weather icon Mostly Cloudy

New Las Vegas Strip resort NoMad is not too refined to party

Updated November 14, 2018 - 9:43 am

Will Guidara knows what he wants in a Las Vegas Strip restaurant and nightlife venue.

Soon, you will know it, too.

“What we always try to do is build the experience we want to receive,” Guidara says as he steals away few moments during Saturday night’s VIP opening party of NoMad Bar inside NoMad Las Vegas. “We are looking for a something that is over-the-top and you can only get in Las Vegas, but also with an intimacy that contrasts with everything else on the Strip.

“We want an oasis in the middle of Las Vegas.”

The “we” in this instance are Guidara and Daniel Humm, the star chef and co-founder of Make It Nice, which runs the food-and-beverage program at NoMad Hotel at The Park MGM. Sydell Group operates Nomad Hotel itself.

The 293-room hotel on the property’s top four floors and NoMad Bar are open now. NoMad Restaurant starts taking reservations tonight.

As the opening-night party indicated, this is a spot where the suited can get silly.

“This is not a fussy restaurant, because we are not uber-serious people,” the 38-year-old Guidara says. “We take what we do seriously, but not ourselves seriously at all. We like to have a party.”

Three smaller NoMad enclaves are placed adjacent to the main dining room: The private Cellar, the Parlour; and the Salon.

Those in attendance at the opening fete included such hospitality industry power players as MGM Resorts International Chairman Jim Murren, MGM Resorts President Bill Hornbuckle, development company Sydell Group Chief Executive officer Andrew Zobler, Chef Christina Tosi of Milk Bar at the Cosmopolitan, and Mark and Jonnie Houston of the upcoming On the Record at The Park MGM.

Guidara and Humm also operate Eleven Madison Park, NoMad New York and NoMad Los Angeles. Eleven Madison Park has earned three Michelin stars. NoMad is thus a refined effort, but you don’t need to speak in a whisper.

More from the party and the convo with Guidara:

Credit “O,” in part, for inspiring NoMad: “My dad ran the Wolfgang Puck restaurant at MGM Grand 20 years ago, and took my mom and I to ‘O’ at the Bellagio,” Guidara says. “I fell in love with the city from that point forward. I was just inspired by the theatricality of it, the showmanship, and that’s what we have always tried to deliver in our restaurants.”

Of height and books: NoMad’s main dining room stands two stories and seats 120 guests, in the middle of a library of about 25,000 books from David Rockefeller’s collection that the company snapped up at auction. The proprietors are fast to note the authenticity of the entire collection, as man of the books are marked with Rockefeller’s own handwritten notes.

They control the environment: Guidara says his company had received offers to open on the Strip for years, but didn’t held off.

“We waited this long because we liked the idea of being able to control the environment,” he says. “We did not want our guests to have to walk through whole slot-machine flow to get to our restaurant, we did not want our guests to be walking through in the morning to be inundated with inappropriate music that is extreme for the morning.”

Embracing the Las Vegas heritage: Guidara and Humm have visited restaurants along the Strip and across town. They pocketed many design and aesthetic ideas in their travels.

“We have a red rose cart because I was inspired by the cart at Hugo’s Cellar,” Guidara says. “We have tall banquettes because of the banquettes at the Golden Steer. There are things that exist in Las Vegas that don’t exist anywhere else. Sammy Davis Jr. sat in this banquette? That’s incredible! I’m not just saying this: I love everything Las Vegas was, and everything Las Vegas is.”

He can keep the beat: “I’m a drummer, and I love live music, so that alone should tell you I want something that’s not too garish,” says Guidara, who booked Questlove as his VIP DJ and also had L.A. jazz front man Chris Norton and popular Vegas vocalist Nieve Malandra play the opening party. “I love Neil Peart of Rush, and I graduated (high school ) in 1997, so the Dave Matthews Band was a big thing to me.”

The work at NoMad is ongoing: “We have a lot left to figure out, and a lot more to see in Las Vegas,” Guidara says. “We are not a themed thing, but we are a Las Vegas thing. So we are still being informed about where we can go with this. But I can tell you, this business is half what you’re serving, and half making sure people want to receive it.

“If you’re cynical and not willing to have fun, it’s not going to play, no matter what it is. But if you’re willing to have fun, this is where you will want to be.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Heavier traffic expected from EDC festival attendees
Electric Daisy Carnival attendees began to vacate the Las Vegas Motor Speedway starting before 5 a.m., the majority heading south on Interstate 15.
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DJ Steve Aoki visits Las Vegas comic book store
DJ Steve Aoki visits Torpedo Comics in Las Vegas Friday, May 17, 2019, for a signing for his new comic book series "Neon Future." (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas Smith & Wollensky opens at The Venetian
After 18 years, the Smith & Wollensky location on Las Vegas’ south Strip closed in 2017, to be re-born two years later with a rib-cutting — instead of a ribbon-cutting — in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Colin Cantwell, Creator Of Iconic Star Wars Ships Visits Vegas
Colin Cantwell, who created and designed such "Star Wars" ships as the X-Wing fighter, and Death Star, met fans at Rogue Toys in Las Vegas today. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Beauty & Essex in Las Vegas makes an EDC Wonder Wheel
In honor of the Electric Daisy Carnival, Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas makes its Wonder Wheel party-worthy. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Giada talks Vegas Uncork’d
Giada De Laurentiis talks during Aperitivo Hour, a Vegas Uncork'd event, at her Caesars Palace restaurant, Pronto, May 10, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Scenes from Vegas Uncork’d 2019 on the Las Vegas Strip
The 13th edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit brought four days of food, wine, celebrity chefs and parties to town, May 9-12. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three ingredients Gordon Ramsay can’t live without
Bon Appetit's Andy Baraghani interviews the "Hell's Kitchen" chef during a Vegas Uncork'd event at Caesars Palace, May 11, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Uncork’d launches wiith bubbles and a blade
Dozens of chefs representing some of the Strip’s top restaurants gathered Thursday at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to launch the 2019 edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bunky the Clown at the clown convention
Bob "Bunky the Clown" Gretton talks about his life as a clown and the Clown Convention which was in Las Vegas at Texas Station this week. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Frying soft-shell crab at Lola’s in Las Vegas
At Lola’s: A Louisiana Kitchen in Las Vegas, soft-shell crab is breaded and fried and served either as an appetizer, po’boy or platter. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
The Stove in Henderson makes Pecan Pie Pancakes
At The Stove in Henderson, chef/partner Antonio Nunez stacks buttermilk pancakes with pecans and dulce de leche and tops them pie crust crumbs. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vinnie Paul remembered at Count's Vamp'd
The late rocker's favorite table at one of his favorite clubs in Las Vegas. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
4DX movie experience at Red Rock
4DX movie experience during a demo reel at Red Rock. (Christopher Lawrence/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What To Do On May The 4th
There are plenty of events going on May the 4th this year around Las Vegas. Celebrate Star Wars and Comic Book Day all at once. The Rogue Toys, the 501st, Rebel Legion and Millennium Fandom Bar are all hosting fun events to help celebrate your geek-dom. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Water Sports Introduces New Attraction At Lake Las Vegas
Las Vegas Water Sports will debut its new aqua park attraction at Lake Las Vegas Days this weekend. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Making the Space Invader at Greene St. Kitchen in Las Vegas
Lysa Huerta, pastry cook at Greene St. Kitchen at the Palms in Las Vegas, starts with angel food cake, Fruity Pebbles ice cream and strawberry sorbet to create a space creature engulfed in flashing lights and swirling mists. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Pools
The M, Park MGM and NoMad are just a few great pools in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jose Andres explains Iberico pork
(Al Mancini/Las Vega Review-Journal)
Inside Life is Beautiful
Craig Asher Nyman explains how Life is Beautiful festival is booked and talks about this year's line-up. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America Pops Up In Vegas
Tattoo'd America, a new pop-up attraction on the Linq Promenade, had their grand opening Friday. The attraction is dedicate to the culture of tattoos. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Jose Andres gets key to the Strip
Chef Jose Andres was presented with a Key to the Las Vegas Strip and a proclamation declaring April 26 Jose Andres Day in Clark County by County Commissioner Tick Segerblom on Friday. The ceremony took place at his restaurant Bazaar Meat in the SLS Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sadelle’s in Las Vegas makes a grilled cheese with an inverted bagel
Michael Vargas, executive sous chef at Sadelle’s at Bellagio in Las Vegas, inverts an everything bagel and grills it with Swiss, cheddar and Muenster cheeses to make the Inverted Bagel Grilled Cheese. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures
Kassandra Lopez at Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Prime rib is carved tableside at Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Las Vegas
Dave Simmons, executive chef of Lawry’s The Prime in Las Vegas, which plans special cuts for National Prime Rib Day, demonstrates the restaurant’s service from rolling tableside carving carts. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making gluten-free pizza at Good Pie in Las Vegas
Good Pie owner/pizzaiola Vincent Rotolo makes his gluten-free pizza.
Rockabilly fans enjoy Las Vegas weather poolside
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender runs Thursday, April 18th through Sunday, April 21st with a huge car show on Saturday featuring The Reverend Horton Heat, The Delta Bombers and The Coasters. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brownie sundae at VegeNation in Las Vegas is completely vegan
Donald Lemperle, chef/owner of VegeNation in Las Vegas and nearby Henderson, NV, makes his sundae with ice cream made with coconut and almond milks, a brownie made with coconut flour and oil and organic sugar and cacao, and fresh fruit. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)