My quest for great street food is never ending. I'll walk through tough neighborhoods for great food and I'll sit on a curb while eating out of a Styrofoam box if need be. In Las Vegas my quest for good food rarely takes me away from the Las Vegas strip for the simple reason that it is tough for me to recommend leaving the convenience of the tourist district to find a good meal.
I think the Great Bao is worth venturing off the strip. My reasoning is simple. You'll get a low cost meal from an established chef (Chef Sheridan Su, former Executive Chef at Comme Ca at Cosmopolitan Hotel). You'll get a different approach to good affordable food that is generally lacking for the Las Vegas visitor. Lastly, you'll see what is off the strip (strip malls and traffic, yeah!). Imagine a simple approach to a few authentic dishes and you'll get the feel for the place.
You might be surprised that I'm telling you to head to a salon for a meal worth talking about but the size of the place is why it's worth noting. Put a talented chef in a space with some quality ingredients and the basic tools to create a meal and you'll see something happen. You should go into Great Bao because the only draw is the food. There is no atmosphere, there is no scene, there is no hoopla. All you get is a guy who has found his passion cooking the food that he grew up with while adding his Culinary Institute of America training to the mix. This is not the Bao you'll find in your very own Chinatown but the flavors are all there in an updated version of a few classic dishes.
The Roast Duck Bao
I should mention that the draw at Great Bao is probably the Pork Belly, with its, salty, sweet, and nutty flavors making you cling to Bao as if someone was going to come by and take it from you but for me the Roasted Duck was far more comforting. The duck is done just right and you'll get a real authentic burst of flavor along with some crisp freshness from the vegetables.
Honestly, I could have had a few, like 10.
The Great Bao - Chef Driven Asian Cafe
4965 W Tropicana Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89103
Contact the Great Bao 702.900.2168