The Eureka Casino smells like a combination of cigarette smoke and the fragrance circulated in the air ducts at Mandalay Bay (for you non-Las Vegans, most casinos pump air fresheners to mask the cigarette smell). An unlikely home for such a delicious restaurant; somehow Fat Choy has managed to clear its petite space on the casino floor of these obtrusive smells. The concise menu highlights familiar Asian flavors while injecting them into American classics.
Little bao tacos are the superstars of the menu. Featuring Peking duck, pork belly and tofu with mushrooms, there is a bao option for every palette. My favorite was the ultra-crispy Peking duck which was paired with a generous schmear of sweet plum sauce, a sprinkling of micro greens and thin slices of cucumber. At an inch thick, their signature pork belly was soft and succulent with a gently caramelized skin. Lastly, the tofu-shitake mushroom combo was quite nice and light. The chef clearly uses intense heat to get the tofu mega crispy. All together, the textural combination of the soft bao “bun” and the morsels within made for a yummy Asian-taco lovechild.
Our entrees of Short-rib Grilled Cheese and Duck Rice were simply back-up singers to the bao rock$tarz. My over-excited anticipation for the grilled cheese was met with a less than impressive sandwich (reminder to self: lower expectations). Although, I am convinced that with loads more onion jam and a few sprays of Sriracha, it could have been amazing. The rich rib meat was perfectly tender and dripping fatty juices down my arm with each bite. I also loved the gooey cheddar cheese-provolone duo and the crisp sourdough bread. I blame ravenous delusions for generating a grandiose image of the Duck rice—a big bowl of flavorful rice topped with crispy duck meat, cilantro, carrots, peanuts, cucumber and hoisin. Upon arrival I was slightly disappointed to see a quarter of a duck, a pile of rice and a side mixed greens salad. Still, the dish very good mainly because of the duck…I’d like a tutorial on how they cook their duck, it’s incredible. Crispy on the outside and moist within, it is a beautiful demonstration of duck meat. The only other component on the plate worth mentioning is the ginger-garlic paste which added a lot of flavor—still, the dish was still crying out for a sauce.
Overall, this restaurant definitely deserves a better home.
Bonus perks: Super sweet servers, Food Network was on one of the massive wall mounted TVs, AND there was good music playing.