Sunday, April 28, 2019 | 2 a.m.
It’s been hard to keep up with all the changes and new additions at the Palms. If you haven’t made the rounds and sampled its many new restaurants, there’s a new top priority. It’s called Shark and it’s an original Latin seafood experience from celebrity chef Bobby Flay.
“This is almost a 2.0 version for how I’ve been cooking at Mesa Grill for close to 30 years now,” Flay says, referencing his landmark Mexican and southwestern restaurant that maintains a popular location at Caesars Palace. “Mesa Grill is still the restaurant that became my resume-maker early in my career. When I knew I wanted to do a fish restaurant, I decided to bring in those chili peppers and other ingredients I’ve always used but I wanted to add to my repertoire. I started thinking about eating at places like Nobu, which draws inspiration from South America.”
The result is an exciting menu of small plates, tacos built on house-made purple corn tortillas, sushi and sashimi and ceviche offerings, flavorful Latin side dishes like crispy rice with chorizo and wild mushrooms, and large format entrees for sharing, including whole grilled lobster or a 36-ounce prime porterhouse with chile butter.
“I was very nervous about the menu when I first started writing it because there a lot of things I hadn’t really done before, but as soon as I started cooking I knew I was on a good path,” Flay says. “I have a lot of experience balancing big flavors. It’s not about burning your mouth out or just making things hot, it’s trying to find lots of layers of flavors and textures to create an interesting, delicious dish.”
Flay also runs an outlet of his Bobby’s Burger Palace chain on the Strip, but Shark is the first restaurant concept he’s created for Las Vegas. He said he’s enjoyed working with Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, owners of the Palms, and being a part of the off-Strip resort’s dramatic renovation.
“It’s early but we’re getting a really great crowd, a lot of local people and a lot of people from Los Angeles and the Bay Area,” Flay says. “There are so many great new venues at the Palms but if you’re into eating, you get to choose between Shark and Vetri and Michael Symon’s restaurants. I think it’s becoming a place people think of as a real destination for food.”
Shark is open for dinner daily from 5 to 10:30 p.m. at the Palms (4321 W. Flamingo Road, 702-942-7777).