Exploring Vegas Food Scene: Emmitt’s Comeback, New Lotus of Siam, and Brisson-Rocheleau’s Division

It’s been nearly eighteen months since former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith declared the imminent launch of his first high-end restaurant. (No, Emmitt’s Las Vegas will not be a sports bar.) Despite the delay, Smith’s eatery is making progress and is set to open soon.

According to Clark County business license records, a permit has been submitted for the 22,000-square-foot establishment in the Fashion Show mall. The space will include a lounge, nightclub and terrace, taking the place of the Sugar Factory. Last year, Emmitt’s announced Rainer Schwarz (of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and Bungalows on Laguna Beach) as its head chef. Schwarz presented a menu preview at the Fashion Show mall, including Chilean sea bass, Japanese A5 Wagyu Beef with foie gras, and butter cake.

Comings and Goings

Lotus of Siam is opening a fourth Las Vegas area location in Henderson, at a mixed-use space on the corner of St. Rose Parkway and Bermuda Road. This much-loved northern Thai eatery, which has received commendations from late Anthony Bourdain, is currently located at 620 E. Flamingo Road and inside the Red Rock Casino in Summerlin. The Henderson location will feature a Thai-style sushi bar, and is expected to open by the end of 2024.

Karved, the Maryland Parkway sandwich shop known for its rotisseries chicken and beef, is opening a new location at the Gramercy. It will be joined by Spanish fusion restaurant Anima by EDO and Jamaican/New Mexican restaurant DW Bistro.

Las Vegas is also getting a Better Buzz Coffee. Paperwork has been submitted to Clark County for a standalone building with a patio, drive-thru, and related electrical, mechanical, structural, and plumbing work. The blog did not mention the location. The small-batch roaster brand currently has 15 stores around San Diego, California.

After nearly a decade at Red Rock Resort, Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar is closing on April 30. This American food restaurant was a partnership between Station Casinos and Clique Hospitality, which will offer positions at its other eateries to displaced Hearthstone staffers.

Banger Brewing, at 450 E. Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas is also closing. The taps will stop flowing on Friday, March 31.

Chef Nicole Brisson has parted ways with her culinary partner, Jason Rocheleau, with whom she created the acclaimed Brezza and Bar Zazu at Resorts World. Brisson was the youngest female to become a chef at a notable Strip restaurant. Rocheleau has left Brezza and Bar Zazu, but is still heading up Amari, the restaurant they had planned to open in the Sundry food hall under construction at the Uncommons development in southwest Las Vegas.

Two chefs and wine bar from Las Vegas are 2023 finalists in the James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards. Chef Oscar Amador of Anima by EDO is a finalist for Best Chef: Southwest, as is Chef Kaoru Azeuchi of Kaiseki Yuza. Garagiste Wine Room is a finalist in the national category of Outstanding Bar. Winners will be announced on June 5 at a ceremony in Chicago.