The Adventurist Guide to Downtown Las Vegas

Enter the Dragon

Written by Matthew O’Brien 

If you have yet to visit Las Vegas’ latest resort, the Lucky Dragon, it may remain something of an enigma to you. Is it Asian-themed or just Asian-style? Would non-Asians enjoy it? Is it affordable or exorbitant?

A trip to the sleek, red-dominant boutique hotel-casino, located on the southern edge of the city (on Sahara just west of the Strip), goes a long way toward solving the riddle—and I’d be surprised if you couldn’t find something there to suit your taste. Perhaps it’d be the dining options, which include a 24-hour, Asian-style eatery (Bao Now) and Pearl Ocean, an upscale restaurant that’s drawing rave, early reviews for its dim sum. Maybe it’d be Cha Garden, the tea room that sits adjacent to the lobby and features an extensive menu and a “tea sommelier.” Or it could be the 27,500-square-foot casino, intimate by Strip standards, that specializes in table games like baccarat and pai gow and above which soars a 1.25-ton glass dragon sculpture/chandelier.

Lucky Dragon President and CEO Andrew Fonfa has expressed hope that his hotel-casino will help spur a second Chinatown. This seems awfully ambitious and many years off, but it has already provided an option for authentic Chinese food a little closer to the heart of the city—and it’s certainly worth a visit.