It’s true Las Vegas has a habit of destroying its history, although maybe less so now than in the past. Because of this scorched-earth philosophy, though, everything old tends to be … gone. Sort of like that last-generation iPhone you trashed on the way to CES. But here are some restaurants that have managed to survive the implosions around them, thriving as fickle tastes bring in new, trendier spots.
Golden Steer Steakhouse
If you miss the Rat Pack era in Las Vegas, the Golden Steer is the place for you. The restaurant opened in 1958 and those legendary performers used to show up here on a regular basis; Sinatra’s favorite booth was even labeled — until management wearied of people swiping the sign. The food leans heavily to steaks, as you might expect, plus tableside preparations of Caesar salad, Chateaubriand, cherries jubilee and bananas Foster. And how can you resist a restaurant that refers to a filet mignon as “the aristocrat of tenderness”?
308 W. Sahara Ave., 702-384-4470, goldensteerlasvegas.com
Hugo’s also does tableside bananas Foster and cherries jubilee, but even the dinner salads are prepared at your elbow; choose from among 10 toppings for your romaine, delivered on a rolling cart. There are throwback dishes such as Hugo’s Hot Rock Specialty for Two (meats and seafoods you cook on a hot granite slab), escargots en croute, duckling anise flambe and beef Wellington, and every female customer gets a red rose.
Four Queens, 702-385-4011, hugoscellar.com
Lotus of Siam
Lotus of Siam hasn’t been around as long as some of the others on this list, but it’s a Las Vegas legend, with national (probably international) fame. Its Northern Thai food has earned it legendary status, and its Khao Soi — crispy duck on noodles in a curry sauce — will take you to a place you’ve never been, as will the shell-on garlic prawns. A flood, renovations and COVID issues have led to a game of musical chairs with the two locations, but currently the newer one is open.
620 E. Flamingo Road, lotusofsiamlv.com
Sure, the Peppermill is “just” a coffee shop, but in the same way the Strip is “just” a street, and there’s a reason it has thrived since 1972. If you’re looking for an only-in-Vegas vibe it’d be tough to beat the Jetsons-crashed-onto-a-Southern-plantation decor (or the funky ’70s lounge, complete with conversation pit with fire-and-water feature and drinks such as the 64-ounce Scorpion). The food is classic American, fresh and varied and in portions to suit a longshoreman. Don’t believe us? Try the fresh fruit salad in half of a pineapple.
2895 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702-735-4177, peppermilllasvegas.com
Piero’s Italian Cuisine
You wanna know how much of an institution is Piero’s? Having been around since the marvelous mob years of the ’80s it had a starring role in the movie “Casino,” and more than one not-so-wise guy has been taken out of there in handcuffs. But you should go there for the transcendent short rib pizzaiola, and the pasta e fagioli that will warm your heart as well as your soul.
Piero’s Italian Cuisine, 355 Convention Center Drive; 702-369-2305 or pieroscuisine.com