Vegas eats: Therapy

I’ve said it before: You can now have a great vacation in Las Vegas with awesome eats, without ever having to go to The Strip. Thanks to the efforts to revitalize Downtown, the area is just as hip and fun without the crazy crowds (yet).

The Fremont Street East district is just across the street from your parents’ Vegas. You can easily leave them at their favorite slot machine while you head out for a great meal, or (better yet) they can walk over and join you. Our Christmas Eve dinner was at Therapy, one of the new hotspots that opened this year on East Fremont Street. (Mahalo to Mark Fujimoto for the suggestion!)

Berry Good and Elder Melon, $10 each.

Therapy offers specialty and signature cocktails, all unique concoctions that many places in Fremont Street East are known for. They even have house made sangria, so we tried that. The Berry Good (left) was our favorite, a mix of amaretto, cranberry, fresh blackberry and sweet citrus flavors. Be careful, as this tastes like juice! The Elder Melon was comprised of Grey Goose Le Melon, Marie Brizard watermelon, prosecco, fresh watermelon, lemon, lime and orange. This was very watermelon-y, but more sweet, like candy.

Devils on horseback, $9.

Who doesn’t love bacon, right? These babies are filled with soft truffled goat cheese and almond-stuffed dates, then served on a bed of romesco sauce. Some people may turn their noses up at goat cheese, but I promise, this one doesn’t taste gamey. We loved the way the almond added a layer of texture to the dish … although it tasted good, without the almond, it would not have been as interesting.

Charred kale salad, $12.

The charred kale salad was a delicious way to get us to eat our leafy greens. You get a variety of flavors in there, with the roasted yellow and red beets, bacon lardons, shaved radish, shallots, herbs, and a Sunny Farm egg on top. The salad is pulled together with a whole grain mustard smoked bacon vinaigrette. I just need to warn you that this salad is very hearty, so it will fill you up.

Charred brussels sprouts, $8.

Everyone offers brussels sprouts now, and Therapy serves theirs with roasted cashews, butter, whole grain mustard, and parmesan cheese. If you eat brussels sprouts at restaurants, this isn’t a whole lot different from anyone else. But it’s good.

McKinnley’s braised short ribs, $19.

The four-hour braised short ribs were like butter! They were super soft and fork-tender, and had great, rich flavor. I didn’t realize they were dusted with Chinese five spice until later, which was kind of cool; the spices didn’t overwhelm the meat, but they did lend an interesting touch. We really loved the sweet potato puree underneath, as it tasted like Thanksgiving.

The salmon special (not always on the menu).

It’s not all meat and vegetables! For you pescatarians, Therapy has specials sometimes. The salmon was actually really nice — well-seasoned and moist, with tender vegetables. As you can see, this plate was low-carb, too.

I was too full from lunch at Flock & Fowl to totally enjoy everything at Therapy, but I’d definitely go back. The food is solid, and the vibe is comfortably “casual smart” — so you can go with your friends and make a night of it, or even bring your parents and still feel cool.

518 East Fremont St., Las Vegas, NV 89101