It’s official: Proper Eats has replaced the buffet at Aria Resort & Casino. The food hall quietly opened in December, but is now in full swing on the second floor of this beloved five-star property on the Las Vegas Strip. The concept has become a growing trend amongst hotels on Sin City’s thoroughfare, first starting with Block 16 at the Cosmopolitan followed by Resort World’s hawker center–themed Famous Foods. And now, with Proper Eats, there’s another well-curated food hall for visitors to experience.
This latest addition to Aria is the brainchild of Clique Hospitality, a company behind numerous bars and restaurants in San Diego, Las Vegas, and Chicago. Founder Andy Masi says that he and his team “spent months checking out different concepts throughout the U.S. and abroad to put together a stellar lineup of culinary experiences for Proper Eats . . . [that] delivers something special for whatever guests are craving.” In addition to great variety, Proper Eats also offers diners a seamless ordering experience via a QR code or touch-screen kiosks along with plenty of seating where you can gather with friends or hold a business meeting. For anyone who’s planning on stopping by, here’s your complete guide to the 11 venues at Proper Eats.
Coming from across the pond, this is Seoul Bird’s first outpost outside of London. Created by chef Judy Joo and her partner Andrew Hales, the menu is a reflection of Joo’s Korean-American heritage. Crispy, double-fried chicken is the star and it’s served in three forms: as a sandwich with a toasted potato bun and combinations that include American cheese, kimchi slaw, and Kewpie mayo; over rice in a bowl with sweet garlic soy or spicy gochujang; or as jumbo-sized tenders with sauces that range from blue cheese ranch to Korean BBQ. And if you’re looking for a Korean take on loaded tater tots, their K-tots are topped with cheese, kimchi salsa, hot sauce, and sour cream.
Culinary director Jason McLeod notes that the team “probably tasted 30 different buns and 40 different grinds” to perfect the burgers for Lola’s, and it seems to have paid off given that this has been Proper Eats’ consistent top seller. There are a trio of burgers on offer, including a vegan option, but it’s the smash burger that has become a favorite. With the combination of a buttery bun, double patties that are crispy around the edge, melted American cheese, grilled onions, pickles, and a Russian dressing, it’s comfort in a bite. And what would be a burger without fries? But this is Vegas, so they’re elevated with Parmesan, truffle oil, and a Dijon aioli, or you can opt for onion rings served with a barbecue ranch.
While Tao Group Hospitality is best known for their nightlife venues, they prove that they can also do a stellar casual breakfast offering with Egghead. Originally opened in New York City, which unfortunately didn’t survive the pandemic, there are four sandwiches named after neighborhoods in Manhattan. While they all differ in protein—egg whites, bacon, sausage patty—and accoutrements—fried shallots, Sriracha mayo, spicy aioli, kale, avocado—the common denominator is eggs, cheese, and an irresistible potato brioche bun. They’re hefty and will leave you full for the better part of the day, but if you have room, make sure to also order the brick-sized hash brown.
Laughing Buddha Ramen
Like its name suggests, ramen is the name of the game. The tonkatsu broth is both unctuous and rich, a pleasant surprise for a stall of this nature, and there’s also a vegetarian-friendly miso option that’s packed with umami. Both bowls are garnished with black mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and green onions while the tonkatsu comes with slices of tender char siu. Just don’t forget the bao buns, which are stuffed with either pork belly or crispy eggplant, and the pickled cucumber salad for something light and refreshing.
Originating in Portland, Oregon, Shalom Y’all is Proper Eats’ spot for fast-casual Mediterranean fare. While they currently offer chicken shawarma pita sandwiches, a kebab plate, and a spiced cauliflower bowl—the menu is expected to slightly change in the coming months—the unexpected crown jewel is their hummus. McLeod notes that the team prepares theirs the “old-world way” by slow cooking raw chickpeas (no cans here) for six hours and that “it’s almost equal parts chickpeas and tahini” rather than being loaded with olive oil. The result? A smooth and creamy dip rich in flavor that’ll have you reaching for more.
An outpost of Clique’s restaurant in Encinitas, California, Temaki Bar delivers made-to-order hand rolls using sustainably caught seafood. The rice is warm, the fish is cold, and the seaweed is crisp—just what you want out of a good hand roll. While you’re at it, put in an order for the spicy tuna crispy rice, where a generous chunk of tuna enrobed in a chili garlic sauce sits atop fried sushi rice, dressed with a citrus ponzu. For the full experience, skip the tables in the dining room and grab a seat at Temaki’s counter to watch the chefs in action.
Angelenos may already be familiar with Wexler’s, but for those who haven’t been before, this Jewish deli is beloved for their smoked salmon and pastrami that are smoked, cured, and hand-sliced in-house. Open for breakfast and lunch, they offer a myriad of bagels and sandwiches. For something on the more luxurious side, the Moe Greene features lox, paddlefish caviar, and gold leaf, but if you want something a little more comforting, the Sam Rothstein is a pastrami Reuben with Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and sauerkraut between slices of grilled rye bread.
Renowned DJ and producer Steve Aoki continues to expand his restaurant portfolio with this latest venture in New York–style pizza. These thin-crust treats can be purchased by the slice or as a whole pie and boast a variety of toppings like mozzarella, ricotta, pepperoni, capicola, and roasted vegetables. Fans of Aoki will also appreciate that the pizzas have been cheekily named after his tracks, albums, and songs that he has remixed.
It wouldn’t be Vegas without some drinks and Proper Bar is here to deliver. Classics—mojito, margarita, Old Fashioned, espresso martini—can be found on draft while specialty cocktails by bartender and beverage consultant Eric Hobbie have been designed to pair with the food served at Proper Eats’ various stalls.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy pick-me-up in the morning or early afternoon, Easy Donuts offers a variety of coffee, tea, and pastries such as croissants, quiches, and Danishes. But donuts are the star and their specialty offerings like the Fruity Pebbles or Samoas-inspired treat with shaved coconut, chocolate, and caramel will spur some nostalgia.
Easy’s Cocktail Lounge
Tucked behind Easy Donuts is a speakeasy that will undoubtedly become a favorite in Sin City. The upscale lounge is open Thursday through Monday and features live entertainment in the form of a three-piece band and singer for a post-modern jukebox ambience. It’s here that Hobbie is able to demonstrate his true creative prowess, where the presentation is just as important as the drinks themselves. The leather-bound menu features a host of classics along with craft cocktails that include “show stoppers” served in unique vessels such as pipe-shaped glasses in a cigar box and mushroom-shaped snifters on a moss-covered tray. There’s even caviar service for those who want to indulge, where the delicacy is brought out in a faux Fabergé egg.
How To Order:
In addition to using the kiosks at the food hall, guests can also order directly through their phone via a QR code presented at the dining tables or online through Aria’s website. For anyone who wants to avoid any potential long waits, take advantage of the latter option while you’re lounging in the room or on your way back to the hotel. You can select either dine-in or take-out and a text will come through once your food is ready.
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