Headed to Vegas? Don’t Forget to Stop by Lao Sze Chuan


The latest venture by award-winning chef Tony Hu, a graduate of China’s first culinary institution, reinvents his famed Chicago-based restaurant, Lao Sze Chuan, specifically for the increasingly discerning Las Vegas clientele. One of 16 restaurants opened by Hu since 1998, Lao Sze Chuan at the Palms Casino Resort offers authentic Sichuan cuisine, known for it bold, pungent and spicy flavors.

Featuring more than 100 menu items – ranging from the adventurous like Beef Maw & Pork Blood Cake Soup (a rich blend of dark broth, bricks of blood cake and twirls of intestine and stomach lining) to more Western-friendly dishes like Dry Chili Chicken and Crispy Shrimp in Lemon Sauce – Lao Sze Chuan is a refreshing addition to the Las Vegas food scene. Feel like grubbing? Cantonese BBQ just might be the thing. Watching your weight? Steamed fish and leafy green options abound. Still recovering from last night? The Beef Noodle Soup Szechuan Style is a nice, soothing bowl of comfort.

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Lamb with Pure Cumin. Image courtesy of the restaurant.
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Sze Chuan Smoked Tea Duck. Image courtesy of the restaurant.

Surprisingly, menu items are quite affordable, especially considering the establishment’s refined, almost hushed, atmosphere and elegant décor. Most must-share sized entrees range around $12-15 a plate (with market price exceptions for dishes like abalone, geoduck clam and live red cod), and noodle soups and dim sum go for less than $10.

And of course, you couldn’t operate in Vegas if you didn’t have a sophisticated selection of cocktails. In addition to drinks like the Lucky Dragon with coconut pandan vodka and the Sze Chuan Sling made with gin and poppyseed liqueur, Lao Sze Chuan also offers imported Chinese beer like TsingTao, Tiger and Lucky Buddha, all refreshing complements to spicy Sichuan cuisine.

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INSIDER TIP: After all that spice at Lao Sze Chuan, head over to Drift Spa and Hammam, also located at the Palms. Sweat it out at the only Turkish bath in the city, then get a Bindi Body Rejuvenation Massage, where warm herbal-infused oil specific to your Ayurvedic constitutional analysis is used to detox, calm and realign.

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Feature image (Beijing Beef Noodle Soup Szechuan Style) courtesy of the restaurant.
This story was originally published in our Spring 2015 issue. Get your copy here.