The culinary scene in Las Vegas Chinatown is second to none

The culinary scene in Las Vegas Chinatown is second to none.

It has no real rivals. None. Not in the USA.

The culinary scene in Las Vegas Chinatown is second to noneDriving west of the Strip, a street called Spring Mountain Rd., takes you through the heart of a very vibrant Chinatown. Strip mall after strip mall with Chinese-styled rooflines, many built in traditional Tong Dynasty Architecture. There are more than 5 large Asian supermarkets, dozens upon dozens of ethnic restaurants serving authentic regional Asian cuisines.

Scattered throughout Chinatown are over 50+ foot reflexology spas, several clothing stores, Chinese banks, Chinese schools and churches and other Pan Asian business line the main and surrounding streets.

Along the way a culinary mecca unlike any other is taking place.

There are now over 140+ Asian Restaurants in Las Vegas Chinatown. Dozens of  noodle houses, ramen and Viet pho shops, vegan and vegetarian restaurants, Korean tofu and BBQ restaurants, regional Thai and Vietnamese, Malaysian, Filipino and other Pan Asian restaurants of high quality are abundant.

Japanese cuisine is very well represented, with several outstanding high quality yakitori’s, kaiseki kushikatsu/kushiage and izakayas, sushi and sake bars, shabu-shabu\ and kare raisu restaurants now major foodie attractions.

The culinary scene in Las Vegas Chinatown is second to noneOver the past few years, a blend of new and old tenants at the complex at 3400 South Jones. BLVD has foodies buzzing and is already a bona-fide culinary destination. It has become known the hardest parking lot and is one hottest parking lots in America. Many people walk from other area lots to fill the 12 dining establishments, while others may shop, get a foot massage, sing karaoke, shoot pool or sip farm to cup artisan teas.

The complex houses nationally acclaimed restaurants such as Khai Vu’s District 1 whose Lobster Pho and Big Bone Pho are now legendary and Food and Wine Magazine Sommelier of the Year in 2013 – Bank Atcharawans Chada Thai, Both  now Las Vegas Chinatown dining destinations and institutions are part of the foodie strip mall.The culinary scene in Las Vegas Chinatown is second to none

The newest on the scene making a big splash, is Chef Jimmy Li. Debuting in Unit 16 — in a sleek and ambitious space is Chinese restaurant Niu Gu, opened in 2015 as Niu Gu Noodle House and after restructuring, debuted again as Niu Gu in March 2016.The culinary scene in Las Vegas Chinatown is second to none

Las Vegas food critic John Curtas said this in Eating Las Vegas“Methinks Spring Mountain Road is primed for Jimmy Li to do for Chinese cuisine what Mitsuo Endo did for Japanese.”

Chef Jimmy Li

Li, the Shanghai born chef and restaurateur started cooking when he was 17. In Las Vegas, Jimmy Li previously owned two well received Chinatown restaurants – 3 Villages and “1900”  both were located on Spring Mountain Rd. Chef Li has great skills and it shows in signature dishes like his Double Chili Shrimp, Rack of Lamb and Braised Short Rib and the freshest live seafood showcase his great skill.

On the Wake up with the Wagners show, John Curtas tells host Kim Wagner “Jimmy Li is the Chef at Niu Gu and is taking it to a different level. This is Chinese food in Chinatown, that is more like the upscale stuff you find in our better hotels”  He goes on to say “Jimmy Li is a serious Chef” “This is serious Chinese food, for serious people who want to taste upscale stuffThey are the best new Chinese restaurant and I am very excited about it. I really feel that they are going to start to upgrade Chinese food all all along Spring Mountain Rd and in that area.” reports “Li dazzles with his soups, short ribs, rack of lamb and lobster salad, but his spoon-tender tongue – with a fiery XO sauce- is offal eating at its best. His poached oyster, swimming in sweet-pungent garlic broth, is nothing to sneeze at either. Put them all together and you have an upscale Chinese restaurant with decidedly downscale prices – and one that is soon to start showing up on all kinds of “best of” lists.”

Niu Gu has assembled a true farm to cup grower tea list, perhaps the first in the nation and teas are served in an authentic Gongfu ceremony.

Chef Jimmy Li’s wife, the lovely Jing Li hails from Shandong, China and studied tea and tea culture back in her homeland. Ms Jing performs Gong Fu ceremony at Niu Gu as well as making some of Niu Gu’s desserts.

Both Chef Li and his managing partner Joe Muscaglione were recent guests on Channel 3 News and Joe told NBC News 3 Team’s Krystal Allan “ Most teas on the market today do more harm than good “ We source direct farm to cup tea growers and tea master and proudly serve their teas. These are the best available from China.”

Health benefits are often erased, when pesticides, herbicides and chemicals are left behind, leaving harmful toxins in the tea. Our teas are from real farmers. Families that have been hand crafting teas for centuries, families that farm and live in an organic and sustainable way. Tea made this way retains all of its health benefits

Niu Gu’s tea list prompted food writer and restaurant critic Dr. Michael Uzmann to write “Looking to up the ante in Chinatown with a spotless dining space plus a tea collection set to leave even the Strip’s formal fine dining spaces in the dust, Niu Gu from Chef Jimmy Li has been quietly making noise amongst Las Vegas most in-the-know diners” on his popular restaurant blog

“Joe has made it a personal mission to elevate Chinatown Vegas on a national scale”  Las Vegas food critic, John Curtas wrote in Eating Las Vegas.

Dr Uzmann also wrote  “Niu Gu represents a wholesale shift in culture for the restaurants on South Jones and Spring Mountain, Li’s cooking and Muscaglione’s guidance seemingly ready to go ‘all-in’ with an Strip-rivaling yet accessible Chinese Fine Dining approach.”

Our very own Michael Politz, founder and publisher of Food and Beverage Magazine who recently held a high end, private, celebrity filled birthday celebration at Niu Gu had Chef Li and Joe bring in special seafoods, vegetables, cooking wines, rare vinegars and ingredients, brought in exclusively for the event posted on his Facebook page:

“Best Chinese in Vegas. Period”

Niu Gu takes dinner and tea service reservations nightly from 5:00 11:00PM 7 days a week.