thing either rather go to AD Hoc any day, and loved your most recent review.. just curious, why did you find Meadowood so boring?? By the way, love your writing style.. cheers, David

  19. You’re welcome to send your interesting newsletter automatically. I greatly enjoy it.



  20. Some of the older posts have unceremoniously dumped the photo links (never to be found again), but MOST of my current posts (i.e., the past few years should have MOST of the pics showing up. Let me know specifics if you can.

  21. Thanks for the share your article.
    The journey of Loch began more than 500 years ago when North American forests were teeming with massive old-growth virgin

    timbers. These unspoiled trees were harvested by our settlers during the logging boom and floated down the fast moving

    rivers to the Great Lakes; but not all survived the journey.

  22. Hi John

    Just inviting you to join me for lunch and grab some Papusas in Vegas.

    Sent you an email about an upcoming meals on wheels delivery 777 Exotics is doing this Holiday Season. Join us if you can to deliver some meals.

    Thanks for all the insights on ELV

  23. Hi,

    I am looking for the best Chinese restaurant in the Las Vegas area. Do you have a recommendation?



  24. Off Strip: Rainbow Kitchen; China Mama; Shanghai Taste for dumplings. Chengdu Taste for fiery Szechuan.
    On Strip: Mott 32 covers a lot of bases.
    Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I don’t check messages on this site as much as I used to. Cheers!

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