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Home > CHEF SECRETS > Las Vegas Chef Secrets > Rick Moonen (Favorite Neighborhood Gems and Advice for Future Chefs)

RM Seafood

Favorite Neighborhood Gems and Advice for Budding Chefs

    Rick Moonen
Creator/Executive Chef, RM Seafood

Always on the lookout for behind-the-scenes secrets from America's hottest chefs, TravelsinTaste.com recently had the opportunity to speak with renowned chef, author, "Top Chef Masters" contestant and sustainability expert Rick Moonen. The creator and executive chef of RM Seafood at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, he's busier than ever lately thanks to his passionate support of sustainable seafood; his Moon 'n Doggie hot dog creation, part of a partnership with Levy Restaurants at the U.S. Open; his work on the forthcoming Las Vegas Railway Express; his latest book, "Fish Without a Doubt: The Cook's Essential Companion;" and, of course, finishing up the season on Bravo's "Top Chef Masters." Even with all that on his plate, however, the passionate Chef Moonen does sometimes get a chance to step out for a meal in his local neighborhood. We therefore asked this world-renowned chef where he likes to eat when he's not in the restaurant, as well as what he likes best about his own RM Seafood and what advice he has for aspiring chefs.

TravelsinTaste.com: Where do you go locally in your precious few minutes of spare time?

Moonen: When I get out of work it is usually kind of late and there aren't a lot of late-night restaurants in Las Vegas. I love Chinatown. I like going and checking out the new restaurants that are opening up. There are some really good quality restaurants -- a noodle shop that has just opened up in Spring Mountain in Las Vegas is right on the money. It’s a very small menu. They only serve three noodle dishes but they are all delicious. It's called China MaMa. It has this really tacky linoleum floor with horrible tables. It's decorated like you would decorate a dormitory room, but the food is authentic and it's delicious. It is seasoned correctly and the food is treated with respect.

TravelsinTaste.com: They only serve three different noodle dishes? Do they rotate the menu?

Moonen: It's brand new. It just opened up. They have a specials board on the wall and they've had the same thing on there since they've opened. It is just a matter of them getting successful, paying bills, getting comfortable and expanding their menu. That's the way I perceive it.

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