Desert Companion
 
Subscribe now
Current Issue
NOVEMBER 2014
Click the cover to read the complete digital edition
Features
The Radioactive Activist

Departments
All things to all people
Art
Dining
Editor's Note
End Note
Health
History
Notes and letters
Take 5
the guide
upcoming events
Take 5
Nov. 5, 12, 19, 26, 10p. Paul Mattingly (Second City) and Matt Donnelly (former writer for Penn & Teller) offer up improv at its finest. You...   
Nov. 12 & 26, 8p. Long-form improv in an intimate setting, so close to the Strip you can taste it. Come early to participate in improv games...   
Through Nov. 26. A selection of work in every genre: painting, textiles, digital, photography, sculpture, printmaking and mixed-media by some of...   
  0

One of my closest friends, a chef on the East Coast, groans whenever he hears the term “farm-to-table.”

“I hate it but I have to use it because diners want things spelled out for them,” he says. “When people ask what kind of restaurant I run, they’re confused if I don’t say Italian, Chinese, or French. I just want to say, ‘One that makes delicious food.’”

Kim Canteenwalla (of Society Café at Encore) is a chef in the same bind. At Honey Salt, his new restaurant in Summerlin, he and his wife Elizabeth Blau present local diners with a menu that defies classification. One can evoke summers in Hyannis Port with the New England Fry — a tangle of crumb-coated calamari, clams, and blistered green peppers — or channel the Andes with a Peruvian yellowtail crudo. Kecap manis, an Indonesian sweet soy sauce, is added to steak tartare, and an entrée called Nana’s Tiffin Chicken Curry is unexpectedly listed between the roast chicken and burger.

The only tie that binds these disparate dishes is the farm-fresh ethos that informs Canteenwalla’s cooking. Not unlike the acknowledgment page that precedes a novel, the bottom of Honey Salt’s menu gives shout-outs to the various growers responsible for your meal.

Honey Salt

But for a restaurant that celebrates sustainability and seasonality, it’s unfortunate that not one business on the list is from Nevada. Also lamentable is the fact that the chef’s work is hit-or-miss. A dish inaccurately described as turkey Bolognese with farro did not feature the actual grain, but boxed pasta made with spelt flour. Although the menu was corrected shortly after my first visit, this didn’t make up for the fact that the noodles were cold and tasted as if they had been shocked in ice water just before they hit the plate. On a separate visit, the Backyard Burger — ordered medium — arrived rare and with a side of fries that seemed to come from a frozen bag.

Canteenwalla walks a fine line between resourcefulness and redundancy. The Bolognese is basically the restaurant’s turkey meatball appetizer, repurposed as a sauce. Quinoa is used in three separate dishes, and kale — despite its status as the It vegetable of the moment — becomes tiresome after making appearances in a Caesar salad, soup, and side dish of mac and cheese.

But for these few missteps, there are definite highlights. The mac and cheese may not be enhanced by the addition of leafy greens, but the rich béchamel sauce and crunchy breadcrumb topping is solid and satisfying. And the filet mignon — a cut I consider overrated — is perfect when paired with a smoky bacon and potato hash.

Guests will fare even better at lunch. A simple grilled cheese, infused with truffle oil, is outstanding, and the last bite of a fried chicken sandwich with “Durkee’s dressing” (a kind of honey mustard sauce) almost incited a riot at my table. Even a small bowl of chopped salad, chock full of colorful vegetables (including more kale), is an inspiring side that I immediately recreated at home.

The transition to dessert is seamless, thanks to pastry chef Justin Nilson’s comforting creations. A warm cookie plate and mile-high chocolate layer cake both cry for a glass of cold milk. And an apple pie served in a brown paper bag is a flawless seasonal dish, even if its aesthetics are too precious for my taste.

Give Honey Salt some time to find its groove before you try it. If your dining companion asks where you’re eating, you’ll only have to say, “A place that serves delicious stuff.”   

Honey Salt 1031 S. Rampart Blvd., 445-6100, honeysalt.com; 11:30a-10:30p daily


Comments





























































 

Restaurant Awards
Recycle
Show me your Desert Companion

DC Scene
Recent Posts
11/26/14  
The point at which subtraction takes over
11/25/14  
How Vegas ate Reno's lunch
11/24/14  
River mysteries and new friends
{more posts...}


Archives
Archives

Newstand Locations
Pick up your Desert Companion today at one of these Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf or Jamba Juice locations.
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf LAKE MEAD & TENAYA
7291 W Lake Mead
Directions


PALMS CASINO
4321 W Flamingo Rd
Directions


UNLV
4550 W Maryland Pkwy Suite A
Directions


CARNIVALE
3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian Food Court
Directions


THE LAKES
9091 W Sahara Ave
Directions


THE DISTRICT
2220 Village Walk Dr Suite 140
Directions


MIRACLE MILE
3663 Las Vegas Blvd S Suite 45
Directions


CANYON POINT
10834 W Charleston Blvd Suite 200
Directions


TOWN CENTER
3645 S Town Center Dr Suite 101
Directions


PATRICK
6115 S Rainbow Blvd Suite 101
Directions


PALAZZO
3265 Las Vegas Blvd, Suite 1600
Directions


TOWN SQUARE
6599 Las Vegas Blvd, South #P-8149
Directions


BRIDGE
3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian
Directions


BOULDER CITY
Boulder Dam Credit Union
530 Avenue G
Boulder City NV
Directions

Jumba Juice

PEBBLE
1500 N. Green Valley Pkwy Suite 240
Directions


SAHARA & EASTERN
2675 S. Eastern Ave Suite 400
Directions


MCCARRAN MARKETPLACE
5905 S Eastern Ave Suite 108
Directions
NORTH MESA PLAZA
1829 W. Craig Road Unit 3
Directions


CANNERY CORNER
2546 E. Craig Road Suite 135
Directions


WESTLAND FAIR
1121 S. Decatur Blvd
Directions



Also available at Clark County and Henderson libraries.
Emerald City Smoothie

ST GEORGE
2376 East Red Cliffs Drive #502
St. George, UT 84790
Directions


Desert Companion