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Secrets of the Vegas Strip (Mall)

<center>Secrets of the Vegas Strip (Mall)</center>
Courtesy of Paymon's

Paymon's Mediterranean

The Scene: Las Vegas's most incongruous college hangout is also one of its best restaurants. Named after Iran-born Paymon Raouf—who began cooking his childhood favorites here in the late 1970's—this former Mediterranean deli morphed into an incredible Turkish, Persian, and Greek restaurant. But skip the location near the UNLV campus on the east side of the Strip and head to the new place, 20 minutes west on Sahara.

What to Order: Here you'll find a more grown-up crowd, but eating the same intricately spiced dishes like fesenjan, chicken in crushed walnuts and pomegranate sauce; and cinnamon-spiced moussaka. Or just spend the entire time in the hookah lounge next door, slouching in its velvet banquettes beneath sexily lantern-lit, tapestry-bedecked walls—as authentic as any Middle Eastern sheesha café. Order one of the fragrant fruit and floral hookahs to pass around (try the rose), and a selection of appetizers like meat-stuffed grape leaves and hummus.

8380 W. Sahara Ave.; 702/804-0293

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