Pura Vida Bakery & Bystro chef and owner Mayra Trabulse has one goal: to create compassionate cuisine with a level of flavor that reflects her diverse cultural background. As she shared with Katherine Fernelius of Vegas Seven, Mayra is half Lebanese and half Cuban, and was born and raised in Mexico City. After moving to Las Vegas and attending community college, Mayra found herself unfulfilled. She decided to relocate to Florida, where she began to explore the politics of eating and her own relationship with food. She founded a catering business and became a private vegan chef before returning once more to Las Vegas to share her signature Caribbean- and Southwest-inspired dishes with Nevadans.
Mayra incorporated the Spanish phrase "pura vida" into the moniker of her eatery because it's a greeting or a farewell that can signify a sense of community and enjoying life slowly. That's exactly what she wants diners to feel at the restaurant, where she uses local, organic, fair-trade ingredients and incorporates macrobiotic, Ayurvedic, and raw-food principles in her low-temperature cooking. Mayra enhances her creations with unrefined oils and sweeteners and grinds whole spices for maximum flavor. Boasting a designated gluten-free area of her kitchen, she can cater to most any dietary restriction—Vanessa Meier of The Green Girl Next Door blog described how Mayra composed custom, on-the-fly dishes that were "beautiful and clearly prepared with so much love" for her and her husband.
And Meier isn't the only critic to take note of the blossoming restaurant: it earned Las Vegas Weekly’s 2012 Best Vegan Eating award and was named the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Dining Pick of the Week in October 2012. Mayra and her team also cater special events and bake custom vegan wedding cakes for couples being married by an Elvis wearing faux-blue-suede shoes.
Elixir Organic Cafe expertly crafts its housemade fare with 95% organic ingredients, including succulent meats free from hormones, nitrates, and artificial preservatives. A dozen burger designs bedeck nine types of patties—enough for each player on a baseball team to pad his glove with a different kind of patty—including turkey, eggplant, and grass-fed beef. The eatery tailor-makes its meals to satisfy a range of appetites, from those of strict meat eaters to those of faithful vegans and gluten-free dieters. More than 10 sandwiches come in hot, cold, and panini form, further solidifying Elixir's reputation for a culinary range as wide as a piece of taffy stuck to two racecars traveling in opposite directions. Expert bakers churn out an array of decadent desserts, such as cherry-dotted black-forest cake and vegan and gluten-free carrot cake. The cafe's multigrain pancakes and eggs benedicts make for a wholesome breakfast, and creamy smoothies and fresh-pressed vegetable and fruit juices packed with vitamins wash down the nutrient-rich dishes.
The oven-shunning eatery specializes in familiar tastes prepared with herbs, nuts, and veggies, full of their original, uncooked-to-death nutrients. For starters, try the chips and salsa, with the standard tortilla dippers swapped in favor of flax-seed crackers ($5.88). Fish phobes will appreciate the sneaky sushi selection, with maki artfully assembled sans sea meat. Try the the pseudo salmon roll ($12.88), packed with sprouts, avocado, tomato, enoki mushrooms, yam rice, mustard, garlic, and ginger. Wraps, veggie burritos, zucchini-noodle pastas, and veggie burgers round out the garden-centric menu.
Cuisine Type: American fusion
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Parking: Parking garage
Most popular offering: Vegan desserts
Alcohol: Beer and wine only
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout only
Outdoor Seating: No
Pro Tip: We have gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and non-vegetarian options
What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?
Our goal to have a place where people with dietary restrictions and/or diet choices can share the same menu with many options and no flavor sacrifice.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
Health-friendly with options for everyone: vegan, vegetarian and non-vegetarian
Lauded as one of the best Thai establishments in Las Vegas by epicure John Curtas, Weera Thai Restaurant diverges from standard central Thai dishes with the sour and spicy flavors of the Issan region. Chef Weera Thonguthaisiri tosses a crisp catfish salad in green-apple dressing, while seasoning boneless duck with spices, herbs, lime juice, and chili to craft traditional larb ped, a dish that Curtas extols as "quite a treat—both because of its extraordinary flavor and the way everyone's face lights up after each bite." Lunch specials pair egg rolls, salad, soup, and steamed rice with red curry or spicy eggplant entrees, and wine and traditional Thai drinks dampen palates throughout the day. Flora fills the carpet underfoot, forming a foundational jungle upon which stand rough, exposed-stone columns, cushy red booths, and tables topped with white cloth and sheets of glass.
Dijon and orange walls evoke the sky at dusk. Heavy honey-hued drapes flow down the windows. The remodeling is finished, and after 11 years in business, owners Surjit Heera and Devinder Singh couldn't be happier: India Palace's decor now truly parallels the warm earthiness of a menu of north and south Indian recipes steeped in spices and broiled over smoldering mesquite. Lacquered brown tables groan beneath tandoori dishes, which eagerly unleash clouds of fragrance after long stints in clay ovens. Sinking slowly into a burgundy chair, patrons question waiters about India Palace's catering services, which delight guests and save hosts from deciding which wine goes with which cut of piñata.