28
Dec
Off

RJ’s food critic ranks her top 10 palate-pleasing spots in 2016

Well, that and amazingly flaky scallion pancakes and the Bolognese-evoking Mr. Soho SushiBurrito, 2600 W. Sunset Road, Henderson: They’re doing fusion-everything these days but this is a mashup of a different sort. This is a fun spot with imaginatively conceived cocktails and food such as Scotch Olives and the Modern Fried Egg, a small egg shell filled with corn pudding, whipped egg white and caviar.5. Inyo Asian Variety Restaurant, 6000 Spring Mountain Road: Garlic edamame heartily flavored with garlic proved part of a superlative dinner, with laudable attention to detail in dishes that included Japanese street corn, braised duck jam, a marrow bone with milk toast, snow crab fried rice and multicultural chicken wings.4. Carson Ave.: The place and its gregarious owner are charming and the food’s delish, whether you’re getting the sausage-bedecked red beans and rice or a Zydeco special, with brisket, ham, turkey and the garden.7. Carlito’s Burritos/Live Fire Q, 4300 E. Zydeco Po’Boys, 616 E. Goodwich, Soho Lofts, 900 Las Vegas Blvd. Sahara Ave.: The sushiburrito trend finally came to Las Vegas with Soho, which serves these fat rolls that are sort of like burritos with sushi filling. And the dearly departed Killer Shrimp, which used to be at Town Square. Tropicana Ave.: This place has been greatly enlarged over the years and it was easy to understand why, because it combines a gracious setting and friendly service with great Cuban food and good value. Mr. Entree prices among them ranged from $5.50 to $54, which underscores the fact that paupers can eat as well as princes.1. Chow Noodles, in a sexy, streamlined atmosphere with impeccable service.3. Find more of her stories at www.reviewjournal.com, and follow @HKRinella on Twitter. South: “Just” a sandwich becomes so much more in this shrine to all things that can be stuck between two layers of bread. Lakeside, Wynn Las Vegas: The weather was perfect for dining alfresco along the resort’s Lake of Dreams, but David Walzog’s food was the real star of the show, from the foie gras with bourbon-soaked bread pudding to the sticky toffee pudding, with lobster risotto and swordfish in between.2. There was the improbable BLTG sandwich, spread with cheese grits; the Cold Brown, with turkey, bacon and Gruyere on a “Seinfeld”-worthy marbled rye; and curry-vinegar chips with a balance of flavors that belonged on a tightrope.8, Cuba Cafe, 2055 E. Carlito’s and Live Fire share a building and you can order from both menus at once, which means you can get a New Mexico-style stuffed sopapilla with Hatch chile salsa alongside your Santa Maria-style barbecued tri-tip.10. You can get one wrapped in a tortilla for a burrito touch, or in soy paper or seaweed paper for a sushier taste; the Long Beach was stuffed with spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, surimi and sushi rice with vegetables and guac.6. Libertine Social, Mandalay Bay: Chef Shawn McClain and Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim have proven that not all restaurant concepts have been tried. But my 10 favorites among the 52 restaurants I reviewed this year are more clear-cut. My favorite restaurant? The shrimp lived up to their name, and the location to its rep as an elephant burial ground bearing a curse.Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at Hrinella@reviewjournal.com. Chow, Caesars Palace: I’m maybe more resistant to hype than the next guy and had heard all the trash-talking, so I wasn’t expecting much and ended up eating crow. That changes by the day, sometimes by the hour. The Tasting Plate offers a panorama of flavors with sweet plantains, puerco asada (roasted pork), ropa vieja, moros y cristianos (black beans and rice) and Pollo Grand Marnier.9.