Wednesday, May 30, 2012 | 5:40 p.m.
Nearly four years ago, I took some friends to try a new restaurant at Luxor, a clubby type of place called Company. It was disastrous, disappointing food and bad service and just an overall terrible idea. But we weren’t surprised, because why were we eating out at Luxor?
Today, the pyramid has turned it around. Luxor still isn’t known for its restaurant lineup, but as the casino has drifted away from its original goofball Egyptian theme, an interesting and tasty array of dining options has developed, complemented by bonus eats in the Mandalay Place walkway (Burger Bar, Rí Rá, Hussong’s Cantina and the new Slice pizza joint).
- 3900 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 262-4444.
The basics are all here: buffet, food court, 24-hour cafe and a couple of Starbucks. There’s a New York-style deli called Backstage serving mountainous sandwiches, burgers and dogs, which is conveniently open around the clock Sunday through Thursday. (Most casino sandwich shops wrap it up earlier.)
The resort’s main food attraction, Tender, is helmed by former Craftsteak chef KC Fazel and is one of the great unsung steakhouses on the Strip. It may boast the most different cuts and types of meat, including a Wyoming bison ribeye ($46), a great American Wagyu top sirloin from Idaho ($42) and a crazy wild game tasting with bites of wild boar, antelope and venison ($36). It’s all good, and there are killer sides and a fine cheese selection to boot.
There’s deliciousness hiding upstairs on Luxor’s weird Atrium Level, too. One of my favorite lunches on the Strip is a torta at T&T, juicy carnitas, pulled chicken or carne asada on a sweet bolillo roll. Lots of hotel guests return for dinner after they get a taste of this casual eatery’s terrific salsas. Nearby is Rice & Company, a steady Chinese restaurant masquerading as a sushi bar. You can get raw fish anywhere, but not every casino has perfect, crispy Peking duck ($19 half, $36 whole), Hong Kong-style noodles loaded with meat and fresh vegetables ($18) and ginger-glazed lobster Cantonese ($32).
Mexican and Chinese favorites that hit the spot for a decent price, plus a stellar steakhouse? You’ve come a long way, Luxor.