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Las Vegas’ newest restaurants echo L.A., with Roy Choi eatery and Factory Kitchen

Las Vegas’ newest restaurants echo L.A., with Roy Choi eatery and Factory Kitchen
Roy Choi's first Las Vegas venture Best Friend serves slippery shrimp, made with crispy shrimp, walnuts and chili mayo. (Audrey Ma)

Three new restaurants join the Las Vegas Strip’s lineup, including two with roots in Los Angeles: Kogi BBQ king Roy Choi’s first Vegas venture, Best Friend, and downtown Los Angeles’ Factory Kitchen.

Best Friend

Chef Roy Choi grills chicken for dinner service at his new restaurant, Best Friend, at Park MGM.
Chef Roy Choi grills chicken for dinner service at his new restaurant, Best Friend, at Park MGM. (Jay Jones)

The Asian-style restaurant has been packed with his devotees — such as singer Katy Perry and actress Marisa Tomei since it opened after Christmas at Park MGM.

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The restaurant’s vibe, decorated with murals of his famous food trucks, is “a love letter to L.A.”

“It was like writing a new song with all the elements of old,” he said.

Longtime fans will find familiar items on the menu, but half of the choices on the Vegas menu are new. Slippery shrimp, for example, made with crispy rock shrimp along with chili mayo and walnuts ($16), proved particularly popular the first few days after opening.

“It’s a dish in Chinatown in L.A. at a restaurant called Yang Chow. So I’m paying homage to that,” Choi said.

“Our kimchi is probably the thing that this whole restaurant rests upon,” he said of the South Korean dietary staple. “We have a fermentation cooler, like a kimchi chamber, and we’re doing all of our pickling, all of our fermentation, in house.”

Kimchi fried rice bowl, served with a poached egg on top, costs $13. Kimchi jjiggae – a pot of stew with pork belly and tofu, designed to be shared – costs $42.

It’s open daily 5 p.m. to midnight.

Info and reservations: Best Friend, (702) 730-6770

The Factory Kitchen

Pasta is prepared by hand at the pasta station in the main dining room at the Factory Kitchen. The downtown L.A. restaurant opened a Las Vegas location on New Year's Eve.
Pasta is prepared by hand at the pasta station in the main dining room at the Factory Kitchen. The downtown L.A. restaurant opened a Las Vegas location on New Year's Eve. (Jesus Banuelos)

Up the street at the Venetian, the Factory Kitchen also recently opened and expanded the menu of its downtown L.A. eatery.

Thanks to a larger kitchen, cooks in the location along the resort’s Restaurant Row are able to prepare a wider variety of dishes, such as risotto alla Milanese with roasted bone marrow and Grana Padano cheese ($28).

The Factory Kitchen's porthole-style window.
The Factory Kitchen's porthole-style window. (Jay Jones)

Guests can watch pasta being made at a station right in the dining room. The Vegas location also has a lounge, something the L.A. site doesn’t have.

The restaurant launched on New Year’s Eve and is now open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Info and reservations: The Factory Kitchen, (702) 414-1222.

Mott 32

At sister property the Palazzo, new-style Hong Kong restaurant Mott 32 welcomed its first guests on Dec. 29.

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The Las Vegas location is the group’s first in the U.S., with other restaurants in Hong Kong and Vancouver, Canada.

The Iberico pork used in several dishes at Mott 32 is imported from Spain.
The Iberico pork used in several dishes at Mott 32 is imported from Spain. (The Venetian)

As in China, Peking Duck ($108 for two) is the signature dish in Las Vegas. Elegantly prepared table side, the duck must be ordered 48 hours in advance. Iberico Pork With Yellow Mountain Honey ($39) uses pork imported from Spain.

Mott 32 adds Vegas as its first U.S. site. It has a landmark location in Hong Kong and another in Vancouver, Canada.
Mott 32 adds Vegas as its first U.S. site. It has a landmark location in Hong Kong and another in Vancouver, Canada. (Brento Ho)

The restaurant serves dinner 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. nightly.

Info and reservations: Mott 32, (702) 607-3232

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