Chinese food in Vegas

I’m really interested in finding some Chinese places to eat in Vegas, especially if its true that the Chinese food in Vegas is among the best, if not the best, in America.

But, I don’t live in Vegas so I have no idea what the good places are.

Are Bund Shanghai and Chang’s Hong Kong Cuisine the top two Chinese places? They both come highly recommended by David Chang in his Lucky Peach magazine:

( …popping some popcorn for myself and settling in my easy chair, 'cuz a firework show is about to start! )

Yi Mei Champion for Taiwanese breakfast.

Get the steamed buns with meat, the pork chop fried rice, and the egg crepe.

The beef noodle soup is merely average.

Ping Pang Pong
Chengdu Taste

And what does it say that LV is getting a Meizhou Dongpo? And Caesars just got Mr (barf) Chow? I ate at Bejing Noodle No 9 and it was appallingly bad and very pricey. Double barf.

Sam Woo even not as good as here in LA. China Mama is respectable.

I can get Chinese food in LA and SGV so I’d prefer to try Chinese Vegas restaurants that are not franchise or off shoots of LA Chinese restaurants. I believe China Mama is one such LA Chinese restaurant, albeit with a different name. Chengdu Taste and Hakkasan both had restaurants in LA, although the Hakkasan one in LA has already closed.

But, the Sam Woo example does raise an interesting point whether these Vegas Chinese restaurants are as good as the original LA Chinese restaurants.

Ping Pang Pong sounds like it might be the best choice. But, is it still a worthwhile choice if you don’t go for dim sum? Lunchtime was when I was planning on a Vegas buffet.

Has anybody tried Fat Choy?

It sounds interesting to see what the chef with his experience with Robuchon and Comme Ca would do with casual Chinese food.

I believe China Mama was same owners as the closed Golden Spoon in Rowland Heights. They had a some nice dishes and the cat eat noodle, but I think they priced themselves out. Ping Pang Pong is a good dinner, the service though is pretty terrible but the food makes up for it. The roast duck and pepper beef are go to dishes. Also the pork belly stone pot is really good. I have never been for lunch.

Fat Choy is atypical of a Chinese restaurant. If you want a more authentic Chinese Sheriden restaurant, try Flock and Fowl for hainan chicken rice. They only open for lunch and it gets really crowded. Not sure if hainan chicken is your thing or not but I found theirs to be addictive, I’ll be going back soon for an order.

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I tried the short rib grilled cheese at Fat Choy, and found it barely OK. Maybe I ordered the wrong thing. Flock&Fowl looks good – we’ll have to try that.

What we’re really interested in, is well-prepared regular Chinese food (preferably Szechuan or Hunan), that uses quality ingredients. If possible, without Hakkasan prices. Am I asking too much?

Has anybody tried Jose Andres Chinese restaurants, China Pablono or Ku Noodles?

I don’t expect them to be authentic, but I’m curious how the food ended up tasting.

I thought China Poblano was watered down, less tasty, and over priced. Stick with the tacos. Haven’t tried Ku Noodles.

I hadn’t been to Vegas for quite awhile, and it was surprising to see all the different Chinese restaurants in the casinos. With the success of Macau, I would have thought that the Chinese gamblers would stay closer to home rather than fly out to Vegas.

It seems like every casino now has a Chinese or pan-asian restaurant even if its off-brand from the rest of the casino. With a casino like Paris, Paris, it would be so easy to build all their restaurants around the french food. But, even they had this strange pan-asian restaurant that serves dim sum but is named after a street in Taiwan.

Macao casinos have CCTV surveillance on the rooms where the whales play. Mr. Xi don’t like his minions siphoning off party funds for gambling and KTV entertainment.

Vegas “may” be a bit less monitored, maybe.

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Chinese food in Los Angeles is more diverse and more authentic. The Chinese restaurants we like most in Vegas is Asian BBQ and Noodles on Jones and Blossom at Aria.

We just tried Pearl Ocean and it was meh. I was going to try their high end restaurant but Pearl Ocean was so meh that I didn’t want to waste a meal.

Here is the menu though.

Some pictures from Pearl Ocean. It was all meh, and some items really bland. I advise to eat just West of Lucky Dragon at Flock n Fowl, too bad they are closed on Sundays.

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I have a couple of heuristics, ie rules of thumbs, to help me guide whether or not I’ll eat at a Chinese restaurant when I’m going in blind with no knowledge about the place.

If there are more white diners than Asian diners in the restaurant, then I stay away.

If the place is empty at peak hours, then I follow the wisdom of the crowd and stay away.

Finally, if the place serves both Chinese food and sashimi, then I stay away.

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Has anybody ever tried China Mama before?

It was just mentioned as one of the top 3 restaurants in Vegas’ Chinatown in the Latimes:

China MaMa’s original affiliation was with MaMa’s Kitchen but that was 10 years ago when it first opened.


I tracked down the source of this scurrilous rumor a few years ago.