Chef Ariel Zuniga used to work for Spanish celebrity chef Jose Andres, so it’s no surprise his paella game is on point. Among the half dozen varieties his neighborhood spot offers, in portions intended to feed two, are valenciana (rabbit), langosta (lobster) and verdura (vegetable), $32 to $65 for two-person portions.
5781 W. Sahara Avenue, 702-659-5781, pamplonalv.com
While this new Tivoli Village hot spot is known for its pizzas, ice cream and gin cocktails, you won’t want to overlook its perfectly prepared arancini. More than simple risotto spheres, chef James Trees blends rice with corn for a beautiful creamy mix, which he then stuffs with truffle cheese before breading and frying, $11.
Tivoli Village, 410 S. Rampart Blvd., 702-463-7433, adaslv.com
Lotus of Siam
Thai fried rice is a very different product from the Chinese version most people know — lighter, fluffier and usually more complex. Chef Saipin Chutima offers a dozen takes on it in her local landmark restaurant, all made with jasmine rice and a house blend of spices, $12-$17.
620 E. Flamingo Road, 702-735-3033, lotusofsiamlv.com
This off-Strip institution offers three spins on the classic Italian rice dish risotto. Risotto sottobosco offers lemon-basil rice with stracciatella cheese and garden vegetables. Risotto aragosta spotlights lobster, seasonal black truffle and mascarpone cheese. Risotto caprese features tomato rice with vegan mozzarella and a drizzle of pesto, $28-$38.
4480 Paradise Road, 702-364-5300, ferraroslasvegas.com
You can find biryani (an aromatic mix of basmati rice and stewed meats) in just about all Indian restaurants. At Shiraz, however, you can enjoy chicken, lamb or goat versions in a clay pot from the Indian section of the menu, alongside a large selection of Persian and Pakistani dishes, $13-$17.
2575 S. Decatur Blvd., 702-870-0860, shirazrestaurant.com