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Brian Malarkey Says Las Vegas is Perfect For Searsucker

Last updated: April 7, 2015 at 12:11 pm. Posted by in Las Vegas Restaurants. Comments Off on Brian Malarkey Says Las Vegas is Perfect For Searsucker.

Hot chef Brian Malarkey debuted his latest Searsucker location on March 27 at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. The former “Top Chef” finalist, winning judge and mentor on ABC’s host of “The Taste” touts a “social dining” menu of shareable new American comfort foods. The mushrooms and burrata, triple brie, tuna albacore, pork butt and brussels sprouts are just a few must-try dishes. They’re perhaps only overshadowed by melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookies.

Thomas Schoos designed the 7,500-square-foot restaurant, located next door to Omnia Nightclub. Schoos plays up design touches mixing cowboy culture with a mid-century roadside diner. He features several of his own whimsical food paintings, along with coarse rope chandeliers, neon “Eat” signs and rustic wood and marble tables.

Malarkey sat down with Las Vegas Blog about why he chose Las Vegas, what the Searsucker name means and more.

How long have you been thinking about expanding to Las Vegas and what made you decide on this particular spot?
I always focus on what’s currently going on. I am a partner with Hakkasan Group which makes this venture very special. Once we formed this relationship, Las Vegas piqued my interest. It’s so close to San Diego and so many people travel to Las Vegas.

Your designer Thomas Schoos created Tao, Tao Beach and LAX as well as Herringbone in Los Angeles and Searsucker in Austin and San Diego. How has his knowledge of Las Vegas affected the look of the place?
We really kind of stuck to what Searsucker is in San Diego. It’s very personal to me. I grew up on a ranch in Oregon. Thomas interviewed me and figured out who I was. That’s why it has this urban cowboy look. I used to ride high school rodeo.

Brian Malarkey Credit: Mike Pawlenty, The Chef's Press

Brian Malarkey Credit: Mike Pawlenty, The Chef’s Press

With a name like Searsucker many think of the racetrack. Will you be integrating events with the sports book only a few steps away?
I grew up on a ranch riding horses. I always loved horse racing. My uncle is a photographer at Kentucky Derby. I go to Del Mar on opening day every year. I was complaining to my wife about not getting to wear my seersucker suit. She suggested the name Searsucker. That’s what we want Searsucker to be, tongue in cheek. Any time you’re wearing a seersucker suit you’re having a good time. It’s still comfortable and casual. Searsucker is not starch, not white tablecloths.

What Vegas-only dishes do you have?
We’ve always prided working with chefs. Once we sit around and cook together, we will allow personal touches from the given chef as long as it fits in with the Searsucker brand.

How important is the proximity of the new Omnia Nightclub?
It’s huge for us. We’re with the same group and have the same Hakkasan leadership. They can take VIP clients there before going to Omnia. As the lines form, people will come in for cocktails and small sharing plates. They complement each other.

Your most popular cocktail is The Peter Rabbit with Pimms, bruised Basil, pressed lemon, pickled carrot. Any other cocktail suggestions?
That drink makes me think of Indian summer. We’re having fun with the cocktails now with fresh-pressed juices and bourbon-based cocktails.

A unique late night menu is available selected nights of the week, featuring your take on “dinner-meets-brunch” cuisine. Can you talk about that?
I have one of our most popular dishes, egg and bacon brown butter Hollandaise on a brioche. It’s like breakfast for dinner. We’re not doing a brunch. It’s such a fantastic venue and the kitchen will have some fun with it. Bourbon and beer and fun.

Have you been given any advice by other celebrity chefs in the city?
You know, I have. Rick Moonen has always been a good friend of mine. He just said get involved. Treat it like a neighborhood restaurant. I’ve always done that with every restaurant we’ve opened. We treat everyone like a regular. Being in Vegas for three days, there’s no reason guests can’t eat with us for two. We’re taking that small town approach with something comforting and fun. A wise chef once said, “Guests should come for the food ambiance and return for the service.”

Searsucker is open nightly for dinner from 5 p.m. to late, with bar service beginning at 4:30 p.m. For reservations call 702-866-1800 or book an OpenTable reservation.

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About The Author

For more than eight years, Susan Stapleton has been covering all that’s fun in Las Vegas. She is the editor of Eater Vegas, and writes for Fodor’s and Las Vegas Magazine and occasionally for The Los Angeles Times. She has a penchant for wrap dresses, high heels, dark lipstick and a perfectly shaped eyebrow.

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