ELV note: Chef/owner Kevin Chong informed us (as we spoke to him in our transplendent white seersucker suit last Friday while he was putting together this tasty spread for the morning news show), that “Japaneiro” means “Japanese-like.” He also said his food is inspired by Japanese cuisine, but he wants it to reflect his love of fusion food and his mixed Asian heritage (he’s Malaysian by birth). We told him he’s pulling off all of these mixed metaphors beautifully….as you’ll see below.
7315 West Warm Springs Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89113
Japaneiro may have the best food in the unlikeliest location in all of Las Vegas. Only Omae can probably top it in both categories.
It occupies the center spot in a forlorn, half-empty strip mall on Warm Springs between Rainbow and Tenaya.
The so-so surroundings give you not a hint that, once you head indoors and take one of the 30 or so seats in the strangely laid out joint, you are about to eat one of the best steaks in Vegas.
ELV note: My article on the current state of Las Vegas’s on-the-Strip dining scene debuts today on über-food writer John Mariani’s Web site. To read the article in its Mariani-approved form, click here, otherwise, continue below for the Director’s Cut.
Yee ha! Vegas is back, baby, with a vengeance, and the doldrums of 2009-2014 are now as forgotten as last night’s losing streak at the craps table. You can see it in the faces of waiters; you can feel it in the upbeat attitudes of the staffs in hotels all around town. Dining rooms are full, check averages are up, and bargains are getting tougher to find than a loose slot machine. Las Vegas Restaurant Revolution 3.0 (the first two versions rolled out in 1998 and 2005) may be a bit more modest in scope, but it’s just as tasty, with big-hitter chefs expanding their repertoires without diluting their brands. Here are the big three, all opened within the past 9 months, that everyone’s talking about.
French bistros and brasseries may be as hip as a dickey, but in the hands of Michael Mina (and his Chef de Cuisine Joshua Smith, pictured above), the classic and time-worn suddenly seems as fresh and effervescent as the rosé champagne you will be offered here to begin your meal. Bardot Brasserie is resolutely a copy of Parisian brasserie, with lots of traditional-yet-modernized bistro recipes thrown in for good measure. No matter what you call it, Mina and Smith are cooking inspired French food that has had this place packed from day one.