New arrivals offer variety to spice up dining scene

Feb 26, 2002 6:28 AM

Experts say that about 15 percent of the restaurants in town turn over every six months. That means there’s always plenty of new dining choices appearing on the horizon. Here are a few of the latest arrivals.

If you crave Southern style barbecue, check out Memphis Championship Barbecue at Santa Fe Station. The restaurant is the third from Mike Mills, who created the popular chain that has the look and feel of a Beale Street (Memphis) blues joint with its brick walls, high ceilings, concert posters and other memorabilia. The specialty, of course, is barbecue beef and spare ribs, beef and drawn pork sandwiches, spicy hot links, smoked chicken plus great appetizers and side dishes.

For great beef, stop by The Orleans and try its new Prime Rib Loft. True to its name, the upstairs restaurant features aged prime rib of beef in various styles including English ­­(ultra thin cut), Blackened Cajun style (grilled with Creole spices) and the Beefeater Cut (extra thick double cut with the bone in). Other great selections include Medallions of beef, beef stroganoff, chicken and dumplings, sauteed sea bass, salmon filet and Jambalaya Pasta.

Burger lovers can indulge all their fantasies at Cheeseburger at the Oasis in Desert Passage at the Aladdin. An offshoot of the famous Cheeseburger in Paradise in Hawaii, this intimate though casual cafe features the original Aloha Burger that tourists in Honolulu usually wait in line for. You can also feast on several varieties of burger, plus a Polynesian chicken-salad sandwich accented with cashews, coconut, mango chutney and ginger sauce; a calamari scallop combo, pot stickers, Portuguese turkey burger and calamari steak

When you get a yen for the Far East, try the new Pearl restaurant at the MGM Grand. Fine Chinese dining with a Western flair is featured in this upscale room where Cantonese and Shanghai specialties, live seafood and a seasonal menu are featured nightly. Signature items from the menu include Saian bouillabaisse, shark fin and Dungeness crab spring rolls, and a steamed Maine and Australian lobster tasting. The tea trolley is a delight, and features the finest Chinese teas prepared table-side with select bottled and mineral waters. Be prepared to spend about $65 per person.