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TOM'S URBAN

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New York-New York

3790 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

702-740-6766

website

$20-40

Daily 6am-late

American & More

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AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A Vegas version of the popular Denver and Los Angeles restaurant from Tom Ryan.

Where is it?

At New York-New York on the South Strip.

What kind of food is served?

We're going to call it multi-ethnic for the purposes of this summary - American, Mexican, Asian, BBQ, pizza - a little bit of everything.

What is the atmosphere like?

Gorgeous, with big windows looking out onto The Strip.

How is the service?

Absolutely fantastic from beginning to end.

What are the prices like?

Not cheap but also not expensive - right in the middle.

What else do I need to know?

You can get here from inside the hotel or from outside on The Strip.

What's the bottom line?

One of my favorites in Vegas.

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FULL REVIEW

It's not easy to categorize Tom's Urban from a cuisine perspective. Is it a gastropub? Is it a continental small plates concept? Is it a new millennium comfort food diner? In a way it's all of the above and none of the above at the same time so let's just call it fantastic and move on from there.

Based on the popular eateries in Denver and Los Angeles from restauranteur Tom Ryan (who also created the Smashburger chain), it was added to New York-New York as a part of The Park revamp, which added new stores, restaurants, bars, and more to The Strip facing and north side of the hotel. It is accessible both from inside the hotel and from outside with a great outdoor patio, a glass wall that can be opened in nice weather, three separate bars, and lots of cozy booths and tables. It's brightly lit (but not too brightly), has a simple blue and brown color scheme, and lots of weathered wood accents giving it a lived in, comfy feeling.

The menu here is not a carbon copy of those outlets, but rather a "best of," taking the most popular menu items from each and adding some new stuff. It's eclectic and wide ranging, with burgers, barbecue, sandwiches, burritos and tacos, small plates of multiple varieties, fish, steak, pizzas, and much more. As such you can do your meal in a bunch of different ways, from noshing to full on food frenzy. A lot of it has an international patina layered on top such as the ginger chicken potsticker salad or the pizza with jalapenos and spicy giardiniera.

You can make a meal with the small plates that range from calamari done with green chile and ranch dipping sauces, crispy duck wings, spicy edamame, steak nachos, or a variety of sliders. Or you can do what we did and troll this section for our appetizers. We chose the low country shrimp and grits, a yummy southern throwback, and the mac and cheese topped with slow cooked carnitas and pork-green chile. That was a huge hit at the table; tangy and taste and the bowl it came in was practically licked clean.

For main courses consider the house favorites like the Urban Slopper. It's a huge hamburger with a thick juicy patty and a buttery bun smothered (actually drenched) in pork-green chile, queso fresco, pico de gallo, and melted cheddar and jack cheeses. Slopper is an appropriate name - it's impossible to eat with your hands so have a fork ready unless you want to walk out with it all over your clothes. I sampled that and it was a spicy, smoky delight; an interesting and amusing twist on a boring burger.

Add a couple of fried eggs and you get the Hangover Slopper. Subtract the burger and replace it with a ham and turkey sandwich on sourdough and you get their Colorado Hot Brown. You can also take out the sandwich all together and substitute a big burrito.

They have a variety of what they call "urban street tacos," with varieties including steak, carnitas, chicken, lobster and shrimp, and pork belly. A handful of sandwiches offer a big spectrum of choices from pork BBQ to carnitas Cuban press to a half pound hot dog topped with grilled onions and cheese sauce.

Over the entree category they have a bunch of steaks and seafood dishes plus a selection of burgers including a green chili version and one done Korean BBQ style with Sriracha and Asian peanut slaw.

In addition to the aforementioned Slopper we also tried the Texas Pulled Pork BBQ sandwich, which is pit-smoked on the premises and served on a soft bun with mustard slaw and apples. It was as good of BBQ experience as you can expect to have west of the Rocky Mountains. We also sampled the filet mignon sliders, which is served with Havarti cheese and hollandaise, and they were also delicious. There was not one bum note in the entire night.

A subsequent visit opened my eyes to the Prime Rib Philly Cheesesteak Dip, done with 3/4 of a pound of juicy prime rib topped with Havarti cheese and accompanied by a jus that was almost gravy-like in texture. That sandwich alone makes the place worth visiting.

Service was fantastic, friendly, and knowledgeable. We could tell that our team had not only tasted the food but enjoyed it and that makes a huge difference.

Prices are all over the map. You can probably get away with a check under $20 per person but you aren't going to get much more than a couple of small plates for that. Figure more in the $30-$40 range once you add in tip, tax, and a drink. That keeps it in the affordable zone but it's definitely on the high side of that category.

But with food, service, and an ambience as good as this, who needs categories?

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