On the Strip: Mesa Grill

Anticipation is building for celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s next Las Vegas venture, the inspired seafood concept Shark opening at the Palms resort this spring. But fans of Flay know his Mesa Grill restaurant (Caesars Palace, 702.731.7731) has long been more than a Vegas Strip institution; it’s a place where cutting-edge flavors and bold culinary strokes are habitual.

Mesa Grill remains one of the city’s favorite power-lunch destinations, fueled by dishes like the tiger shrimp and roasted garlic corn tamale, ancho and chile-honey glazed salmon and the beloved green chile cheeseburger with roasted poblano peppers and rich queso sauce. Newer options at dinner include red chile barbecue duck served with a blue corn and red quinoa johnnycake, 16-spice chicken with habañero-apricot butter mashed potatoes and a chipotle-glazed, 22-ounce, bone-in ribeye steak. You don’t need to wait to sample this creative collection of flavors, just head over to Caesars Palace ASAP. –Brock Radke

Off the Strip: Lotus of Siam

Crispy Duck Khao Soi

Crispy Duck Khao Soi

Flavor blooms nightly at Lotus of Siam (620 E. Flamingo Road, 702.735.3033), one of Vegas’ best-known Thai restaurants. James Beard Award-winning chef Saipin Chutima creates gourmet dishes from Thailand’s rich and varied culinary traditions. Standouts include khao soi (crispy duck with wide noodles and curry sauce) and deep-fried garlic prawns. The extensive menu features a well-curated wine list, perfect pairings for Thai spices, and weekday lunch hours are a handy option for conventioneers. And yes, Lotus serves an amazing pad Thai! –Greg Thilmont

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Pancakes

Pancakes

Big changes are coming to the Stratosphere and it starts with the iconic property’s food and beverage program. The newest addition is the innovative, 24-hour Strat Café & Wok (702.380.7777), which fuses two classic casino restaurant styles: the around-the-clock diner and the fast-moving noodle shop. With a menu created by veteran Vegas chef Johnny Church, the new spot serves up breakfast faves, fresh lunch options, hearty supper entreés and Asian items like Mongolian beef and spicy pepper prawns. –Brock Radke