Traveling Table: Las Vegas

Skip the mega steakhouses and celeb chef outposts: Right now, Sin City is an Asian destination

Raku A table at this 31-seat restaurant helmed by chef Mitsuo Endo has become the most sought-after in town. And it's not just because there are only seven tables: Local chefs and food scenesters go for its excellent and affordable Japanese dishes, such as the silky, house-made Agedashi tofu in dashi broth ($9) and foie-gras custard soup ($15), a traditional chawanmushi enriched with foie gras and a side of cold udon noodles. 5030 Spring Mountain Rd.; 702-367-3511

Ichiza At this neon-lit, bento-box-size restaurant on the second floor of a strip mall, menu items (some with pictures) are posted on the walls and specials are indicated with Post-It notes. Dishes range from pork-belly ramen to sushi, but the must-order dish is the honey toast ($7), a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with honey-slathered fried croutons and topped with ice cream. 4355 Spring Mountain Rd., #205; 702-367-3151

China Mama Just off Chinatown's main drag, this lime-green boîte is known for its xiao loong bao ($7), steamed-pork soup dumplings that are best consumed by biting the bottom, slurping the soup out, then eating the rest. Don't miss the multilayered green-onion pancake ($5) and–if you're feeling adventurous–try the spicy pig's ear ($6) or salted duck leg ($7). 3420 S. Jones Blvd.; 702-873-1977

Hachi With its vibrant pink walls and Japanese Pop Art, this spot (pictured) is significantly cooler than the rest of the group. Aesthetics aside, chef Linda Rodriguez (an alum of NYC's Nobu and Bond St.) serves some of the town's best sushi and Japanese food, such as crispy spicy shrimp ($15) and yellowtail with serrano peppers ($5). Check out the under-$8 menu for the poppy roll ($7), made with white fish tempura, or the spicy shrimp and crab LSD roll ($8), and save room for the melt-in-your-mouth green- tea beignets ($9). Red Rock Resorts, 11011 W. Charleston Blvd.; 702-797-7576 or ilovehachi.com