Whether you are a local or a visitor, finding a great place to eat in Las Vegas can be a challenge for many reasons. Location, price, proximity to other activities; so many things to think about! One of the great ways to sample restaurants and explore an area is to take a guided tour. If you are food fans like we are, you take a food tour. One of the most interesting tours that takes you to four fabulous Downtown restaurants is the LipSmacking Foodie Tour.
This tour begins in the Carson Kitchen. A lovely restaurant founded by the late Chef Kerry Simon. Carson Kitchen features American Comfort food in new and interesting ways and top notch cocktails. You will really get a feel for the place as you get to sample four great dishes: Crispy Chicken Skins with smoked honey, “Devil’s” Eggs with crispy pancetta and caviar, Roasted Young Beets with pistachio, orange, and goat cheese, and Veal Meatballs with a sherry foie gras cream. We absolutely loved every single item on the menu. Thankfully our wonderful guide advised us to pace ourselves as we would be eating more on the tour.
On the way to our second stop, our guide gave us a little history of the businesses that began with the Downtown Project in Las Vegas. We got to peek into a secret nightclub. (You’ve got to take the tour for more on that!) Our guide also pointed out several places that we could enjoy some live entertainment, dance, and have a few cocktails. The second stop on the tour was two blocks away in the Lobby of the Ogden.
We arrived at Itsy Bitsy Ramen and Whiskey ready for an adventure. This cozy place features a DJ in the evenings and noodle bowls that you customize to your taste. We were treated to a signature cocktail, Sake-To-Me, (we highly recommend it!) and a beautiful array of dishes. We sampled a Snow Crab Hand Roll, Shrimp Pot Stickers, Japanese Sweet Corn and the Chef’s Ramen Selection. So much to taste! The presentation was beautiful and each dish was unique and delicious.
A short walk from Itsy bitsy was our third stop, Inspire. We traveled south down Las Vegas Blvd. and our guide pointed out some of the other eateries and bars. Inspire has a very low-key façade. This space was once a 7-Eleven and was completely gutted and totally remodeled for the needs of the new owners. It is very inviting once inside and we were greeted by an enthusiastic employee. We walked around in the lounge area up front and took in the atmosphere of the bar. Our tour began with the Inspire Theater. It is a complete theater with a stage and seating that was acquired from an old church somewhere in the Midwest. The theater has comedy shows, drag shows, musical performers and even political rallies! We were treated to the view of the theater from Tony Hsiehs’ private box on the second floor. This venue houses one of the top ten private lounges in the world. 365 Tokyo only seats 10 so members, who pay a membership fee (call for information on fees) must make reservations. Outside on the third floor is a nightclub. This may be the best view of Fremont Street. We sampled craft beers from local brewery Tenaya Creek and took some photos of the amazing view before heading to our final stop.
We walked east on Fremont to sixth and our guide told us about the Market. We took a short stroll through Container Park exiting on Carson in front of our final destination-Glutton. We were greeted with a signature cocktail and some incredible featured dishes. We started with Ahi Tuna Tacos, then sampled Braised Pork Flatbread, Wood Roasted Cauliflower, Pickled Tomatoes, Caramel Corn Profiteroles, and for dessert a Peach Cobbler. Everything looked as wonderful as it tasted!
You must consider LipSmacking Foodie Tours for you and your guests to get a taste of Downtown Las Vegas. If your stomach is growling you should go to VegasFoodieTour.com immediately, and tell them we sent ya!