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Behind The Scenes of One of America’s Top Buffets

Buffets often get a bad rap. I get it. For the most part, the concept plays to the strength of only quantity. Trays of food sit endlessly under heat lamps, scorching whatever little life it had away. Each batch of it made it large quantities that give more room for error. They earned this rep. But thanks to a select few standouts clustered in Las Vegas, namely The Buffet at the Wynn Resort & Casino, folks can experience a glorious meal in all you can eat form.

The latest episode of Taste the Details has me right in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip to go behind the scenes of one of not only the city’s, but also the country’s, top buffets. Whether it be That Drunken Noodles or Southern-style fried chicken or hand-rolled sushi using real crab meat, The Buffet does it all superbly. Sure, the quantity factor comes into play big time given the amount of patrons that come in, yet the remarkable feat here is how quality is not sacrificed one bit.

So trust that I’ll have plates stacked of the same dish just on the fact that its lowkey better than restaurant quality. And in a town where I’ll more than likely need to stress eat to soothe the sting of all the money I lost in the casino, that’s crucial.

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The 6 Best Off-Strip Restaurants in Las Vegas

We all love Vegas buffets, even if it’s more of a brief affinity for quantity over quality, and all of us can enjoy the oddball flair of a restaurant strangely tucked away inside the insanity of any casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

And while the strip offers something for everyone, there is a whole city beyond the lights full of great fare.

Here are six places away from the beautiful, glorious chaos of Las Vegas Boulevard where you can treat yourself to good eats, drinks, and chats.

 

Lotus of Siam

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Photo: Tasty Touring

Once referred to as the best Thai in America by Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold (a title that few disagree with), this award­-winning joint intrigues your tastebud by nailing the ­spice-driven wonder of northern Thai cuisine. It’s a move away from the potentially more notable sweet and tangy flavors of Bangkok Thai food. Spicy sausages, crispy duck, barbecued prawns, mouth-watering curries, and a score of vegetarian dishes make Lotus of Siam the Thai place to eat at if you’re anywhere near Sin City.

 

DW Bistro

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Photo: Ateriet

While eating clean in Sin City can be a challenge, this hot spot bounds to life with fresh, hand-picked ingredients, whether dinner or brunch.

DW Bistro is a renowned eatery for both Jamaican and new Mexican cuisine (think more of two killer restaurants in one, rather than a fusion dive). From succulent jerk chicken to braised short ribs that melt with bordelaise sauce, the menu creators — two dear friends — know they’ll see you here again when they open in their new location this month.

 

Aces and Ales

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Photo: Aces and Ales

Inspired by the more classic gastropubs of Europe, this is the place to go for gourmet food that’s as heavy in flavor as the poured booze that pairs alongside its expansive food menu. It’s the sort of place that would prove equally exciting for a family’s young buck and its oldest crooner. Aces and Ales has two locations (East side and West side) and 70+ craft beers on tap between them, along with menu after menu of wines, scotches, whiskeys, and tequilas. They also have some signature cocktails, including a drink called “Sean Connery’s Therapist.” Eat, drink, and be stupefyingly merry here.

 

Piero’s

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Photo: 10 Best

Here is one of those Italian spots that get passed on as a recommendation through generations of tourists like a family secret, even though it’s a well-known hot spot.

Everyone from Bill Clinton to Michael Jordan to Justin Timberlake has had a meal here. It celebrates the kind of atmosphere that encourages evenings of story­ swapping and laughs, where you’re practically old friends with the server by the time the check comes. Piero’s is old school in its history, its fame, and even its approach to food, as the menu hasn’t changed since the doors first swung open to welcome the Rat Pack.

 

Cugino’s Italian Deli & Pizza

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Photo: Las Vegas Weekly

Always ready to serve up authentic Italian meats (as well as vegetarian dishes), Cugino’s Italian Deli & Pizza is a legit spot that feels like it could’ve been helicoptered out of New York City and dropped in the Vegas desert. Happily put on pounds by devouring pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and desserts that taste as though they got made by a family dedicated to the culinary craft of the old country. This is the joint East Coasters either show off or sneak to when nobody’s looking on a weekend away.

 

Honey Salt

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Photo: Eating Las Vegas

A lighter affair of dishes that work nicely with hand­crafted cocktails and homemade desserts,  Honey Salt keeps a farm-­to-­table mentality even in one of the noisiest cities around. Bouncing from sweet potato gnocchi to a charred filet mignon, the menu invites members of any dining party to find exactly what they’re hoping for. It fills without overkill, as one of the few places in Sin City that won’t slow you down when you head back out for a wild night-turned-morning.