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Vegas - 2015 - Issue 5 - September - Fall Fashion - Kate King

Vegas Magazine - Niche Media - There is a place beyond the crowds, beyond the ropes, where dreams are realized and success is celebrated. You are invited.

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photography by Mikayla WhitMore (radio City pizzeria); hannah espina-Ching (Makers & Finders); anthony Mair (siegel's 1941) Margaritas are a must at La Comida, which has more varieties of tequila than it has seats. Bocho Dow ntow n culinar y pioneer Dan Coughlin, of Le Thai renow n, follows his first success w ith a (mostly) traditional sushi joint in a renovated flophouse. Next up : Le Pho, in Juhl. 124 S. Si xth St., 702-750-0707; bochosushi.com This under-the-radar café, in a former furniture shop on a block of vintage boutiques, specializes in amped-up Latin comfort foods, like spicy mushroom empanadas and chorizo Brussels sprouts. 1120 S. Main St., 702-586-8255; makersandf inderslv.com siegel's 1941 The retrofitted steakhouse Flame at El Cortez pays homage to the oldest family-owned casino's former boss, Bugsy Siegel, and the year he took over the joint. Take a seat in one of the red power booths in the back (with your back to the wall, natch). 600 E. Fremont St., 702- 385-5200; siegels1941.com radio city Pizzeria New partners are turning a slice house into an innovative Italian restaurant whose ambitious backyard bar, Retroscena, ser ves more than 70 amari – one of the largest selections found any where. 508 Fremont St., 702-982-5055; radiocitypizza.com see change Whether retroftted, revamped, or rebuilt, these Downtown eateries used to be something else entirely. // taste buds // St., 702-385-0838; pizzarocklasvegas.com) to Downtown3rd. MTO Cafe (500 S. Main St., 702-380-8229; mtocafe.com ), which has since opened a second loca- tion at Downtown Summerlin, started as a breakfast hot spot across from City Hall. Downtown Project, an investor in Eat, created Downtown Container Park (707 Fremont St.), currently stacked with every- thing from gourmet hot dogs at Cheffini's (702-527-7599; cheffinis.com) and authentic street food at Pinches Tacos (702-910-3100; pinchestacos.com) to craft cocktails at Oak & Ivy (702-945-6717; oakandivy.com) and a relaxing full-service restaurant in The Perch (702-854-1418; theperchlv.com). And then came the game-changer: the small-plate paradise Carson Kitchen, in the refurbished John E. Carson building at 124 South Sixth Street, along with the mad- scientist sweets shop O Face Doughnuts (702-476-3223; ofacedoughnuts.com). "Carson Kitchen brought a lot of attention to Downtown, thanks to Kerry Simon," says Dan Adams, Downtown Project's director of food and beverage. "More of that would help, not that that's everything. But it's really about the chefs and getting them here opening different concepts." Most people wouldn't think of Zappos boss Tony Hsieh's Downtown Project as a major player in food and drink, but the development company has the biggest restaurant and bar footprint in the neigh- borhood. It owns and operates the backyard game – driven Gold Spike (702- 476-1082; goldspike.com), The Perch, Oak & Ivy, and the Fremont East grocery store The Market, and it serves as partner, investor, or landlord for numerous spots, including La Comida, O Face, Banger Brewing, and the Container Park restaurants. Downtown Project is also involved in the upcoming Fremont East restaurant The Smashed Pig Gastropub (from No b u Matsuhisa – trained Linda Rodriguez) as well as the sizzling new tri- umvirate of trendy destinations in the renovated building at 616 East Carson Avenue (at Seventh Street): chef Bradley Manchester's Glutton (gluttonlv.com), chef Donald Lemperle's VegeNation (vege na t i onlv.com), and chef Brandon Trahan's Zydeco Po-Boys (zydecopo-boys.com). Talk about chefs and distinctive concepts. "What's cool about being down here is we still haven't touched on all the different cuisines and styles of service," says Adams. "There are so many possibilities left." And Howard's dual concepts are perhaps the most exciting of all. First up is Harvest & Larder, opening in October, to be joined later by Grazing Pig Charcuterie, both in a cool, industrialish building in the Arts District, just off Main Street—an area growing in its own right with the recent addition of beer, coffee, and noodle spots. At Comme Ça, Howard was well-known for his house-made charcute- rie program, so the prominence of that element makes sense. But it's only the beginning. "My idea is about showcasing ingredients as fully as possible, about simplicity, and about preserving American history through cuisine," he says. But most important to Howard is what seems to be the number-one overall goal of Downtown proprietors: opening your favorite neighborhood restaurant, "somewhere where they know your name and what you like to eat and drink." Perhaps Howard's restaurants will be the ones that focus an even larger spotlight on Downtown. Or maybe it will be PublicUs (1126 Fremont St., 702-331- 5500; public uslv.com), a hip, dynamic artisanal bakery and coffeehouse. Or it could be something else, previously undreamed-of dishes from the inventive mind of a chef, known or unknown, who has yet to announce his or her plans. But one thing is certain: It will be exciting to watch—and taste. V vegasmagazine.com  81

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