Crustacean Las Vegas & Prana Lounge

A recent trip to Las Vegas awarded me the exciting opportunity of visiting the newest addition to one of my favorite restaurants here in Los Angeles. Crustacean Las Vegas and Prana Lounge follow in the tradition of The An family’s world renowned group of restaurants including their hailed Crustacean in Beverly Hills, California.

Crustacean Las Vegas is located in Desert Passage, an extension of The Aladdin Hotel & Casino. When I arrived at the restaurant, I immediately noticed an apparent difference of atmosphere between Crustacean Beverly Hills and that of their Las Vegas establishment. The An family successfully replicated the French Colonial Vietnamese design of their other establishments, while still capturing nightlife energy of Las Vegas.

The restaurant and lounge glows with seductive hues of ruby and gold, anchored with the dark richness of bamboo, setting a very loungy vibe to the atmosphere. I knew that this meal was going to be nothing short of a two hour plus dining experience.

My friends and I settled into our circular booth, situated just slightly above the bamboo dance floor where a three man band pumped out rhythmic beats. There were curtains pulled back on each side of our booth that provided privacy and seclusion if need be. Unfortunately, I was with girlfriends and had no use for such a feature.

One would only have to take a swift glance around the restaurant to notice the overwhelming attention to detail that principal and CEO Elizabeth An paid close mind to while designing her Las Vegas location.

The walls are covered with custom made silk fabric and hand painted by young artists that Elizabeth hand picked herself. Everything from the lamps to the tables to the doors are all antique artifacts hand picked by Elizabeth and acquired from the four corners of the world. In the restrooms you will hand painted screens acting as bathroom stall doors. In Crustacean Las Vegas & Prana Lounge, every aspect of the restaurant is in harmony with the laws of feng shui and water features have been placed throughout. Crustacean Las Vegas & Prana Lounge was described by Las Vegas Magazine as the “Guggenheim with a kithen.”

A large circular opening above the dance floor connects this bi-level restaurant and lounge where guests relaxing upstairs in the Prana Lounge can still enjoy the excitement going on downstairs. The Lounge is host to five antique opium and marriage beds dating back to the Ming Dynasty.

Our meal was nothing short of amazing. Executive Chef Helene An has successfully duplicated her illustrious menu at her Las Vegas location, while managing to add some new and exciting dishes. Some of the recognizable menu items were the Chilean Seabass, Garlic Noodles with Tiger Prawns, and Shaken Beef.

Notable additions to the Las Vegas menu included the Whole Roasted Baby Chicken (marinated in lemon-lemongrass-mint and ginger) and the Lotus Chicken Salad.We began our meal with a four appetizers - two of which I had not yet had the pleasure of trying. The lobster tempura roll and the lobster mango spring rolls were two very different appetizers and were evenly wonderful in their taste. We also ordered their Dungeness Crab Puffs and Ahi Carpaccio, as I could vouch for from experience.

For the main course, I longed to be adventurous and try something new; however, I couldn’t stray from my absolute favorite dish – the famous Crustacean Roasted Crab. I can agree with Leonardo Di Caprio when he was quoted as saying, “I crave the Roasted Crab weekly!” Served out of the shell, Chef Helene An prepares this dish just a her father had for many years. Helene uses Crustacean’s famous garlic sauce as well as brilliant (and very secretive) combination of herbs and spices that deliver a very balanced and incomparable flavor.

I decided to top off my Roasted Crab with another one the the An Family’s famous dishes – the Garlic Noodles. Using the same secret garlic sauce, these noodles have long been a favorite to Crustacean diners.

A vegetarian confidant present at the table enjoyed the Roasted Baby Beets, Grapefruit, and Arugula Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette and the Asian Vegetable Saute.
After a long pause following our meal, we were able to indulge ourselves in a few bites of the Marscapone Mousse – Pear and Apple Napoleon with Apple Carmel Sauce, Fillo Crisps and Cinnamon Ice Cream and the Chocolate Lava Cake with Crème Anglaise, Raspberry Coulis and Vanilla Ice Cream. A perfect way to complete an already fabulous culinary experience.

All dinner guests left equally as amazed and delighted with their experience in Crustacean Las Vegas and Prana Lounge.

Jennifer Disotell
Style Director