January 2, 2011
Well here you are walking up and down the strip wondering what to eat, you know there is plenty of choices out there but Mario Batali’s latest Pepperoni soufflé just doesn’t sound very exciting, and you don’t feel like getting a second mortgage to pay for a meal at Nobu or Tao. If you are looking for something that feels genuine, you want food that is authentic, honest and downright affordable, you’re just tired of the pretentiousness and snobbish attitude that permeates across all the eateries on the strip, then you need to look no further. Chinatown Las Vegas is located within a stone throw from the luxurious Wynn Hotel, just west of the “Strip” and I-15. This Asian enclave is located on Spring Mountain Road, one of Vegas main arteries, formerly known as strip club central, this once run down section of the city is now growing by leaps and bounds, hustling and bustling with thriving businesses, supermarkets, massage parlors, and endless amounts of restaurants. But don’t expect to see the traditional Chinatowns of San Francisco or New York, Chinatown Vegas is comprised mostly of shopping center strips such as the Chinatown Plaza which covers about 85,000 square feet of retail businesses and it is well know by it’s gigantic ornamental traditional Chinese arch known as the “Paifang”.
For the most part Taiwanese businesses are credited for the development of this Asian district; many of them had their beginnings in southern California establishing extensions of their businesses around the Las Vegas valley. However, Chinatown is not only about China; there are plenty of Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Filipinos (by far the biggest Asian population). Chinatown quickly has become the Vegas foodies best kept secret.
Come venture inside the Shun Fat Supermarket and just marvel at the impressive selection of produce, exotic and fresh, some familiar and some simply unbeknown. The seafood is so fresh it is still swimming in tanks, the lines are long, and the ambiance is just frenetic.
The Asian cuisine here is the real deal; yes, they do have buffets but why even bother with them when you can enjoy a delicious authentic Chinese dinner for two for less than $40 dollars. Among the Chinatown favorites is the ever-popular Vietnamese Pho Kim Long, it offers authentic Vietnamese Pho noodle soup that is to die for. For fiery food lovers there is J&J authentic Szechuan cuisine, this place never ceases to amaze, with its high quality food at fire sale prices, try the “Boiled in sauce sliced pork and lamb.” For authentic Chinese, the highly recommended KJ’s Kitchen, is simply the best Chinese food in town, and the service? Well, that is another story; if you do not mind non-attentive service or non-verbal waiters, this place may be for you.
Asian food fanatics understand that the righteous path to an excellent meal lies not on the décor, the ambiance, or the service, but in the food itself. Last, but not least there is Kapit Bahay (my neighbor) a Filipino fast food restaurant serving buffet style, this is definitely one of my favorites, this restaurant serves the best deal in Vegas. A lovely Filipino lady whom I dearly referred to as “mama” will pile up the fragrant white rice and top it with a generous portion of chicken or pork Adobo and yes, the delicious sour soup is also included, a meal big enough for a Canadian trucker for under $6 dollars. Therefore, now that you have been enlightened by this bit of useful information you will no longer have to be ransacked by the latest celebrity chef of the month’s new restaurant while in Vegas. Welcome to Chinatown; where the food, the energy and it’s people are real.
J&J Szechuan Cuisine
5700 Spring Mountain Road
(702) 876 5983
4115 Spring Mountain Road
(702) 889 4822
5960 Spring Mountain road
Pho Kim Long
4029 Spring Mountain Rd