ML - Vegas Magazine

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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Page 87 of 127

photography by mikayla whitmore Black Magic LEGEND HAS IT THAT FORBIDDEN RICE WAS SO NAMED BECAUSE ANCIENT CHINESE EMPERORS WANTED TO KEEP IT FOR THEMSELVES. BUT NOW, THANKS TO A QUARTET OF VEGAS CHEFS, YOU TOO CAN DINE LIKE ROYALTY. by JIM bEGLEy perfect pairing: 35 stea s + martinis At the Hard Rock Hotel, Executive Chef Mart y Lopez is adding a creative twist to standard steak- house fare at 35 Steaks + Martinis (702-693-5500; Growing up in the Philippines, he was accustomed to seeing forbidden rice in desserts, but even there it's reserved for special occasions. Lucky for you, no special occasion is required to order his diver scallops. Lopez sears his scallops and serves them atop a bed of forbidden rice prepared risotto-st yle, employing an Asian ing redient in a European fashion. The black rice acts as a canvas for the white scallops, while the creamy shellfish comple- ment the earthy whole grain, and the smokiness from the sear fuses with the nuttiness of the rice. Finished with red bell pepper coulis and garnished with a micro-lettuce salad, the mollusk pairs perfectly with the restaurant's signature Spicy Serrano martini. On a rOll: vegenatiOn At t he new Dow ntow n rest aura nt VegeNat ion (616 Carson Ave., 702-366-8515;, E xecut ive Chef Dona ld Lemperle ser ves vega n d ishes he descr ibes a s "globa l st reet food" a nd spreads his passion for eco-conscious, plant-based dining. In his Save the Tuna roll, the denizens of the deep are replaced with fruit and vegetables as a way of raising awareness about tuna's dwindling numbers. The forbidden rice is prepared in tradi- tional fashion, with sushi vinegar for acidity, then the purplish grain and sheets of nori are wrapped in a colorful contrasting combination of green cucum- ber, red pepper, green scallion, and yellow mango. Topped with a bright-orange carrot ginger purée and served with wasabi aioli (consisting of wasabi pa ste, vega n mayo, a nd lime juice), t he dish is a kaleidoscope of color and f lavor, with nary a fish in sight—but it's so tasty, you won't miss it. Out Of the frying pan: publicus East of VegeNation, in the quickly gentrifying core of Downtown Las Vegas, PublicUs (1126 Fremont St., 702-331-5500; offers a more tradi- tional take on the grain with its forbidden fried rice. Executive Chef Adam Pusateri has assembled a geog raphica lly diverse a r ray of dishes, a nd his Asian-inspired fried rice is studded with pork belly, showcasing the fatty cut. It's marinated for 12 hours with Chinese five-spice powder and red cooking wine, broiled, then crisped in a salamander. The fat is used to sauté t he r ice, a long w it h t he loca l ly sourced celery, carrots, onions, and garlic. Finished with tataki sauce (think a milder teriyaki) and topped with a fried egg and pickled ginger, the dish is an amalgam of savory and smoky, with the robust rice more than capable of supporting the strong f lavors. bOwling yOu Over: luc y fOO's W hen Execut ive Chef Shaw n Giorda no opened Lucky Foo's Restaurant & Bar (8955 S. Eastern Ave., 702-650-0669;, he created a trio of healthy, organic bowls, including one with forbid- den rice. And while the others have since left the menu, the forbidden rice bowl has become a cult favorite. Originally only a lunch offering due to its complexity, it recently made its way to the dinner menu. W hy so complicated? Consider the list of ingredients: rice cooked in dashi kombu, water, and bonito f lakes; what Giordano refers to as "the tril- ogy" of Thai basil, mint, and cilantro; garlic chips; basil oil; cotija crumble; roasted acorn squash; pick- led kabocha squash; sea beans; poached haricot vert; a soft-boiled egg with curry oil; and, last but not least, avocado with lemon juice. The myriad tex- tures mingle with the sharpness and acidity of the pickles, which contrast with the rice's nuttiness. It's an addictive dish—and forbidden no more. V Lucky Foo's magnificent forbidden rice mélange. tAStE the Dish 82

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