The Oyster Bar in Las Vegas (Photo by Brad A. Johnson)
In a city filled with splashy, high-profile celebrity chef restaurants, it’s refreshing to discover something more low key, unexpected and off the traditionally beaten path. Chances are you didn’t even know there was a casino in Las Vegas called Palace Station. And chances are even better that you’ve never heard of that casino’s Oyster Bar. The locals would like to keep it that way.
Gumbo and pan roasts at The Oyster Bar (Photo by Brad A. Johnson)
Blink and you’ll miss it. The entire restaurant is merely a kitchen counter with about 16 bar stools. It’s open 24 hours, and there is always—always—a line (no reservations), almost entirely made up of regulars. The menu is tightly focused on shellfish: freshly shucked oysters, clam chowder, gumbo, jambalaya, bouillabaisse… The gumbo is as good as anything in New Orleans, but the best dish on the menu is something called a “pan roast,” which is a lot like gumbo, only better.
The Oyster Bar’s idea of profiteroles (Photo by Brad A. Johnson)
For dessert, they serve what they call profiteroles. Brace yourself. It couldn’t be farther from the traditional definition of profiteroles. But adjust your expectations accordingly, and you’ll devour every last bite. You might even lick the bowl.
The Oyster Bar is definitely worth a detour. Seriously. You won’t be disappointed.