Price Per Person:
South and East of The Strip
4350 E. Sunset Rd.
Henderson, NV 89014
One of the best restaurants in the city.
In Henderson, a few miles south and east of The Strip.
Fresh fair that changes daily based upon what the Chef can get his hands on.
Cozy and familial.
Amazingly affordable for this kind of quality.
It's in a boring strip mall but don't let the bland exterior fool you.
Unbelievable on every level - a fantastic place to eat.
There are hundreds of restaurants on or within a few steps of The Strip. Dozens of them are terrific and worthy of your attention.
But if you are looking for the finest dining experiences in Las Vegas, you have to get away from the tourist areas. Some of the best restaurants in town are located miles from the big hotels and casinos with eateries like Raku Grill, Austins, Memphis Championship BBQ, and M&M Soul Food as evidence.
Now add Todd's Unique Dining to that list.
I understand it's tough to get off The Strip. I had been hearing about Todd's for years but had never made it the roughly seven miles or so to its Henderson location for whatever reason. I'm glad I finally did and if you go, which you should, you will be too.
Chef Todd Clore honed his craft at restaurants in Denver and Los Angeles before coming to Vegas in 1995 as the Chef de Cuisine for the Sterling Brunch at Bally's, which under his guidance became the most extravagant buffets in town from both a food quality and cost perspective.
He opened his own restaurant in 2004, located in a non-descript strip mall with just a handful of tables. It's a warm space with a friendly, family feeling - in fact, Chef Todd's family is usually working alongside him.
The menu focuses less on a cuisine theme and more on the freshest ingredients he can get his hands on. This means that the menu changes almost daily but you can expect to find a wide variety of dishes with everything from American to Asian to French influences.
The goat cheese wontons in a raspberry basil sauce are a signature item on the starters list but we went with the Asian dumplings served in a tangy/sweet soy sauce and were not disappointed. Other options include items like Malaysian BBQ shrimp, crab cakes with a roasted pepper butter, and tuna tartar with avocado.
But don't load up on the teasers because you'll want to focus your attention on the main attractions. Seafood is a specialty here and the quality rivals, and in many cases, exceeds what you'll find at the big restaurants. It's tough to find good seafood in the Nevada desert but Chef Todd has done it as evidenced by the amazing lobster wrapped sole or the swordfish that we sampled.
Signature items in this section include a Colorado rack of lamb with pomegranate and black pepper and a Kobe skirt steak served "on fire," with spicy black bean and chili sauce.
The true star of the show, however, was the braised boneless short rib. Slow cooked for three days (!!), the meat is like the most tender, most delicious pot roast you'll ever have in your entire life. It's served in a red wine gravy on a bed of jalapeno mashed potatoes and is so popular that when they tried to remove it from their menu, regulars rose up and demanded its return.
Don't miss the dessert menu with standouts like a sweet bread pudding or seasonal fruit cobblers that will make you want forget about the idea of sharing with your table-mates.
Strip restaurants that serve this type and quality of food would charge a small fortune, but here it's remarkably affordable. Most starters, soups, and salads are under $10 and main courses are mostly in the $20-27 range. You can easily do a dinner for two with drinks, dessert, tax, and tip for under $100.
Todd's Unique Dining is, hands down, one of the best restaurants in the Las Vegas area and yet another reason for real fans of food to get off The Strip.