marcdhauser's Profile

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Just one buffet?

Wicked Spoon at Cosmo

Mar 25, 2015
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

One night for off strip Asian food - Raku vs Chada vs LoS

I'd put Chada first, having just been there and having tried all three. Raku is a close second, but Chada was unique and awesome.

Mar 22, 2015
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Trip Report

Just finishing up a long weekend stay. Thanks to this board for guidance and wisdom. My brief reports:

Yardbird - mixed. The bone marrow is phenomenal, and the chess pie was insanely good. The fried chicken should have been better -- the crust was good, but the meat was overly juicy and bland, so maybe overbrined? The cocktails are excellent.

Otto - the best thing about this was the setting. The second best is the wines. There being no such thing as bad pizza, this was just meh. Too many other strong options for this style of pizza. Avoid.

Bardot Brasserie - I second all of the raves this place has been getting. The room is beautiful. My tartare was probably the best I've ever had - well-seasoned and just the right amount. The burger is decadent, in a good way. The wine list is thoughtful, and impressive for Strip standards. Service was a bit off, but it's still a new restaurant.

B&B Ristorante - excellent. Wine list is deep (not Carnevino deep, but still very impressive) and insanely marked up (like Carnevino), like 3.5x retail. Service was phenomenal. Food is impeccable. I had a house-made sausage that was light, and had unexpected flavors like nutmeg and cinnamon that played against the heat. It was delicious. The orichette with rapini and sausage rocked. Even the bread was perfect. Top-notch Italian, to make up for the disappointment of Otto.

Umami Burger (at the SLS) - ahi tuna burger was excellent, truffle fries were great fries and awful truffle cheese sauce. Setting is great at the sports book.

Chada Thai - highlight of the trip. Glad I made a reservation, even for a Sunday night. We have great Thai places in Chicago (home), but this still beat them out. Stir fried mushrooms and Brussels sprouts, crab and coconut in lettuce leaves with mint sauce, grilled prawns, and pork belly with Chinese broccoli. This meal was so freakin' good, and much better than my last LoS meal (about a year ago). I hope to return in the fall, and will make the trip out again.

Mar 15, 2015
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Chada Thai

Thanks. I haven't been to Chada yet, but have been to LoS a few times. Is it worth going to Chada, or should I stick with LoS?

Feb 25, 2015
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Chada Thai

Making my way back to my favorite place in a few weeks and finally going to get to Chada Thai. Anyone have any recommendations for what to order? There will be 3 or 4 of us.

Also hitting Bardot Brasserie and Yardbird, and may try Yusho to compare it to the original here in Chicago (which I love), despite the mixed reviews.


Feb 23, 2015
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Best romantic bar and best romantic restaurant in Vegas?

Agreed - reserve a seat at the window at Mandarin Bar. Best bar view in the city, in a classy hotel, and the drinks are excellent.

Have you considered Mon Ami Gabi? The food is not bad, but not great, but the view is unique, and even if you're stuck inside, it's got an intimate bistro feel.

Also, Milos has the cool outdoor space at Cosmo, and Comme Ca at Cosmo also has a nice view (and better food than MAG)

Nov 08, 2014
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Any legit Pastrami sandwiches?

Oh, it's certainly missing the experience of the NYC location, but my pastrami open face over a kinish with grilled onions was sublime.

Oct 16, 2014
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Any legit Pastrami sandwiches?

There's a Carnegie Deli at Mirage, and Zoozacrackers at Wynn. I prefer the former's pastrami.

Oct 15, 2014
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

The Good...The B&Bad...and the Very Good.....My Reviews

I had the spago with lamb ragu at Carnevino about a year ago for lunch, and I can still remember the depth of flavor and texture. It's up there on my list of favorite dishes ever.

Too bad about B&B. It sounds a bit like how Bouchon has waned over the years.

Oct 05, 2014
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Favorite websites/forums to find restaurant recommendations in LV (other than Yelp)?

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

Sep 18, 2014
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Retro/Old School Italian-planning a "Rat Pack" dinner

I'd suggest Rao's at Caesars Palace. Family-style Italian, ideal for a large crowd, the food is much better than you'd expect (and very good), wine list is meh but approachable, not terribly expensive, and the atmosphere is laid back. This is from 2 different meals there, both with large groups. Carnevino could be an option, more steakhouse but solid Italian, but it would be much more expensive. There's Carmine's in the Forum Shops, but I've heard mixed things.

Sep 10, 2014
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

In Search of a Great Burger

This is my source for Vegas burger reviews:

Apr 06, 2014
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Yusho (LV)

Yusho Chicago rocks. I haven't eaten a bad thing there over many meals. Looking forward to visiting it in LV on my next trip.

Mar 26, 2014
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

help pick one fab dinner

I agree. My dinner at Sage was mediocre. There are so many better options in Vegas.

Mar 22, 2014
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

help pick one fab dinner

Agreed. Easy choice.

Mar 20, 2014
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Group Dinner - On Strip

Rao's at Caesars is good for a crowd. Family-style serving. I've done a few group dinners there. Food is crowd-pleasing, wine list is okay but well-priced for groups.

Mar 20, 2014
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Wynn restaurants

What happened? I've only heard good things, other than it being very expensive.

Feb 24, 2014
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

best craft cocktail bar?

Oh, yeah, how could I forget. +1 on The Laundry Room. It's downtown, and you need a reservation (search for how), but worth the effort for sure.

Feb 19, 2014
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

best craft cocktail bar?

Mandarin Bar. Great cocktails, rarely crowded, and the best view of the strip.

Feb 18, 2014
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Twist or sage?

Twist - yes

Sage - meh

Jan 09, 2014
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

an honest look at vegas steak

I found STK to be highly mediocre compared to the other great options. And it wasn't just the blaring Black Eyed Peas soundtrack. The blue cheese bread was inedible. My steak tartare was bland and had no egg. My steak was forgettable. And the wine list was short and obvious. With so many other awesome options, like Carnevino and Delmonico, Ramsay and Stripsteak, I'll never go back.

Jan 03, 2014
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Notes from the weekend

Very true. The crowd I came with on this trip wasn't up for off-strip detours, even though I extolled the virtues of Raku. I'm hoping my spring trip takes me to Chada, which is on my list of places I haven't yet tried.

Nov 11, 2013
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Notes from the weekend

Carnegie Deli - just like I remember it. Solid, if a little insane.

STK- meh. Steak was the best part, but the blue cheese bread was in edible, and my steak tartare was uninspired and needed an egg on top. Wine list was shamefully thin and obvious.

Todd English PUB - second time here. Good for lunch and sandwiches, with a great beer list. All food is very fresh.

Hakkasan - the big wild card of the weekend, and it really impressed. Food was all top notch. Highlights were the quail appetizer, and the lamb chops. Wine list is outstanding - deep, diverse, and thoughtful.

Carnevino (bar menu for lunch) - the spago pasta, one long noodle with braised lamb, may be the best thing I've eaten in a long time. Added plus of nice choices of wines by the glass.

DOCG - also very good, though the pisto pasta, very similar to the spago above but with duck, didn't achieve the same heights. Wine list is excellent.

What I love about eating here is that, even after so many trips and so many meals, there's always new gems to discover.

Nov 10, 2013
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Sage or Le Cirque?

I haven't been to Le Cirque, but Sage was highly disappointing. I realize that's a minority view on this board, but the food was meh, the wine list was uninspired, and the service was mediocre. Way too many better restaurants in LV. Like the ones you've chosen.

Nov 05, 2013
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

What's the most romantic restaurant in Vegas?

Bartolotta at the Wynn has cabana tables.

Oct 25, 2013
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Asking My Girlfriend to Marry Me Restaurant Choices.

Bartolotta at the Wynn has private cabana tables around the Wynn lagoon, which is unique. Best seafood in Vegas. Pricey, but not Robuchon/e/Guy Savoy pricey.

Jul 16, 2013
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Sage or e?

e, by a mile. No comparison.

May 26, 2013
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Good cocktail recommendations? - Venetian vicinity preferred, but open to any location

Mandarin Bar at the Mandarin. Best cocktails on the strip, secluded and quiet, amazing views, and a bench in the elevator.

Dec 26, 2012
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

Lounge/Bar to surprise husband for Vegas 40th bday get together

The bar at the Mandarin is by far my favorite. Amazing views, excellent cocktails, older crowd, isolated and pretty quiet (even late). So good for a crowd to talk. And not too far from MGM (relatively).

Dec 07, 2012
marcdhauser in Las Vegas

e worth it? and whats the rate now, or order some tastings at jaleo

Worth every penny. I went about 18 months ago, and went back 3 weeks ago, and it rocked my world both times.

Wine options have expanded - we were offered the wine list this time, and we ended up ordering a bottle of cava instead of the set pairings, which I enjoyed much more.

Oct 02, 2012
marcdhauser in Las Vegas