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Japaneiro: Outstanding food in unlikely location

Also one other thing that QAW and I discused was that we did not even scratch the surface of the menu and while we were really impressed with our dinner the conundrum is if the specials do not change often what will draw people back. This is a question that "Strip" restaurants do not have to address as much given the massive amount of people who visit. For a restaurant like Japaneiro their audience is staggeringly limited to locals and those of us like me who are willing to avoid the Strip, which I would say is an extremely small %.

Jun 30, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Japaneiro: Outstanding food in unlikely location

What he said...

Just to allay the A/C and sewage points, neither was an issue for us.

Jun 30, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Long Trip Report 6/22/15 to 6/25/15

AMen. But damn them ;-)

Jun 29, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Long Trip Report 6/22/15 to 6/25/15

Oh the pain Zin! My daughter took the caviar spoon out of my wife's hand Christmas '05 and shoveled and spoonful into mouth. We knew she wouldn't like it...now 13 she still loves it!

Jun 29, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Japaneiro: Outstanding food in unlikely location

I was delighted when QAW alerted me to a recent ELV post about Japaneiro. Mr. Curtas said it had one of the best steaks in the valley. So off QAW and I went with another friend to sample some delightfully balanced and wonderfully flavored food presented by a proud and friendly staff. The first impression when you drive to this location (7315 West Warm Springs Road, exactly a 15 min, easy drive from my hotel) is that it better have good food to bring people in. The specials board is front and center when you walk to the smallish but well layer out dining room.

I made what I though was a huge mistake by leaving my glasses back at the hotel so I was blind trying to read the menu, which may have turned out to be a blessing! But after reading the specials board (Fresh Japanese abalone, prime dry aged rib eye, uni here and uni there, Nigerian giant prawn, and so on...) I knew the menu would have to be explored another time.

I will not go into each individual bite and dish as my time is limited this morning (trying to qualify for WSOP) but will say that the flavors that chef and owner Kevin Chong (what a nice and proud gentleman) coaxes out of his dishes along with the laser like focus and layering is at times mesmerizing (salmon belly cevichÄ—, uni bites, Foie/scallop bite...). Does everything work with absolute precision? In my opinion no. Pretty damn close though! I found the bone marrow and the bone marrow filet to be a bit clunky (although the filet was cooked PERFECTLY and of top quality) and the duck and Foie too rich (to be fair about that dish though, it was ordered late and was the final of something like 12 full sized dishes so maybe try it again).

Finally, to address Mr. Curtas' claim about one of the best steaks in the valley...it could be (we did not sample the tomahawk chop and I am referring to the dry aged ribeye only). The steak was perfectly cooked, sliced and presented on a wooden board adorned with 6-8 different types of salt and two dipping sauces. My preference and what I would suggest is to skip the sauces. Again, they were not bad (actually very tasty) but I felt it detracted from the quality of the beef. Also one word of warning about this steak. Ribeyes are inherently fatty and when the steak is presliced before it comes to the table many pieces of the glorious meat still have some fat attached. Personally it doesn't bother me and if proportioned right will enhance the experience.

Price-wise, I think one can dine for a very reasonable tab (at the moment they are BYOB so that keeps tabs reasonable). Our bill for 3 was close to $200 each. BUT, and that is a BIG BUT, we had about 12 dishes, 2 of which were the $90 a piece abalone.

Kevin, server Jeffery and the rest of the staff (please forgive me forgetting the name of the wonderful sous chef!) have much to be proud of. This is a place that should be on everybody's radar. And of course, as always, dining with QAW is always delightful and what a great gentleman!

Now, where to tonight?

Jun 29, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare remains an uncelebrated gem with seafood worth celebrating.

So if Joe Smith were to have had your dinner it would have run better than $500pp. So would you say it's still a "5*" dinner for the little people like us or does the discount not affect your rating?

Jun 27, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare remains an uncelebrated gem with seafood worth celebrating.

Pricey? How much was Your dinner?

Jun 26, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare remains an uncelebrated gem with seafood worth celebrating.

Ahh yes. TYVM Larry! (BTW, can I step into the Wayback Machine?). I was actually looking for the hard copy I have so thank you for calling off the hounds.

Jun 25, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare remains an uncelebrated gem with seafood worth celebrating.

Not sure what to say. If that article doesn't speak to the lengths that Paul Bartolotta goes to procure the finest seafood, then Im not sure what to say.

Jun 24, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare remains an uncelebrated gem with seafood worth celebrating.

This is not the article from Cucina Italiana (as I mentioned previously, it no longer is in publication, swallowed by Food and Wine group I believe) but it's very good.

http://www.departures.com/lifestyle/f...

Jun 24, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare remains an uncelebrated gem with seafood worth celebrating.

I'd be happy to splurge for a meal like that. Anyone else in? QAW, you pick the night, Sun-Wednesday.

Jun 24, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare remains an uncelebrated gem with seafood worth celebrating.

Not only was there an article written about the lagoustines (in the now defunct Cucina Italiania magazine which I posted here several years ago) but I believe there was also a TV spot on it (Bourdain?). You should really try and find the article on how the langoustines are transported, truly fascinating. I don't think there is a chef that goes to the lengths that Mr Bartolotta does (of course with the help of The Wynn) to import such fresh and pristine seafood.

Jun 24, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare remains an uncelebrated gem with seafood worth celebrating.

Agree that Bartolotta is far better than Marea. But it's almost apples vs oranges.

Bartolotta has been the best for many years for the freshest, most pristine Mediterranean seafood (and other parts of the world for that matter) in a very surreal setting. And while the deft touch of Michael White and staff is present in some dishes, other dishes err on the side of being overly complicated and/or clunky. The pristine product from Bartolotta is what shines while the preperation (99% perfect) is often over looked or criticized, unjustly, as too plain. Sure it's hidiously expensive but flying FRESH langoustine only found off a single Italian island of Italy isn't cheap to transport.

Jun 22, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

The Roasted Rosemary Chicken - So Easy, Yet So Hard !!

Eberly and D'Artagnan are fantastic birds but hideously expensive.

Jun 15, 2015
LVI in General Topics

The Roasted Rosemary Chicken - So Easy, Yet So Hard !!

I think the quality of the bird has much to do with the flavor and texture of the dish. But that aside I have found that brining the chicken in a "Rosemary tea" (take some Rosemary stalks and steep for 20-30 min in just boiled water and chill) really helps to infuse that intense Rosemary flavor. I then cook partially on grill (until skin becomes brown and crispy) followed by finishing in a 450 degree oven. And if you have a home made broth, reduce until almost a demi-glace and combine that with the juices that collect in the bottom of the roasting pan.

Jun 14, 2015
LVI in General Topics

Less Expensive LV Options for 1st time visitors?

There are very few worth while "cheap" steak houses in Las Vegas. That being said, there are some specials worth looking into. i.e. Charlie Palmers in the Four Seasons has a weekly special called "Cut of the Week" which is $48 for 3 courses and a bottomless glass of wine. A very good deal and sometimes the offering is excellent. Their regular menu will set you back quite a bit. Another even less expensive option but no where near the quality is the Ellis Island $7.99 Steak dinner. And there are others. However, as you said in your OP, you are more interested in local off beaten path places. LoS for sure, and not at all a splurge. Chad is also a must (Thai food also). In the same hood, District 1 is excellent. As well as China Mama )more for lunch as there is zero atmosphere). Personally I like Hot and Juicy Crawfish. Also, In-n-Out, as we do not have those here on the east coast. So many others...just look at past posts, there are a ton. Have fun!

Jun 10, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

las Vegas - fun dinner for 10!

+1 for Jaleo. Cosmo seems to be teeming most nights while other places would be less so.

Jun 08, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas
1

Cut or N9NE Steakhouse

For food, CUT, no question

Vibe, N9ne, hands down.

Both...bring lots o' cash. Neither overwhelming.

Jun 08, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas
2

SF level food...in Vegas. Does is exist? Help?

As another poster recommended, Lotus of Siam caters to larger parties extremely well. The other positive is that when you go with a larger party it allows you to order many different dishes thusly allowing you to sample the wide variety of Thai flavors. I recently had a large party (20) and it was hugely successful. The only down side to a dinner at LoS is the off strip location and minimalist atmosphere.

Personally I think Spago in Caesars would be a great fit for your group. It consistently puts out very good to excellent food while not aggressively priced. Bardot in Aria would also be an excellent fit. Those are just a couple suggestions, I'm sure you will get many more.

Jun 01, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas
1

Downtown choices; what do you think?

I can't really address much about your downtown choices other than Andiamo's. We had a good experience there and if staying downtown I would highly recommend going. If you search the board you will find my and other reviews.

May 30, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

which Bellagio buffet?

If you can use at Jasmine's Sunday brunch I'd highly recommend that (first look at the menu to make sure you like the offerings). I'm not a huge fan of buffets but the Jasmine brunch is quite good, especially if you can eat for "free". Technically is called Brunch so I would guess you can't use it there but there is no harm in calling and asking.

The Bellagio Buffet is very good in terms of buffet quality and as others have mentioned, is really the only true buffet restaurant in the hotel, I believe.

May 30, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

1st visit to Vegas for a concert- will I regret my choices??

Start your decision by finding a restaurant that serves prime beef. Many places will offer beef that is "dry aged", "angus", "higher quality than prime" or some other nonsense. USDA prime is unquestionably the best.

May 28, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

1st visit to Vegas for a concert- will I regret my choices??

As far as dress, your husband will be fine without a jacket at any of the mentioned establishments.

As others have mentioned, there are a plethora of steakhouses in Las Vegas and the vast majority are silly expensive. Since you are staying at Caesar's The Old Homestead is right there and a very good option. They are one of only 2-3 restaurants that are serving prime dry aged meats from Pat LaFrieda, which is considered some of the best beef in America.

Rao's is fine, as is Il Mulino (also on property) and both are, again, very expensive. I would seriously consider Spago. It flies under the radar a lot and has always turned out excellent food. And while not cheap, will be more reasonable than the other options. (I agree with the other poster on Bartolotta however it easily is one of the most expensive restaurants on the strip. Impossibly fresh fresh seafood from the Mediterranean, most prepared very simply. The tabs are quite shocking though.)

On Sunday I would consider going to the Bellagio and going to the Jasmine Sunday Brunch. Certainly not cheap but quality is good, many options and over all good quality, for a brunch.

May 27, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Vegas Trip Itinerary with 2 + 4 year old

All steaks places in Vegas are absurdly over priced. I mentioned above that I was a big fan of Bazaar but price point makes it hard to justify (they do have some really tasty dishes, especially the greatest steak tartare I have ever tasted). CUT is great but not all that much cheaper that Bazaar. And Maestros is not in the same league, IMO.

May 18, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Vegas Trip Itinerary with 2 + 4 year old

My $.02 (have 3 kids and was in similar situation, ages, years ago with them in Vegas). Raku is definitely an option, especially if they are used to restaurants. Might I suggest that you book early in the evening and see if you can get one of the private tables in the back. Could be perfect solution. Dave's insight on the menu items is spot on.

I'd avoid Bazaar (I'm a big fan, not so much of price point though) and B&B (too loud for kids and way too inconsistent).

LoS is a great idea (especially if kids like food like that) and it is still one of my kids favorite restaurants.

Peppermill, while a scene, may be too much for kids. Plus I've never been a big fan of the mediocre food and ginormous portions. If you are renting a car I'd consider Mr. Mama's. Nothing adventurous in terms of culinary treasures but a VERY reasonable tab, excellently prepared breakfast, and almost 100% all homemade (crazy good cinnamon buns that your kids will go crazy over! Not to mention the heart stopping chicken fried steak covered in a sausage gravy!).

Love tacos el Gordo but hate that the strip location closed. Probably worth the drive.

China Mama is a great, cheap Chinese option up Spring Mountain off the strip. Some really great items on the menu. Also in that same shopping mall is District 1 which has booths and has some great food. And of course, Chada, although not 100% sure it would be a great atmosphere for kids but food fantastic (oh I dream of that crab curry).

May 17, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Recommend a "casual" (or at least "casual-ish") steakhouse?

As mentioned already, you can get into any of the steak joints in Vegas dressed that way. It boils down to what you want to spend (from absurd to budget) and what kind of atmosphere you want (whimsical to old school). I would look at SW, CUT, Gordon Ramsey Steak and The Old Homestead.

May 10, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Trying to duplicate garlic prawns at Lotus of Siam

I'll take the over 200 on that!

Apr 25, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Help pick a fabulous lounge or restaurant bar for drinks and appetizers... and a restaurant for a casual dinner

What hotel are you staying as to narrow the list?

Apr 15, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Help pick one restaurant for special dinner in Vegas

I think uhockeys list is great. I'd add that 4 women 40 years young would do well to stay in Cosmo for dining and drinks. So to his list I would add Jaleo. Jaleo would easily keep you under the $100pp threshold while giving you a wider variety of things to choose from.

Apr 15, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas

Steak Question

You will get very few arguments about that statement.

Pure steak, gun to my head...1) Old Homestead. 2) SW or Gordon Ramsey

Could make a case for many others, but I don't think you can go wrong here.

Apr 11, 2015
LVI in Las Vegas