Anyone familiar with dining around Nevada has likely come across something cooked or created by Johnny Church, and although the idea of opening a Restaurant near Las Vegas Motorcoach Resort amidst a pandemic may seem crazy the Chef’s focus on great products and fundamentals at a fair price are currently precisely what Sin City needs.
Not “fine dining,” though for every great meal at Aureole or Andre’s cooked by Johnny let’s not forget the former Chopped champion also built bangers (literally and figuratively) at Hardway 8 and MTO Café, Johnny C’s focuses on “Food that makes people happy, with the best Ingredients we can find.”
Currently open for take-out from 8:00am until 3:00pm daily, but beginning on-site service May 16th with appropriate social distancing guidelines, Chef Church has incorporated not only former colleagues but local brands in the project, Mothership Coffee just one example while Herbs and Produce frequently come from Johnny’s personal garden.
The latest Strip veteran taking his talents to the community, a space at 8175 Arville Street providing turn-key access when its former owner decided to retire, guests can expect changes to the décor upcoming, but for now a look at the paper menu and row of “Spiceology” Spices already suggests something ‘finer’ about Johnny C’s Diner.
Featuring an open kitchen adjacent vinyl and Formica, all staff working in PPE with great attention to detail, those who know Johnny won’t pass on Chef’s Seasonal Market Salad that currently incorporates backyard Organic Greens, Fruits and Walnuts, nor dueling housemade Pickles previously tasted at his Henderson consultative project.
Delving into heartier plates, the majority Sandwiches served with a choice of Slaw, hand-cut Fries or buttery-crisp Chips, a variety of influences can be seen across Johnny C’s options, “Thanksgiving Turkey Bob’s Burger” clearly riffing on Capriotti’s Bobbie but upgraded by truffled Mushroom Stuffing plus a thick n’ juicy Patty inside a toasted Bun.
Frequently referencing family with items like LJ3 Sliders or the Sunshine Sandwich, “Big John’s Philly” takes a look at Beef, Onions and Mushrooms as offered in Church’s home State of Michigan, and just as this may not be a typical Cheesesteak with Whiz Johnny C’s Cubano is delightfully inauthentic thanks to better-than-average Pickles and subtle Mayo-Mustard that highlights Pork rather than muting it.
Also offering a Fried Chicken Sandwich, the “Hen House” not to be confused with some influencer’s $3.05 #sando as this one contains a sizable Organic Breast cooked golden-crisp and juicy, those seeking things even more comforting need look no further than Mac n’ Cheese with a Cheez-It Crust or Johnny’s “Best Grilled Cheese” with Honey, Brie and Walnuts between slices of Butter-griddled Brioche.
Not forgetting a few sweets, Breakfast offered until 11:00am featuring “Fat Elvis French Toast” while proper Desserts include Church’s family-recipe Orange Creamsicle Cake and Donut Holes, this visit concluded with Crème Brûlée French Toast that travels surprisingly well, tops remaining crunchy and caramelized while mixed Berry Compote and freshly whipped Vanilla Cream add natural sweetness without tasting too sugary.
FIVE STARS: Although such a glowing review may seem premature for a place that hasn’t yet seated a single guest, taken at face value and judged against other Diners it is impossible to suggest Johnny C’s combination of products and talent is anything short of remarkable while the price-point is an undeniable bargain for such quality.
RECOMMENDED: Housemade Potato Chips, Chef’s Seasonal Market Salad, Cubano Sandwich, Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Big John’s Philly Sandwich, Crème Brûlée French Toast.
TIP: Currently open Monday through Sunday: 8:00am until 3:00pm for Take-Out, look for dine-in starting Saturday and follow @johnnycsdiiner on Social Media for events as well as specials. Call 702-263-0146 for reservations and use convenient online ordering for take-out.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.