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April 18, 2014

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Todd’s Unique Dining stands strong

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Beverly Poppe

A lot of neighborhood restaurants have come and gone since Todd’s Unique Dining opened on Sunset. Success smells like this halibut special, with root vegetables, artichokes and a light caper sauce.

When Todd’s Unique Dining opened eight years ago this month, its stretch of Sunset Road seemed like the perfect place for a neighborhood restaurant—one that was casual but nice enough for special occasions, a friendly place with fine food at comfortable prices.

Things have changed. The heart of Green Valley is south, and it seems all the action surrounds Anthem, Eastern Avenue and the District at Green Valley Ranch. There are lots of new restaurants, but there’s still nothing like Todd’s. It stands strong on Sunset, steady as can be. It’s feeding a second generation of regulars now. A restaurant with its own community.

The Details

Todd's Unique Dining
4350 E. Sunset Road, 259-8633.
Monday-Saturday, 4:30-10 p.m.

Uncompromising consistency doesn’t mean there hasn’t been change on the menu, however. Chef/owner Todd Clore has always based his cuisine on seasonal ingredients. Although favorite dishes remain (ahi tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes; grilled skirt steak with black bean chili sauce and fries), the special of the night is a great way to test the kitchen’s creativity. On my last visit, I devoured a huge, flaky chunk of halibut in a light, creamy sauce flavored with capers and tangy, tender artichoke hearts. It’s probably too hot out to order braised beef short ribs at the moment, with jalapeño mashed potatoes in a rich and fragrant caramelized onion-red wine reduction, but it’s an unbelievable portion of meat for $27 (and you can make the best tacos of all time with your leftovers).

Todd’s Mother’s Day brunch menu offered appetizers of watermelon gazpacho or sweet corn ravioli in chipotle sauce, and main dishes included rosemary lamb chops and a lobster-cognac omelet. Special event meals like that one and monthly wine dinners provide even more flexibility for Clore and his crew, but the whole point of this restaurant is that every meal can be a special occasion. Celebrate accordingly.

There’s a lot of suburban dining development happening right now. We’ve lost some great neighborhood eateries, and new restaurants seem to be popping up all over. Change is the only constant, which makes a place like Todd’s stand out even more. It’s still as friendly and delicious as you remember, probably even better.

This story first appeared in Sun sister publication Las Vegas Weekly.

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