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Wood-fire steakhouse is coming to UnCommons in southwest Vegas

Updated February 20, 2024 - 4:30 pm

Where there’s (red oak) smoke, there’s (Rare Society) fire.

Brad Wise, the chef and restaurateur of Trust Restaurant Group, is bringing his Rare Society steakhouse to the UnCommons development in southwest Las Vegas. The chef’s trademark technique involves cooking steaks over American red oak — harnessing the flame, controlling it — in homage to Santa Maria-style grilling from the Central Coast of California.

The new Rare Society, at 6880 Helen Toland St., is set to debut by the end of the year, joining four other locations in California and one in Seattle. Although each steakhouse presents a distinctive look, they collectively celebrate a retro-chic vibe that draws on classic chophouses and midcentury design (and, for UnCommons, a nod to Old Vegas).

It was inevitable, perhaps, that Rare Society would come to town.

“On the Strip, off the Strip — Vegas should be on everybody’s radars as they look to expand,” Wise said. Off the Strip turned out to be a fit, specifically the southwest, where more than three dozen food and drink spots have opened across UnCommons and Durango resort in the past nine months. (Only one concept remains to be announced at UnCommons.)

“When I started to do some traveling in the area, it moved to the top of my list,” Wise continued. “I like the attention to detail people are putting into these restaurants. The vibe off the Strip was nothing I expected.”

The right wood

Rare Society will encompass 5,000 square feet and seat 160. Plans call for a sunken bar, a wine display leading to the main dining area, a private dining room, dry-aging cabinets and an open kitchen. There won’t be an exact Santa Maria-style grill, where the grate is raised or lowered by turning a wheel, but there will be a version of that grill, one custom-built by the chef.

“It’s the same distance from the flame to the grill, but the grate is just not adjustable,” Wise said. The chef likes preparing proteins (and produce) over a red oak fire because it’s a “sweet, clean, easy-burning pure hardwood. It gives the most flavor.”

On the boards

Meat boards, named The Associate and The Executive, anchor the menu. Each board showcases three different cuts of beef.

The Associate is a wagyu board — “the cuts change based on what I want to serve,” the chef said, “but the idea is to expose people to pieces of meat that they may not be all that familiar with.” Say, a wagyu Denver steak or tri-tip alongside a staple like wagyu filet mignon.

The Executive features cuts that are dry-aged in house. These cuts can change, too, but generally run to a bone-in ribeye, a New York strip and a filet mignon.

Both boards are “presented on a custom-made lazy Susan right in the middle of the table, so you’re sitting there, and the boards drop, and you can spin the board around and sample each cut of meat,” Wise said. This shareability, he added, “is at the core of our hospitality ethos.”

More menu

Steakhouse standards like Caesar and wedge salads, shrimp cocktail, oysters Rockefellers, grilled lobster, seafood towers and go-big desserts join the meat boards on the menu. Housemade sauces accompany the proteins: T1 steak sauce, creamy horseradish, vegetable butter, piquant béarnaise. And Santa Maria-style salsa.

Because where there’s red oak smoke and fire, there’s also the right salsa.

Contact Johnathan L. Wright at jwright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @JLWTaste on Instagram and @ItsJLW on X.

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