This photo of Kelly’s Restaurant is courtesy of TripAdvisor
It’s rare to get four very busy people who live in different cities together for a festive meal. Fortunately, that was the occasion last night at a new restaurant located on Paradise Road, in Las Vegas.
I joined good friends Rich Korbin (who works for one of the better-known companies in the poker business — I’ll leave it at that), Glen Cadamartori (Marketing Director for Caesars Entertainment), and Terrence Chan (one of the best Limit Hold’em players in the world and currently a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter) for drinks and dinner.
We chose a new steakhouse which just opened up about a week ago, called Kelly’s.
The following narrative will be a combination restaurant review and recount of our dinner conversation, which went three all-too-brief hours.
I’m a carnivore. Morten’s of Chicago, Ruth’s Chris, Del Frisco’s, The Palm, Smith and Wollensky — pick any of these places and you’re guaranteed to enjoy a good meal.
Friday night, we decided to go a different route. Since both Ruth’s Chris steakhouse locations have now closed in Las Vegas (victims of the economy, no doubt), we noted that a new restaurant had opened up at the old Ruth’s Chris location on Paradise Road. This is positioned in a busy strip mall, across the street from Del Frisco’s. In fact, Yoli’s — the excellent Brazilian-style steakhouse — is also located along the same row of businesses.
Kelly’s has only one other location, so their excursion into the highly-competitive Las Vegas restaurant market is a major step for the privately-owned landmark based in Long Beach, CA.
Indeed, “Kelly’s Restaurant” has been an institution in Long Beach for more than 30 years. It’s very much an old-style “power lunch” kind of place. However, given its close proximity to the ocean and fresh seafood, there are many other menu options, as well. One has to wonder if this would be a rubber-stamp of the proven Long Beach venue. Or, would the new owners decide opt for a different flair near the Las Vegas Strip.
Upon first glance, Kelly’s looks very much like what was the former Ruth’s Chris restaurant. Perhaps when the new owners moved in, they realized that redecorating costs would be minimal, since the dark-wood, white-table cloth ambiance would perfectly match the atmosphere Kelly’s would be trying to create.
Some holiday decorations around the bar and dining area added to a festive feel. That cordiality was enhanced by very personal attention from the host (actually series of hosts) which greeted our party warmly as we made our way to the table.
Upon taking a seat — the look, the feel, the atmosphere all are what one would expect at a first-class steakhouse. Add live music in the bar area provided by a piano-playing crooner performing old standards, and you have all the makings of a great night out on the town.