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LVI's Profile

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Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen and Bar

LIC you game?

about 2 hours ago
LVI in Las Vegas

Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen and Bar

My OCD kicked in and for good measure I booked a table 7:30pm, 6 people (I will be three, one of whom you met) leaving you and two others...just in case, of course.

If it doesn't work out no biggie. If it does, great. Look forward to it.

about 4 hours ago
LVI in Las Vegas

Wedding Rehersal Dinner in Vegas - Any GOOD BBQ Buffets/Restos?

Have you ever had the beef rib at Daisy May's in NYC? It's pretty insane. Smoke, salt, sweet, pillowy gelatinous tender goodness.

about 16 hours ago
LVI in Las Vegas

Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen and Bar

Ahh LIC would be great. Well maybe DF will be in town and it could be a party. QAW, Thurs could be great. Maybe even pick your brain, if you'd allow!?

about 16 hours ago
LVI in Las Vegas

Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen and Bar

I'd love to join you both if you can hold off until Oct 2-6 when I'm back. Not with big group so I can make a solid commitment (that's for you u).

1 day ago
LVI in Las Vegas

Wedding Rehersal Dinner in Vegas - Any GOOD BBQ Buffets/Restos?

Cheryl, congratulations first off! Take my words with a grain of salt as I am born and bred Yankee (although I have been going to Ocracoke Island for 17 years and have a love affair with real NC pulled pork) I have never been to Rollin Smoke ( by all accounts/reviews it's fairly legit) but the location is less than ideal. One option you may want to consider is having then cater and renting a small room at one of the hotels to host it in. Just a thought as after the dinner is done the last thing you all will want to do is battle getting back to your hotels.

Jul 24, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Raku vs Yusho

Ok thanks. Just looked small in pic to me. Great to know. Glad you liked Raku. It is one of my favorites.

Jul 24, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Vegas eats with kids - Bellagio buffet? Fois Gras?

Go to Sage, sit at the bar (my preferred place to be) and have the foiE creme brûlée. A different preparation and not for everyone but I sure enjoyed it. And if I remember correctly I think they had a sweetbread/foiE dish which was one of the better dishes I had at Sage. While Sage isn't in my regular rotation of places to go it certainly deserves attention.

I know you said near the Bellagio but if you have a car it's worth swinging over to Raku on Spring Mountain road. A couple different preparations there and a top dining destination to boot!

Jul 24, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Vegas eats with kids - Bellagio buffet? Fois Gras?

Actually you are partially correct. The process of force feeding the bird is illegal along with the sale as a result of the process. It can be imported into the state and given as a gift or is eaten.

Jul 23, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Raku vs Yusho

I was going to comment that IMO Raku hands down for value, quality and selection. It looks like you made a great choice. The agedashi tofu is one of my absolute favorite dishes! I will say I am a bit surprised by the size of the tsukune. It has been 8 months since I have been to Raku but it looks to me as if it has been cut in 1/3 to 1/2 of what I remember. I know food rices have gone up but that looks a bit extreme to me. Hopefully it is a one off rather than a new portion size.

Jul 23, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Best high end solo dining experiences

Not a letter too long. Thoughtful and thought provoking as you normally are. I will give Batali &Co (I like that. People tend to give Mario all the accolades when it comes to the "empire" however it is the Co. that is the driver) credit for what they have established. It really is second to none for what they have done. I was recently in Chicago and was blown away with the Eataly there. And my wife and I absolutely loved our afternoon snack of razor clams with the salami and cheese board...for $75 beans. Undeniable in terms of quality but I suppose that is one of the rubs. But I suppose that is a subject for another time.

I head back out to Las Vegas in October so I may give it another try. But like I have ranted before, probably one too many times for some, when we as tourists come to Vegas we want to know what we eat will thrill us as opposed to frustrating us. And Batali and Co. have certainly left me shaking my head several times. All the best and thanks again.

Jul 18, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Best high end solo dining experiences

QAW, hope all is well. One quick question, if you don't mind. Well maybe not quick...I have been one who has been pretty down on B&B in the past as my meals there have been less than stellar. I have not been back in some 3-4 years after three less than acceptable experiences. In your opinion, do you find that the quality has gotten better over the last several years (which would be in complete contrast to what has happened to the mother ship, Babbo) or is it just simply a difference in opinions?

Jul 17, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Raku vs Yusho

Done both and without question I would go a la carte. I have found that there are a couple dishes on the omakase that I would consider "throw away" items. Not that I'd throw them away but rather something like a new potato boiled in broth (no kidding, that was a "course" once). Also, creating your own tasting can cost the same and you will get everything you want.

Jul 17, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Lotus of Siam: What else to add to our order?

Fwiw, I recently had a group (19) dinner at LoS and we ordered two (a couple dishes we ordered three) of each. As Dave Feldman suggested it makes it easier for each person to have a large taste as opposed to a tiny morsel.

As for what to order, you have many great suggestions already. I have so many favorites but I would have to say the Drunken Noodle Sea Bass is always extraordinary (with the sea bass it is fairly pricey but IMO the bass marries itself perfectly with this dish, more so than any other ingredient) and as another poster added, the Garlic Prawn. I would almost order this dish for the shells themselves!

Lastly, I was so impressed how they were able to handle a group of our size as efficiently and professionally as they did. It was as if they knew what we were going to order because the food was hitting the table almost before they removed menus.

Jul 17, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Please help with my upcoming trip to Montreal!

Another shout out for our lunch at Olive et Gourmando today. WOW to food and service. More details later.

Jul 04, 2014
LVI in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Please help with my upcoming trip to Montreal!

I will provide a more detailed review later but we went to Brasserie T last night and really enjoyed our meal. It was also a plus that it was right in the center of Jazzfest! Still open for suggestions for tonight, tentative on Graziella, Bouillon Bilk or Le Filet.

Jul 04, 2014
LVI in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Please help with my upcoming trip to Montreal!

Many thanks, will take a look. I have refrained from saying how well my kids behave and that their palates are as good as most diners. Most parents say the same, but my kids truly have great taste. And will heed to you all about Toque. They would fare well with the food and atmosphere. The length, especially for the dancer, may be tough.

Keep 'em coming though as I will go anywhere that's great! Thanks again all.

Jul 03, 2014
LVI in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Please help with my upcoming trip to Montreal!

OOPS, thanks for pointing that out. It is actually my family (wife and 3 kids). Toque was chosen, by my daughter, as a celebration dinner (that is assuming she does well!). While it is very pricy (well beyond what I would normally take my kids to) I'm not sure why that makes it an odd choice.

Thanks for the suggestions above. I have made a reservation at Brasserie T (tried yesterday but there was nothing available so they must have had a cancelation).

Jul 02, 2014
LVI in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Please help with my upcoming trip to Montreal!

I am headed to Montreal to watch my daughter compete in the Irish Dancing event at the convention center. While a restaurant close would be a bonus, it will not limit our choice. So far I have reservations at l'Original, l'Express, Toque, and Restaurant les Pyrenees. We LOVE all types of food in all types of settings. I would love to hear any input on my choices and any additional recommendations.

Thanks in advance for your help and I look forward to hearing about the Montreal dining scene.

Jul 01, 2014
LVI in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Cheap eats for foodies?

PF Changs is about as far from a CH experience as I can imagine. I know it is a cheap eats thread, but If we are talking chains, why not Micky D's?

Jul 01, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Review #7: Lotus of Siam

Dinner at Lotus of Siam was the largest group of my trip (19 total) and unequivocally the best. From the moment we walked in to the moment that we left the service was professional, efficient and pleasant and the food was nothing short of spectacular. Without question the best meal of of our trip.

As I mentioned in another review, many of the people in my group had never been to Las Vegas before so this was a chance to showcase not only some of the best Thai food preparation in the country but also provide a perfect contrast to The Strip and all it's glitz and glamor.

All of the dishes that we had this evening at LoS have been covered here on CH ad nauseam so I will refrain from describing every mouthwatering bite. Here is what we ordered (I'm sure I will have forgotten 1 or 2): Both garlic black pepper and spicy chili chicken wings, Issan and Northern Larb, Nam Kao Tod, the green chili dip (I can't tell you how many looked at this dish and said "nah" until I made them try it and I couldn't get them to stop eating it), the Jackfruit that is in a broth with other vegetables (sorry I can't remember the name), charbroiled catfish (2 perfectly sized ones), drunken noodles with sea bass, Khao soi, Garlic Prawns (I still contend that the shells are almost, if not, better than the prawn themselves!), Crispy Panang Duck and for once, the Mango with sticky rice and coconut ice cream. I say for one as of the multitude of times that I have been to LoS it is generally not when the mangos are in season. What a true delight these perfectly sweet Thai mangos are.

In many of my reviews I mention that as a visitor to Las Vegas my tolerance for restaurants that do not perform up to reputation or task is very low. This is my 29th year (countless trips) visiting Las Vegas (and if my memory serves me correct, close to my 20th year going to Lotus...is that right?) and in all of those years not a single restaurant has gotten it so consistently right and captured my imagination the way the Chutima's have done. Lotus of Siam is most definitely my favorite restaurant in the Valley and hope to visit it for another 29 years to come.

Jun 19, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Review #6: The Verandah

You are free to choose the buffet or the menu. And the tables participation is not at all mandatory. I think the best way to describe their brunch would be to say it is a bunch of small bites from the menu with a smattering of other offerings they do not normally have, like the homemade donuts or charcuterie as an example.

Jun 18, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Review #5: SW Steakhouse

Understood, however I believe this is the first time he has been in charge of two headline restaurants. By default he can't be there every night.

Jun 17, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Review #5: SW Steakhouse

I wholeheartedly agree. But the one thing about a group of 17 or 2 is that the kitchen invariably has to cook for that many regardless. SW is a HUGE restaurant so they are constantly firing away on the line. In theory, those 17 seats are the same as a group or as 8 tables of 2 and 1 person at the bar. So I would expect the biggest issue would be that of temperature and I don't recall anyone having an issue with a dish that was too tepid.

There is one thing that has crept into my mind...is David Walzog getting spread to thin? There is no doubt about his ability and passion. But take the man out of his kitchen and invariably the quality will suffer, at least in the beginning. With him running two restaurants (I don't know if Lakeside and SW share the same kitchen, but I would highly doubt it) quality becomes increasingly harder to manage.

And in my final review in which there were 19 total neither the service nor the temps were anything other than perfect. Not to mention having a 745pm reservation and sitting at 745pm at one table as promised.

Jun 17, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Review #6: The Verandah

All depends on the mood I suppose. Huevos however are still my favorite.

Jun 17, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Review #6: The Verandah

This review will be short and sweet and for breakfast/brunch only (although my wife and 3 of her friends had a stellar lunch by all accounts). First breakfast. I am a sucka for this place. There is not a more pleasant setting to eat your first meal of the day at than The Verandah. From the coffee to the outstanding entrees it has always been my favorite spot. True it is very expensive but I am willing to spend a little extra to start my day off this way. For the first time in almost forever I did not have the Huevos Rancheros as I opted for the Corned Beef and Pastrami with poached eggs. In the past this dish has been good but they have never been able to keep it to temps true. With the cast iron serving plates (pans) they now use, it stays perfectly warm and the flavor is wonderful. You can tell it is house made and house ground. And the shoestring potatoes offer the perfect textural contrast to the hash. (My wife split the Huevos with her friend and said it was as good as ever).

The other day I had the buffet and it was also wonderful. In the past they have served their has in mini cast iron pans but did not warm the pans first so the has lost temps true very quickly. They have adjusted nicely (watch out the pans are HOT!) and the mini hashes are as good as the larger ones. As far as the other items, they are really all great. The one exception (and I made this point in another review) is the muffin for the eggs Benedict. You MUST cook your own muffin first and only take the ham and egg for the Benedict otherwise you will be left with an intolerably hard muffin that will ruin an otherwise excellent Benny.

The selection is smaller than the mega resorts Wynn/Bellagio/Cosmo but I will put it up against all of them in terms of quality. Quality wins vs quantity.

Jun 16, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Review #5: SW Steakhouse

This was the first of our large group dinners. I had requested to be sitting outside on the patio or near as most people in our group had not been to Las Vegas so I figured a view of the water show would have been an excellent way to start the weekend. And much to my chagrin not only were we not near the show, we were tucked away in a back corner, set up at TWO tables. Needless to say I was not very happy as these reservations were done at least two months ahead and they were aware it was a birthday celebration. Imagine hosting a party where many of the people do not know each other sitting at two separate tables.

As were were all getting settled the waiter came to take our drink orders. It was at that moment that the manager came and asked if we would like to be seated in the private dining room that was about to be vacated. Obviously I said that would be great and he told us it was ours as soon as the bridal party left. So we waited...and waited. To make a long story even longer it was at 9:15pm (our reservation was set for 8:00pm) that we finally got a menu.

I will say that once we ordered the pace at which the meal progressed was very comfortable. We were never rushed and the service was impeccable. As for the food, like other reviews I have been posting, I will only comment on the food I tasted. I ordered the crab soup that had a phyllo dough cap that was sprinkled with some sort of Old Bay seasoning that acted, I suppose, like a seasoned crouton, along with splitting the Tomahawk Chop Rib Eye. The soup was very pleasant and very good flavor a bit exaggerated by the Old Bay crouton, which while a bit awkward, offered a nice contrast. I wouldn't say it was the best I have ever had by far especially when I really could not pick out a single discernible piece of crab. The steak was excellent however a bit on the underdone side, which I would much prefer to over done. I had a bite of my wife's Caesar's salad which I enjoyed and had good flavor. All the sides were excellent especially the Brussels sprouts, while the Mac and cheese suffered from over cooked pasta. All the guest seemed to love their food and I'm not sure I heard one complaint, which is pretty darned good when you have a group of 17.

Other than what I perceived to be a bit of a service flaw in the beginning this was a very good meal. I still contend that SW should remain at or near the top of all steakhouses in Las Vegas however it was not quite as good as it has been in the past. This may simply be because we were a large group and we got off to a rocky start. But when you spend the amount of money that you do at these places you experience should be excellent from service to food and I cannot say that this was true this visit.

Jun 16, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Review #4: Jaleo

Have you been back?

Jun 14, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Review #4: Jaleo

First off, let me say that the food was excellent with some bites making my eyes roll to the back of my head (like the $22 piece of Iberico ham topped with caviar and gold leaf. Man I wish I could win the lottery!). So let's start there. I had left Sunday open for whatever we were in the mood for that night. We tried to go back to LoS but was not assured we could get in (9 people 9pm). So I called Jaleo and inquired if they would have a table for 9 and they said sure so off we went. This was the end of the trip for all of us as we were leaving the next day and wanted a good meal and where we could recap the weekend festivities. The problem is that Jaleo is not a restaurant conducive to conversation (unless you are yelling) so I was a bit skeptical. As we were brought to our table I was so excited that we were brought into a private room (opposite è and similar whimsical decor on 3 of the walls with the entrance being a glass wall) that was absolutely perfect. A couple minutes later (didn't mind the wait as we were all chatting) the waiter walked in and asked with a bit of an attitude, "How did you get this room?" It was a bit weird but oh well. He took or drink order and a couple minutes later came back with drinks and ready to take our order. So away I went. 2oz of Iberico bellota, 4 of the Jose Tacos (the Iberico ham with a healthy dollop of good quality caviar), enough of the pork paella for the 9 of us to each have a taste, the codfish croquettes, octopus and potatoes, sea urchin on toast, salmon crudo and the salmon tartare cones (both of which they were out of), the Rossejat negra con cigala (fried pasta, squid ink, squid, lobster), the mussels, the seared whole baby squid with artichokes and greens, and the Secreto ibérico con salsa verde (the skirt steak from the bellota pig).

Each thing was very good all the way to ethereal. Most were excellent. And the those tacos, WOW. EXCEPT, and this is where the "Ugly" part comes in, the baby squid. The presentation was fine and from what I could tell, a decent sized portion. Since it was place in front of me I took the first one. It was plump with nice char marks. I cut into it and liquid, like that of a soft boiled egg that had not cooked long enough, oozed out on the plate. And here is the stupid move by me, I actually gave them the benefit of the doubt thinking it could have been some sauce and took a bite (I grew up fishing with squid so I knew that the liquid was that of an uncleaned squid). Ughh. It was an uncleaned squid. Now, I know its not going to hurt me and that I will be fine. But it was the gag effect that ruined me. I politely spit it out in my napkin, told everybody not to eat it and put it back on the lazy susan. Our waiter came back and I told him what happened. "Are you sure?" was the first thing out of his mouth. Not really what you should say to a customer, IMO. No sorry, no "can we make it up to you?" no nadda. Just, "Are you sure?" to which he took it to the kitchen. Nothing more about it.

Next was dessert. Now the waiter knew it was my birthday, and knew we were there celebrating. Took the 3 orders. Came back with all three, one with a candle in it. Obligatory I suppose. (As a funny aside, the candle was lit, but when he came through the door it went out and he could relight it.). And like the dinner the desserts were great.

Now here is the "Bad" part. Check comes. 18% added, sop (a discussion for another time but where is the incentive to provide good service when you know you are going to get 18% no matter what?). So what's so bad you ask? Well, I would have expected some sort of gesture for the squid. And at a bare minimum, complementary dessert for me, for my birthday. But nothing. And lastly, and not all that horrible but poor form nonetheless, a different waiter whom had never entered the room came in to take the check and BEFORE he left the room was literally counting the money. Sorry, I have a hard time with that.

So in short: (Food) The GOOD, (Service) The BAD, and (Squid) The UGLY

Jun 13, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas

Review #3: China Mama

Lol! Savory dreams I guess.

I don't think the name was actually just shrimp pillow but close enough. Like a scallion pancake but thinner stuffed with shrimp, greens (ong choy?) I think egg and possibly pork.

Jun 13, 2014
LVI in Las Vegas