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SAN JUAN restaurant questions

I'm heading there this weekend, I will report back to you if I find something good-- we have a local guide for a day (not a tour company), so hopefully he can point out some good spots.

Bento by MOzen at Mandarin Oriental

Just got back from a 3 night stay in Vegas. Stayed at the MO and had dinner at the bistro on Saturday night-- great experience. The bento boxes were a great way to sample a bunch of different dishes. There were Japanese, Thai, and Indian dishes, along with other regions of Asia (I mostly sampled from those three regions).

Our meal began with the chef sending out raw marinated salmon as the amuse bouche. This was followed by bowls of spiced cashews, which were SO good. They had a bunch of different Indian-ish spices, as well as a small amount of minced onions and chilies.

We had a relatively large group (10 people), and they accomodated us graciously. We were told the bento boxes would take a while to prepare, so it would perhaps be best to order entrees off the menu. We ended up ordering 2 bento boxes, sushi, and entrees.

While all of the food was delicious, I thought the highlight was the Indian food. Finding tasty Indian food that is not swimming in grease and/or doesn't make you feel... ill later can be difficult when dining out (I have South Asian roots, fwiw). This restaurant was a pleasant surprise. The lamb curry was awesome, as was the curried eggplant. The naan was done well, and not too heavy. There were several dishes on the menu that were streetfood style Indian snacks-- they were all executed exceptionally well.

Next time I am dining with a group (5-10 people) in LV, dinner at MoZen will definitely be on my list of places to consider. The variety of the menu coupled with the great service makes it appealing and agreeable to a lot of different palates.

May 17, 2012
Sapa in Las Vegas

Bento by MOzen at Mandarin Oriental

I've read good things about breakfast/brunch at MOzen, but haven't read too much about dinner. Their menu looks interesting-- lots of options from different parts of Asia (including Indian), and you can choose 6 items for $48. Has anyone been? I'd appreciate any feedback-- I'm going to be in Vegas mid-May with a group of 10 people and am struggling to find a place. Okay, thanks in advance!!

Apr 13, 2012
Sapa in Las Vegas

Need help for a "SPECIAL" birthday dinner.

Your post made me tear up a little bit. I hope your son had an amazing 21st birthday! Where did you end up going? My circumstances are similar to yours, and I need to find a fun, celebratory place to go in May with my sister. :)

Mar 29, 2012
Sapa in Las Vegas

Pralines - Need Recipes

Did you try a new recipe? I don't know what I was thinking when I responded previously-- I ALWAYS use brown sugar in my pralines. I haven't been to the place you speak of in Savannah, but I do love a good praline. This is a recipe that I do make, and uses a significant amount of brown sugar.

I'd love to hear back if you found a recipe to your liking!

Dec 04, 2011
Sapa in Home Cooking

New to Prescott Valley

Aaaaaah, I just wrote a reply, and accidentally erased it before sending it!! So I will paraphrase...

Taj Mahal: Overpriced and not the best quality. But it's not as bad as India Palace in Sedona... I have been there about 3-4 times in the past year and each time I leave feeling really annoyed and sad. Inattentive service (we literally had to get up to ask for more bread... and then water... and then the check. Every time. .. not going back again. I don't recommend it and don't know how and why I end up there), bland food, and just a sad experience overall. I haven't been to Delhi Palace in years and years, but if it is by the same owners-- yikes. Phoenix is the closest place if you want to have decent Indian food.

Go to Whiskey Row at least once to check it out. You may like it depending on what you are looking for. Coyote Joe's attracts a younger crowd. There is dancing at some of the bars on most nights-- again, depends on what you are looking for.

Other places to check out: (all of which are in Prescott, sorry!! I'm just not that familiar with PV)

-The Raven Cafe: nice selection of beer and wines. They serve food and use quality ingredients, but my experiences there have been very uneven. They are always really good for breakfast/brunch, however.
-Olde World Bagels (in the Park Plaza on Goodwin Street)-- they make fresh boiled and baked bagels each morning. SO good.
-Park Plaza Deli (inside the Park Plaza Liquor Store)-- really great sandwiches and burgers.
-Papa's Italian Restaurant-- red sauce place. I like it better than Labruzzas.
-Maya's Mexican Restaurant-- hole in the wall, BYOB. Everything is fresh and homemade.
-Aloha Grill - Hawaiin hole in the wall. They have good lunch specials and yummy pulled pork. If you don't have dessert there, you can go a few doors down to Prescott Sweet Spot, a new bakery in town. They focus mainly on cupcakes. Good and fresh, I go into a sugar coma every time I eat one...

I hope this helps and that you are settling in well!! If you have more questions, just ask! :)

Dec 04, 2011
Sapa in Southwest

New to Prescott Valley

Welcome to the Prescott area! I live in Prescott but do venture out to PV sometimes for some food. It's not the greatest area for food, but it's not a total wasteland either. Tara Thai II is decent for Thai food. I haven't been to Giovanni's Pizza in a couple of years, but last time I went the pizza was good--homemade and quality ingredients. Prescott has some places worth checking out. La Cucina de Durango on Montezuma is one of my favorites for a quick meal. I usually get a small burrito-- their carne asada is delicious. Bill's Pizza is on the courthouse square and has good pizza-- SUPER greasy but delicious nonetheless. If you are looking for diversity-- there is an Indian restaurant in Prescott (and is highly rated on TripAdvisor, for what it's worth) but it is NOT good. Extremely overpriced for what you get, and the quality is poor.

Nightlife-- I can't really help you there! I've lived here for 5 years and am still trying to figure out where to go after 9 pm-- other than the bars on Whiskey Row.

Anyway, I hope that helps a little. If you need any other help or ideas, let me know!

Bill's Pizza
107 S Cortez St, Prescott, AZ 86303

Nov 28, 2011
Sapa in Southwest

IRON CHEF AMERICA: Lee Anne Wong versus Marc Forgione [spoilers]

I really enjoyed this episode as well. Yes, it was a silly ingredient, but I thought it was fun.

I did think Donatella was rather condescending towards Kathy Griffin and Kelly Ripa.

Oct 30, 2011
Sapa in Food Media & News

Pralines - Need Recipes

I second this recipe-- but I use heavy cream instead of half and half. Try it, you won't be disappointed.

Sep 29, 2011
Sapa in Home Cooking

Picnic supplies / sandwiches in Sedona

New Frontiers Natural Marketplace has a good selection of foods that would be appropriate for a picnic. They also have a deli where you can get sandwiches, but you can find some great stuff in the grocery section.

1420 West Highway 89A
Sedona, AZ 86336
(928) 282-6311

New Frontiers Natural Marketplace
1420 W State Route 89A, Sedona, AZ 86336

Jun 10, 2010
Sapa in Southwest

Las Vegas - Bartolotta review

Agreed on the part about needing to order the fresh fish. Silly me. If I went back, I would definitely do that.

I disagree on the limited budget portion... the taste of wynn menu did have one of the fresh fish as an option for an entree on its menu. Also, from what the server indicated, had the two of us shared one of the larger fish, and ordered an appetizer or two, we would have come to about the same total as we did ordering other things.
The service seems to be an issue that has been brought up on previous threads, and did not seem to be a result of dropping in. I have had fine dining meals in Las Vegas where I did not have a reservation, and have not had issues with service. I didn't feel love from the hostess, and perhaps that WAS a result of not having a reservation, but the overall service seems to have issues regardless.

Jan 14, 2010
Sapa in Las Vegas

Las Vegas - Bartolotta review

So, last week my sister and I went to Vegas. I kind of wanted to try Picasso, but she is a bit picky, and her two favorite foods involve Italian and seafood... so we ended up at Bartolotta.

We went on a Monday night and did not have reservations. The entire restaurant was extremely empty when we got there, and we were seated after a little bit of a wait. To be honest, the girl was kind of snooty. Whatever.

When we walked into the place, it was beautiful. The ambience is lovely. We were seated upstairs. I would suggest trying to get a seat downstairs... it was dark, so what was beyond the huge window in the restaurant was difficult to see, but I can only imagine it was amazing.

Our server was nice. She brought over the menus, but I did have to ask specifically for the Taste of Wynn menu. I did not detect any difference in her demeanor when I asked for it... still just as friendly. It took a while to figure out what to order. I have issues with committing to an entire entree, and prefer a tasting menu. Alas, too expensive for me at this point. The regular tasting menus started at $135/person and went up from there. The Taste of Wynn menu looked to be a good value (my sister ended up ordering from that, more on that in a bit), but the desserts on it were not particularly appealing to me. I decided ordering several appetizers for myself... Our server described the appetizers as being very small, but they were not. I ordered 3 of them (she made them sound REALLY small)... definitely should have gone with 2. Ah, well...

I didn't write down what I ordered, and I am looking at the menu online, and am not seeing all of it there!! So weird... but one dish was some sort of firm white fish in an anchovy sauce with arugula... the fish was lovely, cooked perfectly and fresh, but was SO salty. Even paired with the tiniest amount of the anchovy sauce was incredibly salty. I still finished it all. I also had the 'lasagnette con ragu di crostacei- “rags” of pasta, lobster, shrimp, langoustines, crab, white wine, tomato.' It was okay. Nothing exciting. Rather bland, even with the amount of seafood in it. I did not finish this dish, definitely my least favorite. The last appetizer I order was some sort of tortellini filled with a white fish, and it was served with clams. I don't see it on the menu online, but it was AMAZING. The tortellini was probably the tastiest I have had in a long time. Delicious. I'm sorry I can't remember the name.

My sister ordered from the Taste of Wynn menu. She ordered the 'risotto ai frutti di mare -
risotto with clams, scallops, shrimp, langoustines, calamari.' Was pretty good. Nothing special. Lots of seafood in there, which was nice. For her main course, she chose 'Brodetto Di Pesce All’Abruzzese - Abruzzi style seafood stew, clams, shrimp, scallops, calamari.' This was also good, but nothing special. I love seafood, and this place advertises that they fly in fish fresh daily from the Mediterranean... but I just wasn't blown away. For dessert, there were two choices, and she chose 'Sformato Di Cioccolato Al Latte, Crema Di Mascarpone, Gelato Al Caffe’ -Milk chocolate mousse, mascarpone cream, Illy caffe espresso gelato.' This was yummy. Even though we were completely full, we managed to finish the entire dessert.

The total bill came to $150, not including tip. We did not have any wine. Our server was really nice, but the service itself wasn't so good. Any time I needed a refill on water, it took forever. Not impressive. The bread basket was average. Nothing special.

To sum up, the inside was very beautiful, but the food just wasn't very memorable. Would I go back? Not at all, given all the other places to try. If for some reason, I was to end up there, I would try one of their whole fish next time... keep it simple.

K, hope that was helpful!! (My first review on CH, I feel so.... good, after having read other people's posts for years)


Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare
3131 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Jan 13, 2010
Sapa in Las Vegas

Cupcakes! ----- and more.... (PHX)

I have heard great things about TammieCoes Cakes in downtown Phoenix... went there last night with a friend, but they were closed. She's an incredibally picky eater, and had high praise for their cupcakes...

Jan 03, 2010
Sapa in Phoenix

Picasso (anyone been recently?) and tasting menu question...

Ordering a la carte is a good idea, since it would be cheaper.... my only problem with that is I have problems with commitment-- it's hard for me to choose just one main dish (or even two, if I have a dinner partner) and commit to it, I want it all!! Haha, but yeah... something to keep in my mind next time, thanks!

Dec 31, 2009
Sapa in Las Vegas

Picasso (anyone been recently?) and tasting menu question...

Sounds beautiful, thank you so much for your input. I want to take my sister somewhere memorable, and I've always wanted to try this (and given that we will be having dinner on Monday, and Alex and Gus Savoy are both closed on those days, I think?) I am going to try and get a reservation at Picasso. Cheers!

Dec 31, 2009
Sapa in Las Vegas

Foods you eat strangely

Best question ever. My Mom makes samosas in puff pastry shells. I cut off all the corners, and save them for last. I usually have chutney for the samosas, and half of the corners get soaked in the chutney for about 10 seconds to get really mushy and flavorful, while I eat the other half plain and crispy. Good stuff. Done it that way for, oh, 20 years...

Dec 30, 2009
Sapa in General Topics

Opening Weekend Report from Julian Serrano at Aria CityCenter

Fantastic review, thank you! I'm excited to check out CityCenter... I'll be in Vegas in a few days, I was thinking of Picasso, but I will have to consider this as well.

Dec 30, 2009
Sapa in Las Vegas

Picasso (anyone been recently?) and tasting menu question...

Hi all... I'm a longtime lurker on these boards and I look forward to participating in fabulous discussions on great, interesting food!! Yay, food!

That being said, I'm headed to Vegas pretty soon. I've been reading review after review after review of people's experiences at various establishments. I'm so conflicted!! Bar Charlie sounds amazing, but I am going with my sister, and she is not a fan of raw fish. *SIGH* Perhaps another time. Picasso is a place I have been wanting to try since the Bellagio opened. Has anyone been there recently?? Is it worth it? I searched for reviews, and found some info, but wondering if anyone has any updated info...

Also, random question-- I love, love, love trying out tasting menus, but its so freakin' expensive for two people. Is it in bad taste to ask to be able to split one order (using two forks and one plate, not splitting the orders on two plates, if I making any sense) of a tasting menu between two people?

Thank you!!

Dec 30, 2009
Sapa in Las Vegas