Like most aspects of the massive interactive venue AREA15 in Las Vegas, its main restaurant and food hall, The Beast by Todd English, is difficult to define and impossible to resist.
Todd English has done it all: A four-time James Beard winner, Bon Appetit’s Restaurateur of the Year, Las Vegas’ Chef of the Year, People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People; and recently, he’s opened The ENGLISH Hotel and The Pepper Club restaurant in Downtown Las Vegas. Nothing he’s created though – and nothing in Las Vegas – compares to The Beast by Todd English, which opened inside AREA15, in early 2021.
The entrance to The Beast by Todd English is a cavernous mouth. The further back you stand, the more pieces of the puzzle you can put together. The artwork and aesthetic inside the belly of The Beast are decadent and majestic. It’s macabre and industrial, but with a wink and a smile. If you bring your children, they probably won’t be scared, but they’ll definitely be in awe. In addition to the standard seating options, there is seating available at the counter that gives a front-row seat to the open kitchen.
The Beast by Todd English is a food hall and also serves as something of a test kitchen for English’s other restaurants. The beauty of a food hall, especially one like The Beast, is the multiple specialties. It’s difficult to master a variety of cuisines under one roof, but The Beast takes pride in each section of its menu and it allows even the pickiest eater to find something they will devour.
The starters are shareable. Since everything at The Beast is made fresh from scratch, even the most simple ingredient is able to impress. The fried tortilla chips in the Junk Yard Nachos are delicious on their own. Then you add the plethora of ingredients like smoked pulled pork, black bean-corn salsa, avocado salsa, melted shredded cheese, BBQ sauce and more? You’ve got a table-wide fight down to the last bite. The Bavarian pretzel takes up an entire plate and is served with house-made beer cheese and brown mustard. The tuna tartare taco trio packs a lot of flavor in each crispy wonton shell. Among the other selections are an assortment of wings (or cauliflower wings) and Korean corn dogs.
The main sections of the menu include the Beast Breath Smoke House, Beast Burgers & Things, and Belly of the Beast Pizza. The barbecue at The Beast is highly ambitious. It is manned by pitmasters who bring a wide range of experience to The Beast, resulting in a blend of BBQ traditions from around the country. You can choose from dry rub brisket to St. Louis ribs, hot links or a variety of sandwiches. A variety of sauces are available to pair with your meat. There’s also a BBQ Sampler that provides a good portion of the various types of meat, as well as house-made cole slaw, potato salad and cornbread. It is a must-have for a large group. Burgers include The Kraken–five beef patties, five slices of American cheese, topped with grilled onions, roasted tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, “T.E. sauce” and a mini octo dog. If you’re not quite feeling five beef patties, the Classic T.E. Double Stack is a similar–if slightly more finishable–version. Other burger options as well as a black bean vegan burger, and non-burger sandwiches are also available. A variety of pizzas are available including cauliflower crust options for gluten-free enjoyment.
If you have room for dessert after all of this, you will be rewarded with more delicious and unique concoctions. A standout among the desserts is the Red Velvet Skull Cupcake. Served with a chocolate ganache flambé and Nutella cream cheese frosting, it will keep the flame of your evening going just a bit longer.
The Beast’s cocktail list is comprised of specialty and seasonal cocktails along with fishbowls and goblets for sharing. A theme you’ll notice during your time inside The Beast is that there is something for everyone. If you like your drinks to be fun and taste like candy, The Jolly Tentacle with Kraken Rum and watermelon liqueur is served in a pouch. Yes. A pouch. For the table, The Fuzzy Unicorn is flavored vodka, peach liqueur, a blend of fruit juices, Champagne and cotton candy with sprinkles. Ordering this drink will result in multiple visits from other guests asking, “Excuse me, what are you drinking?” For those who take their cocktail drinking slightly more seriously, selections like the Smoked Maple Manhattan made with Angel’s Envy bourbon and smoked tableside will please your palate. If the sensory overload one attains at AREA15 and The Beast hasn’t woken you up enough, the seasonal Cookie Dough Cold Brew with Dough Ball cookie dough whiskey and La Colombe cold brew is sweet, caffeinated and could even pass as dessert. The Beast also has a selection of bottled and draft craft beers and wines available by the glass.
The Beast by Todd English is open daily from noon until midnight, with the last seating at 11 p.m. The Beast also offers happy hour, Monday through Thursday, 4 to 6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 9 p.m. until close. Happy hour includes specials on select cocktails, beer, wines by the glass and a variety of “Beast Small Bites.”
For more information on The Beast by Todd English, visit www.thebeastbytoddenglish.com.