Worldwide Diner's Profile

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Hakkasan - Better than it needs to be, not as great as it COULD be.

Had my last meal at Hakkasan. The prices were generally high, but the veggies were relatively inexpensive. For example, I had the pea shoots with crab for $15. Pea shoots at normal restaurants cost nearly as much around DC. Granted, there weren't any big chunks of crab.

I also had the steamed dim sum platter and tea smoked beef rib. I liked the rib, which was deboned table side. It was tender and moist, like good bbq should. I didn't really detect any tea smoked flavor though, which is usually really pungent on the smoked duck.

I generally liked their dim sum other than the scallop topped siu mai. The scallops were rubbery from steaming and the dumpling itself didn't have much flavor. To be honest, I wasn't wowed by the har gow either. It didn't have the delicacy of har gow in Hong Kong tea houses.

What's outrageous is their wine pricing.

about 3 hours ago
Worldwide Diner in Las Vegas

What to tip at authentic Chinese/dim sum?

No it's not. Don't speak for Chinese people when you clearly don't have any right to.

Rose. Rabbit. Lie. - a stunning meal with entertainment to boot.

Excellent food but the entertainment continues to change. I had a 6:30 reservations and I was asked if I wanted to eat at the bar. For future reference, say no, because the bar gets filled up and there will be people ordering drinks over you, eyeing your bar seat so you can't just relax and enjoy your meal.

I started with the caviar taco. It's $15 for one bite, basically potato chip topped with a little hamachi and caviar. I've seen this dish elsewhere but never ordered it. I gave it a try at RRL (not to be confused with double R L by Ralph) because of the bartender's heavy pimping. Since I'm not a big consumer of caviar, it was not my favorite dish.

Next came the Loup de Mer. Beautifully seared and fantastic Chilean sea bass. I only found out it was Chilean sea bass after I ordered it. Had I known, I wouldn't have ordered it.

I also had some Brussels sprouts just for fiber, though these were tasty.

Fourth was fried frog legs. These legs look like the frogs had been on steroids but they were very tasty. The tempura batter was fairly light, providing some texturally contrast to the tender frog meat.

Last was the rabbit fricasse. This recommendation from the bartender was superb to me. The rabbit avoided being dry or stringy.

There was a band on a stage in the bar area and various singers, and a tap dancer, belting out mostly jazz tunes. I wish I had a table so I could have stayed longer.

about 19 hours ago
Worldwide Diner in Las Vegas

B & B Ristorante

Definitely my fault for not reading the menu carefully. I was expecting 7 courses because it was $150 pp.

1 day ago
Worldwide Diner in Las Vegas

China Poblano - The Cosmopolitan

I had lunch at CP and ordered their $55 tasting menu. There's a higher priced one called Jose's Way. If I was there for dinner, I probably would've gone for it. I've had the tasting menu at Jaleo and it's a ton of food.

CP also served up a ton of food, so it's a good way to sample the menu. As for authentic Chinese and Mexican, I think the Mexican dishes are probably more authentic. I know for sure the Chinese stuff would not pass my grandma's muster.

1. Fried wontons - is this even Chinese food? Aren't fried wontons Chinese-American? It didn't taste bad, just nothing exciting.

2. Siu mai and steamed pork bun. They're pretty mediocre and the flavors are off. There was something crunchy in the siu mai, could've waterchestnuts. The roast pork bun was decent but it wasn't char siu inside.

3. Tuna ceviche, palmito salad and guacamole. I liked all 3. I liked the palmito (hearts of palm) because it was interesting, not because it's really tasty. I'm also not a fan of green papaya, and they have the same texture.

4. Greasy veggie spring roll. Hey, Panda Express wants their recipe back!

5. Dan Dan main and wonton noodles. I've never had Dan dan mian like these - it looks and tastes more like zha jiang mian.

6. Shrimp mojo - two decent sized and properly cooked shrimps.

7. Fried rice with twenty veggies, including some raw root veggies. Not bad but it reminds of the recent Top Chef contestant Katsuji, who can't edit his plate and just dumps a shit load of ingredients into a dish.

8. Carnitas - greasy but the best dish of the day. The pork was tender and flavorful.

If i go back, I'd just order tacos and other Mexican stuff. There were lots of bemused Chinese people there complaining of high prices and whacky Chinese food.

9. I feel like the Grinch stole my Xmas on this trip.

1 day ago
Worldwide Diner in Las Vegas

Blossom Aria

I was handed a menu after I sat down. I didn't see a testing menu option so I asked for the tasting menu. First response was that the $100 tasting menu isn't available for 1 - it's for banquets. Then someone remembered there's a $79 tasting menu, but after delivering the menu, my server confided that tasting menu is strictly for Americans (mostly fried foods). I was advised to order from the a la carte menu.

So I ordered the wonton soup, Manila clams in black bean sauce, and Chinese broccoli with fish fillet. With respect to the clams, my server said she will ask the kitchen to add basil for a more Chinese flavor. However, I did not see nor taste any basil in the clams. They were quite good, but cost double of what I'd pay in DC at a decent Cantonese joint. The fish fillet was more like what you'd find in a high end HK restaurant. The fillet is thickly cut, reminds me of the garoupa I had in HK but I'm not sure what kind of fish it is. Could've been cod too. I find it strange that the Chinese broccoli had been deleafed and shaved down to just stems. I actually like the green leafy parts.

Hard to say how good the place is based on 3 fairly common dishes. I know it'll make the whales happy to find restaurants that's really expensive so they can save face.

1 day ago
Worldwide Diner in Las Vegas

Table 10, Emeril's Restaurant

I had a serviceable lunch here. The fried smelt was served in a bucket, and it was overflowing. I took a picture only after I was done eating, and there was probably over half a bucket left. The biggest issue was that the breading had no flavor - not even salt. For $10, the bucket could've fed a whole family. In contrast, a side of sautéed spinach was $9 - the picture showed the measly portion before I dug in. I also didn't realize the lobster roll were in fact 3 sliders. The stringy bits of lobster were so drenched in dressing that I could only tell that I was eating lobster as a result of its texture. I did enjoy the southern cole slaw though.

2 days ago
Worldwide Diner in Las Vegas

B & B Ristorante

I was forewarned but I went anyway. I had briefly changed my reservation to Gordon Ramsay's Pub and Grill but after seeing the chaos in action on a afternoon walk by, I changed my Xmas reservation back to B & B. I last visited B & B maybe 5 years ago and remembered having excellent pasta. I was hoping to duplicate my prior experience.

Instead, I was tempted by the feast of 7 fishies. I'm a sucker for tasting menu, especially seafood. And the menu read great. What I didn't know was that all 7 "fish" came out on one plate, followed by a primi and then a secondi. This was $150. Holy rip-off, even by Vegas strip standard. Jeebus wept.

For my primi, I chose the black spaghetti with sea urchin. There were some pieces of ricci in the bowl, not worked into the sauce. The scallops in the shell were pretty, but you have to free the scallops from remnants of the corel, or "enjoy" them as Italians are wont to do. The pasta was also seriously undercooked and over salted. I told this to my server and he offered to prepare another dish, which I turned down. So they're at least caring and amenable to fixing mistakes.

The last course, cacciucco, had a nice 72 hour broth.

Maybe I should've stuck to the tripe, tongue, etc., would've cost only half as much.

The menu photo is barely legible. The 7 fishes are
Smoked eel & foie gras terrine
Baccala alla Venezia crochetta
Pickled mussels with melted leeks and saffron
Fluke crudo
Tuna nduja with carta di musica and bottarga
Kumamoto oyster with Meyer lemon gelee
Grilled octopus

2 days ago
Worldwide Diner in Las Vegas

How to deal with Queen of the Boards?

I wonder how many "queens" actually posted here about someone else.


I had originally planned to do Lotus of Siam for lunch but I don't have a car and I hate taking taxis in LV. Furthermore, I was by myself and I don't think I could've ate more than 2 dishes. Wish they still did the buffet.

I was shopping at the Palazzo so I went to Grimaldi's. I've never been to the original even though I lived in NYC. The only coal oven pizza that I did try was Arturo's in the Village and I loved that style. The Grimaldi's in Palazzo did not disappoint. It has a light crispy crust (still foldable, but crispier than Neopolitan), good sauce, and decent mozzarella cheese. I thought their sausage was no better than Pizza Hut's though. Overall, a very good pizza. The bartender said they get water from NYC to make the crust!

I ordered a small pizza and I couldn't finish it. I only ate 3/4.

Dec 26, 2014
Worldwide Diner in Las Vegas

Raku $100 tasting menu - extremely overpriced

I went to Raku recently and asked for their $100 tasting menu.

First course, tofu. I've lots of excellent tofu, they don't blow my mind, ever. These are just decent.

Second, oyster w/ caviar. They didn't specify what kind of caviar and I'm no expert. This could've been a costly dish but I find nothing special about it.

Third, sashi. No fatty tuna. Pretty boring for high end sashimi.

Fourth, grilled tomatoes. I would never have ordered these.

Fifth, grilled fish. Tasted good but it was only half of a small fish.

Sixth, scallop. I thought these were overcooked so while the saucing was excellent, I didn't particularly liked the dish.

Seventh, grilled wagyu. Tasty. I enjoyed the garlic combo.

Eight, grilled pork. Really fatty, which is fine for flavor.

Ninth, fish and mushroom. I think this is the other half of that little silver fish.

Tenth, tuna tartare?

There's a restaurant in DC called Sushi Taro. You can get Omakase at the 6 seat sushi bar. For $125, you get around 15 courses, with several courses including multiple items. For the sushi and sashimi courses, you could pick from 6 trays of seafood. Sushi Taro blows Raku out of the water by comparison.

I also hate going off the strip without a car. Taxis in LV blows. Charging $3 extra for credit card.

Maybe I should've skipped the Omakase?

Dec 26, 2014
Worldwide Diner in Las Vegas

What do you not order in restaurants...

Turkey sandwich. I can put cold cuts on bread and smear mayo with the best of them (okay, maybe not a trained Subway assembler).

if you could live anywhere at any income level, what would you choose?

I'd move back to the Greenwich Village (NYC). I like living in the city, having public transportation, and being able to get around by biking or walking.

Feast of the 7 Fishies in DC/Baltimore

Did anyone go for a feast of 7 fishes?

I went to Al Dente last week. 7 courses for $45 seems like bargain, and the menu appealed to me.

1. Baccala Mantecato - Venetian Style Whipped Salted Cod. I like salt cod, and I like the way the Venetians use it. So I only wish there was more than a dollop of baccala. The version here wasn't particularly salty or fishy - so maybe not quite the way you'd find it in a chicchetti bar in Venice.

2. Sautè di Vongole - clams with Garlic, white Wine, and burrata. Weird combo of cheese and seafood, and the clams were overcooked, although quite flavorful.

3. Cannellini Bean Soup with mussels. Not a fan of beans, so I just ate the perfectly cooked and tasty mussels.

4. Spaghetti alla Chittarra with anchovies. Simple pasta cooked al dente - reminds me of trips to Italy.

5. Ricotta Agnolotti with shrimp. Both pasta courses were on the salty side. We surmise it might've been the pasta water being heavily salted.

6. Fritto Misto di Pesce- shrimp, calamari, white Fish and veggies. Beats the crap out of capt'n's platters served at fancy waterfront restaurants. I wish they would put this on the regular menu.

7. Balsamic Glazed Salmon with cauliflower puree. Not a fan of salmon, but I'll admit it was properly cooked.

Conclusion - probably not the best feast in the area but probably the best bargain.

List of restaurants doing the feast.


Some questions about Vegas dining

Here are the reservations:

Wed night: Raku

Xmas - lunch at Lotus of Siam, dinner at B&B

Fri - lunch at Table 10, dinner at Blossom

Sat - lunch at China Poblano, dinner at Rose Rabbit Lie

Sun - dinner at DOCG Enotec.

Any switcheroos?

Dec 20, 2014
Worldwide Diner in Las Vegas

The Taste

I heard doctor too. I wonder if Ludo didn't in fact say doctor except that he meant to say turtle.

The Taste

Jen is annoying but she'll last awhile because she's on a good team. They don't lose team challenges and on the individual challenge, she's just executing Ludo's dish.

The Taste

Nigella stuffing herself into a sausage casing each week is really not necessary. She's the midlf. D stands for don't.

Joe overrates himself. Can cook, but has no idea what really good food is.

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #9 – 12/17/14 (spoilers)

Mei's dish was beautiful. Nothing else came close to evoking a book to me. Gregory's mild trash talking about taking George out again may eventually come to pass. I think George's style of keeping things simple will work great until creativity is called for.

Servers who pick up dishes but not flatware between courses: was I rude to bring this up?

Guess all Chinese people are masochists.

Servers who pick up dishes but not flatware between courses: was I rude to bring this up?

Gosh, did you make $72 million trading penny stocks too?

Servers who pick up dishes but not flatware between courses: was I rude to bring this up?

Tradtionally Chinese restaurants don't provide the chopstick holder. I've seen it more often at Japanese restaurants, where diners are much fussier.

Dim-Sum Style Service

There are conveyor belt sushi joints.

Masterchef Junior semi final round SPOILERS

But those are two separate challenges. Logan lost on the filleting challenge - Adaiah got her advantage. How Logan butchered the fish is irrelevant on the second challenge of cooking the fish.

Servers who pick up dishes but not flatware between courses: was I rude to bring this up?

What some of you are describing seems germophobic, elistist and/or non-chowhoundish behavior. You have every right to behave that way, just don't insinuate that we're Neanderthals if we don't. I will eat at any restaurant if the food is good, regardless of how often they change my utensils. If that means laying the utensils on the table, so be it. I know this is a response to your post (i.e., smartie) but it's not a response to you personally; it's meant to respond to all those people who think utensils should be changed between every course. I can tell you that I've ate over 10 courses at banquets with the same chopsticks. Restaurants in Hong Kong have Michelin stars without giving you new chopsticks.

Servers who pick up dishes but not flatware between courses: was I rude to bring this up?

I guess if it's unacceptable, then your only recourse is not to return. The restauant isn't obligated to give you new flatware. To demand it simply makes you look demanding.

DCity Smokehouse BBQ

Went back to DCity today - they're now open on Sundays, and closed on Mondays. I got there before they opened and was the first person to enter the restaurant. They filled up as I waited for my order of brisket, pork ribs and hush puppies.

The brisket was much better than my first try. So much so that I'm now wondering if Hill Country's moist brisket is as good (I have to go back to Hill Country soon, and I plan on going to Austin, Luling & Lockhart too). The pork ribs were as delicious as before. I'm actually more drawn to the pork ribs than the brisket. My BBQ sampler only had 2 ribs - I should've ordered more to take home.

Servers who pick up dishes but not flatware between courses: was I rude to bring this up?

Do you have a butler too?

Top Chef Boston: Last Chance Kitchen (spoilers)

The show was recorded long ago. Aaron's domestic violence event happened after the show was recorded.

Why don't Ramen places pack up your leftovers to go?

Maybe you should just tip 5%.