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Eat LAVO Italian Restaurant (702.791.1800; www.lavolv.com) This hot spot specializes in carefully crafted Italian classics including brick-oven pizza, pasta, steaks and seafood, but the superstar is the gigantic 1-pound, ground A-5 Kobe beef meatball topped with fresh whipped ricotta. Can you say yum? This dish is created by combining fresh ingredients together in a softball-size hunk. Then it is cooked it in the oven for 2 hours, simmered in ragù sauce for 45 minutes, brought to a boil in the pizza oven and served to your table. A whole lot of love goes into this dish, and it is oh-sogood!   SushiSamba (702.607.0700; www.sushisamba.com) Here you will find a heavenly blend of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian inspirations all rolled into the culinary spirit that is SushiSamba. Traditional dishes like the sashimi seviche and crispy yellowtail taquitos are sure to make your taste buds dance with excitement. If you enjoy nontraditional sushi rolls, order the El Topo, which is artfully packed with salmon and jalapeño then wrapped in a shiso leaf and topped with fresh melted mozzarella and crispy onion. In all honesty, you can’t go wrong with any choice; the entire menu is outstanding.  Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery (702.414.6203; www.bouchonbakery.com) Bouchon Bakery has it all. The atmosphere is charming and bright, the service is magnificent, and the enthusiastic reactions to each dish will interrupt any conversation. The breakfast and brunch menu is the perfect motivation to drag yourself out of the plush bed upstairs after a long night out on the Strip. Indulge in the sourdough qaffles coupled with Tahitian vanilla bean butter, order the Bouchon pastry basket for the table (you will thank me later), and don’t forget a Bellini or mimosa. It is safe to say that the Bouchon Bakery is my new definition of brunch.  TAO (702.388.8338; www.taorestaurantlv.com) Be prepared to walk into another world when entering TAO restaurant. Center stage is a threestory bronze Buddha statue backed by an even taller red wall glowing with candles. The lights are low and the serenity is enveloping. The atmosphere alone would make this a top pick but, lucky for us, the fare is also spot-on. Start with the satay of Chilean sea bass and wok-roasted asparagus. It is by far the savoriest sea bass I have ever tasted.  1 2 3 4 1 2 3 70 may/june 2013 southfloridaluxuryguide.com


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