Three popular Southern California restaurants are poised to make the leap to the Las Vegas Strip. Water Grill, Crack Shack and Majordomo will be joining the highly competitive — and very crowded — dining scene in the city.
“My God, there are so many restaurants in this town, it’s crazy,” Sam King, the founder and CEO of King’s Seafood Co., said during a drive down Las Vegas Boulevard last week.
On July 17, King will open Water Grill’s newest location at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. The restaurant he and his cousin launched 30 years ago in downtown L.A. now has locations in Santa Monica, San Diego, Orange County and Dallas.
“At Water Grill, the raw bar rules. Always has. And in downtown Los Angeles, Water Grill is an institution on the order of Tadich Grill in San Francisco,” said a Times review.
King isn’t changing the formula. He hopes that same love of seafood will woo some of the 40 million tourists and convention attendees, especially those from Southern California, who visit Las Vegas each year. “We’re definitely counting on that,” he said.
The raw bar, which features at least 16 types of oysters plus other shellfish, will be the main draw at the space occupied for 26 years by another California homegrown restaurant, Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, which moved to the Bellagio last June.
Crack Shack, which entered Southern California’s dining scene a few years ago, serves up “reimagined Southern California fried chicken and egg fare,” the website says.
Operations manager Dan Peña calls it “a Southern California fried chicken joint” that will open its sixth location next month in a prime piece of real estate at Park MGM , where it will front onto the sidewalk along the Strip.
“I’m in love with the location, being so close to T-Mobile Arena, the concerts that they have booked here [such as] Lady Gaga and Aerosmith,” Peña said. “You have this humanity that is passing by our door.”
Crack Shack’s co-creator, “Top Chef” Richard Blais, isn’t changing what draws customers to its Southern California locations. The restaurant will continue to stress fresh ingredients using free-range chickens raised on small California farms. “We’re a celebration of chicken,” he said.
The small chain currently has restaurants in Century City and Pasadena, plus locations in Orange and San Diego counties.
Majordomo, acclaimed by many as one of the best restaurants to open in L.A. in 2018, will launch a location in Las Vegas toward the end of this year. Majordōmo Meat & Fish will be located off the casino floor at the Palazzo and will be operated by chef David Chang, founder of Momofuku Group, which already has a restaurant inside the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
A signature offering in L.A. that’s expected to grace the Vegas menu is a massive rib-eye priced at a hefty $190.
“Chang … knows that Vegas is a city that’s about extremes, a place where many guests want a cavalcade of luxury ingredients like A5 Waygu, caviar, king crab and lobster,” Food & Wine reported earlier this year.
The L.A. restaurants opening in Las Vegas join others with roots in the Southland. Burger Lounge, which began in La Jolla, opened a Strip location at Aria in 2016; Roy Choi recently opened Best Friend inside the Park MGM; and a 24/7 Du-Pars debuted inside the Suncoast resort.