Esther's Kitchen

$ $

After honing his culinary skills in Los Angeles, native Las Vegan Chef James Trees returned home, and took a huge risk on a neighborhood that was still unknown to most foodies in 2018 – the bourgeoning Las Vegas Arts District. And his tiny seasonal Italian spot, named after a great-Aunt who taught him to cook, was instrumental to the area’s renaissance. It quickly outgrew its California Street location, moving to much larger digs on California and Main in 2024.

This restaurant is consistently recommended in the Italian category more than any other spot in Las Vegas (with Trees mentioned a few times in the celebrity chef division). Food blogger LeAnne Notabartolo emphatically says, “I love what James Trees at Esther's Kitchen does with pasta. It's always perfect and the Cacio e Pepe is better than what I had in Rome.”

Other examples of the exemplary housemade pasta include Rigatoni with black kale pesto, Strozzapreti with truffle sausage and Tagliatelle with lamb shank ragu. As great as the pastas are, make sure not to overlook the pizzas, which utilize his renowned homemade sourdough, in a brand-new wood-fired oven.

Italian Central LV (Fremont, Arts District, UMC, etc.) Outdoor Dining

Chef Recommends

Eat lots of pasta -- CARB UP!

Italian Central LV (Fremont, Arts District, UMC, etc.) Outdoor Dining

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