When I arrived at Chow for a dinner party, I was immediately greeted by a friendly hostess and a giant Chinese dragon mounted on the ceiling. I took my seat and studied the menu intently—it was going to be difficult to choose between so many interesting options. While Chow offers dishes of both Southern-fried chicken and Chinese favorites, owner Natalie Young is adamant that it not be called “fusion.”

 

First Bites and Impressions

More of our party arrived, and we ordered appetizers called “firsts.” Two orders of eggrolls and a crab rangoon dip. The dishes arrived promptly and were greatly enjoyed, except for when my co-worker got overexcited and put a heavy amount of Chinese mustard on her eggroll. While painful, she boasted that her sinus infection had immediately disappeared.

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When we ordered our “seconds” or entrees, I decided on the crispy Southern-fried chicken. My co-worker and I both splurged on the sriracha mac and cheese as well.

My four piece chicken basket came with the crispiest, most flavorful fried chicken I’d had in years, and I worshiped the sweet corn mini muffins. Across from me, my friends grabbed chopsticks for their stir-fry and rice dishes. I can’t lie; the sriracha mac and cheese was too spicy for me, but I devoured it anyway, suffering in satisfied silence.

Decor and Service

While it was bizarre sitting in a beautiful Chinese decorated restaurant, I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that after my Chinese appetizer I would be transported (in terms of taste) to the South when my entree arrived. The service was impeccable; our server overheard my friend mention he wasn’t eating meat for Lent, so she recommended their best fish and vegetarian options. He filled up on pho-style tofu and a barley and veggie stir fry and was thoroughly pleased. He even took some of his leftover food home albeit begrudgingly.

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Our server came around to get a tally on desserts and expertly upsold my co-worker into the banana pudding, which she happily hoarded until she couldn’t eat another bite.

 

Final Thoughts

What really impressed me about Chow is how it refuses to fit into any traditional mold. They sell Kool-Aid, coleslaw and pot stickers in a way that all makes sense. A singer cooed throughout the meal on her acoustic guitar, and Chow’s neighbors, The Writer’s Block, came over for dinner. I felt a small town sense of community over hot plates of comfort food.

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Chow is mere blocks from the Downtown Container Park, Fremont Street Experience, and Downtown Las Vegas hotels. If you don’t want to splurge on a rental car during a vacation, you’d have no problem getting around downtown with everything in such a short walking distance. For anyone looking for an against the grain lunch or dinner spot in downtown, look no further than Chow.

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Score: 12 mini corn muffins (with a side of fried rice)

Coming to Downtown Las Vegas and looking for a place to stay? Oasis at Gold Spike’s hotel near Fremont Street has uniquely decorated rooms at an affordable price. It’s the perfect place to digest your fried chicken and fried rice. Check out our rooms and amenities and book it.