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Heidi Knapp Rinella

Heidi Knapp Rinella

RJ food critic Heidi Rinella takes you inside your favorite Vegas eateries and let's you know what's worth the bite. Hungry for more? Head to bestoflasvegas.com for all of your foodie needs

Culichi Town in North Las Vegas serves Mexican sushi

“Mexican sushi” may sound like a paradox, but it’s a big thing in the Sinaloa region of our neighbor to the south. Culichi Town at Fiesta Rancho brings Las Vegas both the atypical hybrid and the fun, raucous culture that surrounds it. It’s an experience not to be missed.

North Italia reflects the best of what modern Italy has to offer

Pasta and pizza are elemental, basically flour and eggs in the former, with yeast and olive oil added for the latter. That simplicity is deceptive, with success or failure resting on the skill of execution and deftness of embellishment — and there North Italia excels.

Leticia’s delivers earthy, fiery spirit of authentic Mexican

Leticia’s Cocina has been eschewing dumbed-down, “Americanized” south-of-the-border food in favor of the deep, earthy and sometimes fiery spirit of authentic Mexican cuisine since 2009 at its original location in the northern valley near Highway 95 and Durango Drive, and that tradition continues at its new spot in Tivoli Village.

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Retro Bavette’s at Monte Carlo is a steakhouse for place and time

That Bavette’s Steakhouse &Bar doesn’t fit the stereotypical Las Vegas image of glitz and glamour is obvious on first sight of its stately door crowned by a sweep of studded red leather. It’s a Narnia-esque portal from the cacophony of the casino at the Monte Carlo (soon-to-be Park MGM) to the dusk of the restaurant’s entry lobby. There, all is plush and urbane, with framed art and mirrors covering floor-to-ceiling walls, against which sit overstuffed chairs.

7th & Carson wows with bread, Panna Cotta

Until recently, 7th Carson, which opened this summer at — well, Seventh Street and Carson Avenue, in downtown Las Vegas, served only one dessert, Salted Butterscotch Panna Cotta ($8).

Bandito Latin Kitchen serves familiar fare, friendly service

Owners of Mexican restaurants have a particular challenge because their cuisine is so popular. Familiarity builds expectations, and if a favorite dish isn’t on the menu, customers won’t be happy. At the same time, the restaurant has to satisfy those looking for something unexpected.