Beijing Noodle No. 9: Baccarat + Bird’s Nest in Las Vegas

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Chinese Food Las Vegas


In baccarat, the number 9 is a winner. At Caesars Palace, around the corner from the baccarat tables, that auspicious number is paying delicious dividends at a beyond-stylish Chinese restaurant called Beijing Noodle No. 9.

In Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley spoils residents with a wealth of restaurants showcasing regional Chinese cooking. Dozens of unique Chinese options exist in the Valley, and while a few of them meet the culinary standards of Beijing Noodle No. 9 Executive Chef Li Yu, none of them can match their Vegas counterpart’s look and feel. Not even close.

Chinese Restaurant Las Vegas
The Japan-based architect Kawai was inspired by the Olympic “bird’s nest” stadium in Beijing. As a result, he created a wraparound metal shell with cutouts of woodland images like tulips and leaves. He also installed rows of fish tanks with hundreds of shimmering goldfish, imparting some contrasting color and movement.

Chinese Food Las Vegas
A dedicated noodle maestro was recruited from Hong Kong to tame flour noodles behind the bar at the restaurant’s entrance. This example of Vegas showmanship definitely improved our odds at the table…the dinner table.

Chinese Food Las Vegas
Racks of colorful spice jars line the top of the open kitchen, including garlic cloves, peppercorns and chile powders.

Chinese Food Las Vegas
Flaky baked pork buns were studded with sesame and filled with none of the sickly sweet pork gelatin you’ll find in lesser versions.

Chinese Food Las Vegas
A seemingly simple beef dish employed wok-seared cubes of filet mignon, blistered macadamia nuts, bell peppers and onions. This dish was similar to Vietnamese shaking beef, but with a different flavor profile.

Chinese Food Las Vegas
We had to order a noodle dish, selecting a chow mein-like dish with pork strands and cabbage. Searing the ingredients at high heat in a wok imparted smoky flavor.

Chinese Food Las Vegas
Potstickers sported crispy skins that were probably a tad to dry, and the pork was high quality but didn’t offer the desired spurt of hog juice. The overall result was above average.

Chinese Food Las Vegas
Jumbo shrimp were pan fried in Chinese wine sauce. The sweet crustaceans were terrific, plump and blistered from the high heat.

Chinese Food Las Vegas
I probably would have done without a green vegetable, and that would have been a mistake. My tablemate decided the dish would provide balance. It did, with sautéed asparagus and snow pea shoots.

Chinese Food Las Vegas
The last top-flight dish was a bubbling clay pot filled with moist chunks of pan-fried sea bass. Our knowledgeable waiter Tommy revealed the sauce is made using chicken powder, salt, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and onion, with water and starch acting as thickening agents.

Chinese Food Las Vegas
Pork with garlic was the only dish with any discernable heat, due to a liberal bath of chile oil. The firm strands of pork were cooked with wood ear mushrooms and crunchy julienned bamboo, which provided some textural contrast.

Chinese Food Las Vegas
In Los Angeles, the ethereal soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung have spoiled us. Beijing Noodle No. 9’s soup dumplings are significantly larger, and the skins aren’t quite so whisper-thin, but the pork flavor was still winning.

Chinese Food Las Vegas
The only dish that really fell flat was the kung pao chicken. The ingredients weren’t noticeably superior and the chef could have ratcheted up the spice at least a couple notches.

Beijing Noodle No. 9 had style points to spare and delivered several standout dishes. The price point was about double what you’d find in L.A.’s San Gabriel Valley. Then again, the ingredients were generally higher grade. If the owners ever want to expand, Beijing Noodle No. 9 would play great in a section of Los Angeles like West Hollywood or Beverly Hills.

Note: This meal was part of a media trip hosted by Caesars Palace for Los Angeles food writers.

Beijing Noodle No. 9: Baccarat + Bird’s Nest in Las Vegas

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Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

This is four times now that i’ve come on your website in the last 3 days while searching Bing for absolutely unrelated things. Kinda weird. Keep up the good articles!

We ate at Beijing Noodle No 9 for lunch on Friday May 15, 2009. It was my favorite restaurant of the week, and we ate at greats like Olives and Prime in the Bellagio, and Diego at the Grand. The Noodle restaurant was just simply delicious without trying too hard. The iced tea alone was enough to bring me back again, but handmade noodles and a gorgeous Kung Poa Shrimp didn’t hurt, either. Service was top notch, and don’t forget to try the out of this world Sesame Creme Caramel with an Almond Butter Cookie for dessert. Take-out is also available for a quiet night in. Now if only they delivered to Pittsburgh…

Great shot of the dining area, I love the look of that room!

Thanks. The design was pretty spectacular. It was almost disconcerting to have the white metal shell over the walls, but in a good way.

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