AT A GLANCE
What is it?
A casual American eatery from chef Brian Malarkey.
Where is it?
At Caesars Palace on the Center Strip.
What kind of food is served?
New American classic - modern twists on old favorites.
What is the atmosphere like?
Dark, intimate, and loud.
How is the service?
Very good - they took care of us.
What are the prices like?
On the high side of things but not out of line for a Vegas restaurant like this.
What else do I need to know?
Braised pork butt. Why would you need to know anything else?
What's the bottom line?
Welcome to Las Vegas Chef Malarkey.
Chef Brian Malarkey is one of those guys that seems to have come from nowhere to being a real force in the restaurant world. After becoming a finalist on "Top Chef," he went on to open several restaurants in Southern California and Texas, one of which, Searsucker, came in at #2 on Time Magazine's list of "hottest restaurants in the country."
Searsucker is Malarkey's interpretation of classic American comfort food, with a wide ranging menu that covers almost all the bases that anyone could want in the genre.
Appetizers have interesting pairings of flavors like tomato and burrata, spicy hamachi and avocado, and tuna poke with shaved taro root; salads include a classic Cobb and a Caesars done with kale and romaine lettuce; shared plates run the gamut from shishito peppers with sea salt to tomato soup with grilled cheese to sliders to ahi tacos to eggs and bacon (pork belly and a poached egg), and more; and the grill offers steaks and seafood.
But it's the Signature Dishes portion of the menu that you should probably focus on. Here you'll find beer braised short ribs, fish and chips with crispy branzino, scallops with grapefruit, organic chicken breast, and their signature braised pork butt with whiskey apples, Brussels sprouts, and prosciutto.
We sampled several of the aforementioned dishes including the short ribs, the eggs and bacon, and the scallops and couldn't find a bum note in the bunch. Everything was generously proportioned and farm-to-table fresh, with fascinating mixtures of flavors that created a very satisfying whole.
Service was fantastic throughout the meal although we sometimes had a hard time hearing our server - as is the new norm, this place is loud despite all the warm woods and brick accents, which usually helps keep things quieter.
Prices are on the high side. Starters and salads run $13-$21; shared plates mostly in the $15-$22 range; signature dishes $25-$42; and grill items starting at $36 and going up (way up) from there. With drinks, dessert, tax, and tip you're easily looking at $50 per person or more.
So yes, it's not cheap, but there are lots of other restaurants out there that charge these kinds of prices for food that is nowhere near as interesting or as good. Keep this one in mind for your next Vegas dining adventure.