Why would anyone move to Downtown Las Vegas? What there is lacking in amenities can be more than made up for with the community that is emerging here. I went to eat lunch at Eat with a friend on Monday (it was her first time there). At this point, I am pretty sure I have eaten every single item on the menu at least once, (breakfast, lunch, and brunch) and have gotten to know half the staff by name. I can walk in and greet Natalie with a smile and a hug, be given my drink of choice without being asked, and meet someone new if/when I am by myself. As my friend and I were wrapping up our food, she asked how Eat came about. Instead of trying to explain that epic story, I flagged Natalie down. She made herself comfortable by not-so-gently pushing me further down the booth, talking about the different acts of kindness of the community to bring everything together, and then proceeded to give us both dating advice (thanks Natalie!). How many people can say they have that kind of relationship with a truly local restaurant in Vegas?
Friday night I was meeting another friend at Le Thai for dinner. She was running a little late (typical) and I was a little early (also typical), so to kill some time I went to hang out with Hannibal in Coterie, the fashion boutique that opened on Fremont Street. Who was there by Danny, the chef and owner of Le Thai, who had recently been named the Best Chef (Off-Strip) by Vegas 7 magazine. Before Eat opened, Le Thai was my most frequent haunt downtown. There have definitely been weeks where I have eaten Le Thai every day of the week. It is one of the cornerstones of Downtown, one of Vegas’s best kept secrets (although Vegas 7 magazine might have let the cat out of the bag), and also less than a year old. That last tidbit was news to me. I got to hear Danny’s story about how he came to open Le Thai, and it was another one where there was a progression with community coming together.
Seeing how integral Le Thai has become a part of the community after less than a year and how popular Eat has become in a little over a month in being open, I can only imagine how much more the community will benefit from having more restaurants and businesses open. It is going to be a lot of fun both being a part of that community and creating it too.