It’s late. You’ve been doing — whatever — and you find yourself with an appetite at maybe 3 in the morning. And it seems you have plenty of options.
There are the all-night fast-food places, of course, although maybe fast food doesn’t really appeal. There’s a 24-hour cafe and sometimes other options in just about every casino, but maybe you don’t feel like a park and walk. So where, pray tell, can one find good food in the wee hours? Here are some suggestions, courtesy of Review-Journal staff.
Bar food of the old-fashioned kind — we’re talking wings and onion rings and nachos and mozzarella sticks and potato skins and combo platters if you really can’t decide — seems to evoke more delightful memories when they’re eaten near the Romantic Flaming Pool at the Fireside Lounge at the Peppermill, 2985 Las Vegas Blvd. South. There’s also a menu of exotic drinks such as the Oatmeal Cookie, which contains Goldschlager, Jaegermeister, Stoli Vanil Vodka, Bailey’s Irish Cream and ice cream. Which, of course, we don’t recommend with the combo platter.
It’s not that we’re stuck in a Peppermill rut; it’s just that the Peppermill’s lounge and cafe are so different, they may as well be in two different orbits. That extends to the food, because the cafe is known for just about anything, 24/7, including a huge fruit plate with marshmallow cream and homemade banana bread, eggs Benedict, biscuits and gravy, omelets, shrimp cocktail, burgers, ribs, fettuccine Alfredo, steak and sundaes that overflow their dishes. And at the Peppermill, more is more.
Most of the restaurants in and around the valley’s Chinatown have a tendency to keep late hours, and that applies to Joyful House, 4601 Spring Mountain Road, which is open until 3 a.m., seven days a week. The full menu’s available, so whether you want a simple, restorative bowl of won ton soup or a more elaborate dish such as the spicy house crab, this is the place to go.
A British pub may not seem like the most likely place to get an all-American hamburger, but the half-pound, $3.95 burger at the Crown & Anchor is hard to beat, especially since the cheese choices include Stilton as well as the usual American, cheddar and Swiss. The whole menu’s available 24 hours a day, though, so if you have a 3 a.m. itch for a Cornish pastie or bangers and mash, this is the place to scratch it. The original is at 1350 E. Tropicana Ave.; there’s a smaller Crown & Anchor Pub at 4755 Spring Mountain Road.
When the craving for a plate of pasta hits, it hits, no matter the hour, so it’s a good thing the Bootlegger Bistro, 7700 Las Vegas Blvd. South, is open 24 hours a day. The prices are right, too — $6.50 for spaghetti with meatballs and homemade sauce, or eggplant Parmigiana? Now there’s a deal we can’t refuse. There’s lots more, including breakfast — with a decidedly Italian spin.
Well, here we are: bulgogi at 3 in the morning. Or 4. Or 5 (which might actually qualify as breakfast). Dae Jang Keum Korean Barbecue & Tofu Restaurant, 3943 Spring Mountain Road, is open 24/7, which means you can pop in whenever the mood hits. And if you need a bit of a pick-me-up, there’s always the kim chi.
Got a pizza craving at 4 a.m.? The three locations of Carmine’s Little Italy — inside Instant Replay sports lounges — serve authentic New York pies 24 hours a day. Selections include traditional Margherita (with buffalo mozzarella), white and vegetarian pizzas and more offbeat versions such as ham and pineapple, garlic chicken and seafood. And they’re great spots for catching those middle-of-the-night sports broadcasts.
POKER BAR FOOD
Which is not to be confused with bar food. Most of the poker bars across the valley have made giant strides in the past few years as they have courted the (mostly) neighborhood clientele to come in for a meal instead of just a beer or two. And one of the best of this new(ish) genre is Martini’s, 1205 S. Fort Apache Road. Even at 4 a.m., you can stop by Martini’s and fill up on prawns wrapped in bacon with mango barbecue sauce and crispy onions, or a smoked prime-rib sandwich — or even a burger or wings, if you prefer.
They say you shouldn’t eat a heavy meal late at night, but “they” clearly haven’t had a hankerin’ for a decent steak after a long night on the town. The Ruth’s Chris location at 4561 W. Flamingo Road serves its entire menu until 2 a.m., seven days a week (with the last seating at 1:30), so if it’s a porterhouse you want, it’s a porterhouse you shall have. And that counts, as well, for the lobster and lamb and pork and fish.
Dragonfly, An Asian Joint, 3900 Paradise Road, is a sister restaurant (and right next door) to the more well-established tapas restaurant Firefly, and like Firefly it’s a great place to get late-night food — in this case, until 2 a.m. There’s a full Japanese menu but the sushi and sashimi are particularly noteworthy — especially the latter, because you can get a variety of fish in a variety of styles, most of them unique to Dragonfly. And we highly recommend the Vegas Roll, a big elaborate production that includes a lobster tail.
Tapas and the associated small-plates concept have been a little slow to catch on in Las Vegas, but Firefly on Paradise, 3900 Paradise Road, has not. Firefly pretty much pioneered the tapas concept in the valley and continues to make it its own, expanding well beyond traditional Spanish-style tapas to include such dishes as herbed fries with aioli, baked fillets of grouper and banana-Nutella sandwiches, although you can certainly get a plate of Serrano and manchego. And you can do it until 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights, 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.
Not only Thai food but also Thai music are on the menu until 3 a.m. Saturdays at Tipps Thai Cuisine, 5740 Spring Mountain Road, which means we can stop in after a concert or show or making the rounds at the clubs for curry or tom kha gai or a plate of pad thai. Sweet dreams indeed.
Contact reporter Heidi Knapp Rinella at firstname.lastname@example.org or (702) 383-0474.