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Yonaka - every bit as good a reason as Raku to venture off-strip

They change the "daily selection" savories menu once every 3-4 days per the GM.

And we still disagree on the desserts, which do not change nearly as frequently (perhaps one every 'few months') per our server. IMO, I didn't find the food itself to be particularly "Asian only" or "One note" and as such I didn't expect the desserts to be so either.

I will say the portion sizes on desserts are a bit much, though.

Either way - Yonaka rivals Raku for a reason to get off the strip imo.

http://endoedibles.com

about 23 hours ago
uhockey in Las Vegas

Yonaka - every bit as good a reason as Raku to venture off-strip

Eater has been covering a number of my reviews lately.

1 day ago
uhockey in Las Vegas

Yonaka - every bit as good a reason as Raku to venture off-strip

We shall agree to disagree - as a non-Asian person I found their desserts to be excellent. I also think that, in general, "modern" restaurants like them are catering to non-Asian palates across the board.

Clearly tastes differ, considering the average Asian dessert does nothing to wow me - I'm find with some mocchi or azuki bean from time to time, but I found the Kammi-O to be one of the best desserts in this city; the warmness only making it better.

http://endoedibles.com

2 days ago
uhockey in Las Vegas

Sushi and Dim Sum

Sushi - Kabuto.

Dim-Sum - KJ at The Rio. NOT Cathay House.

http://endoedibles.com

Apr 16, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

4/12/15 Dining Report - Roxy's Diner, Wake Up Coffee Cafe, District One, The Cupcakery, Yonaka

Roxy's Diner: http://endoedibles.com/?p=18086

Located in the lobby of The Stratosphere and operating 24/7 since its inception Roxy’s Diner had always struck me as the sort of restaurant targeting the hotel’s drunken late nights but with a recent menu update and a fresh coat of paint I suddenly found the place calling my name, a 6:00am breakfast proving well worth the trek. Large in size and copious in choices from the ‘all-day’ menu as Marilyn Monroe films and 50s décor flourish beneath an era appropriate soundtrack it was to smiling service that my arrival was met and although coffee refills occasionally required reminder nothing about kitschy cuisine lacked in the least. Beginning first with a duo of French Toasts, one part savory and one thoroughly sweet, suffice it to say that when compared to central-strip 24/7s like Central or Carnegie Roxy’s portions trend large for the price and although the sandwich was quite good with crispy bacon and fluffy eggs between supple bread it paled in comparison to the cinnamon roll’s gluttonous spiral complete with frosting and further gilded with a warm maple sidecar. Setting aside parts of the first course “to-go” (a ridiculous $1 surcharge for the box on my bill) and turning attention to desserts it was to another duo that I was treated and although I’m rather certain the bread pudding suffered a delay en route given the lukewarm temperature and melted ice cream the flavors were quite pleasant, a compliment equally offered to a sizable $6 carrot cake rife with cinnamon and thickly frosted with citrus-tinged cream cheese.

Apr 16, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

4/12/15 Dining Report - Roxy's Diner, Wake Up Coffee Cafe, District One, The Cupcakery, Yonaka

Wake Up Coffee Café: http://endoedibles.com/?p=18110

Having driven past the small Charleston storefront daily for nearly five months it was finally this Saturday that I decided to stop in at Wake Up Coffee Café, the husband-and-wife owned Armenian bakery greeting myself and a pair of local police officers with hot beverages and breakfast savorires alongside a tempting display of cakes, cookies, and pastries ranging several continents and cultures. Allowing the cops to go first as I browsed the options with the enviable task of spending a $20 gift certificate I was immediately taken aback by the low prices displayed below each item and fortunately en route to a brief morning meeting my selections ran a nine item gamut, the total bill a mere $21.45 and only a soggy cannoli and overly sweet baba proving anything less than impressive. Admittedly a touch slow in service as the owner tended to both the café and drive-thru it was with a warm fig strudel that my Wake Up tasting began and with shattering layers around sweet fruit my hopes for the rest soared, the boxed options experienced two hours later with much sharing and praise from my two colleagues but the glut of the bounty left to me. Trending light to rich alongside bold coffee both the macaroon-crisp walnut roll and reinterpreted napoleon offered serious textural contrast overlying mild flavors while traditional takes on the chocolate chip strewn blondie and dense baklava rivaled the city’s best – a sentiment I can only assume to be true of the novel cream-meets-crunch Bird’s Nest and a condensed milk sweetened graham and walnut butter “Honeymoon Cake” similar to the more appropriately titled “Dream” Cake at Manan.

Apr 16, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

4/12/15 Dining Report - Roxy's Diner, Wake Up Coffee Cafe, District One, The Cupcakery, Yonaka

District One: http://endoedibles.com/?p=18065

Occupying the former home of Cravin’ Cajun and serving up modern Vietnamese cuisine in a room one part hipster-industrial and one part sports bar it was with a group of five that I sat down at District One Kitchen & Bar just minutes after noon and focusing our order on variety the results proved ‘variable’ at best. Clearly untrained and understaffed to handle a restaurant nearly 3/4 full by 12:30 it was with a trio of appetizers that our meal began and with beverage refills scarce as servers ran in circles perhaps it was fortuitous that none of the first round proved remotely spicy, the hamachi tacos bright and crisp at $3 each while dull, limp wings and the vinegar tinged salad proved entirely forgettable…and not particularly ‘Vietnamese’ at all. Moving next to larger scale items, a duo of pho dishes would prove respectable if not particularly well presented; the supple oxtail imbuing long rice noodles with a meaty sapor while an enormous proximal femur laced its broth with fat to balance ample scallions, though heat remained mute even in the presence of sliced jalapenos. Moving finally to the items that showed the kitchen’s promise, suffice it to say that tender pork belly first braised then rendered soft in coconut milk proved by far the most complex option of the afternoon despite its unexpected sweetness and although a seemingly odd choice, the throwback ‘get down n’ dirty’ shrimp finally delivered in the spice department, a pound of the snappy shell-ons again leaving my water-glass empty while wondering why we hadn’t just gone to Crab Corner or Hot n’ Juicy instead.

Apr 16, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

4/12/15 Dining Report - Roxy's Diner, Wake Up Coffee Cafe, District One, The Cupcakery, Yonaka

The Cupcakery - http://endoedibles.com/?p=18241

Formerly with several locations spread across the valley but recently supplanted on the Strip by Corner Cakes it was a brief meeting that brought me to Lake Meade Boulevard’s “The Cupcakery” and with smiling staff serving up several novel interpretations of their eponymous treat it seems unthinkable to me that anyone would eschew such a place in favor of its abhorrent substitute. Featuring no less than eighteen varieties on my Saturday visit with all selections made in-house of largely organic ingredients, pure butter, and no preservatives each $3.25 creation of owner Pamela Jenkins begins with an impressively moist base featuring light sweetness and a supple crumb before building upward to a variety of frostings, the majority cream cheese, ready to serve the sweet tooth but never to overwhelm – the result a series of balanced bites with subtlety and nuance at the fore, In many ways overwhelming in options given cakes both traditional and trendy it was with the dainty Kir Royale that my tasting began and progressing light to heavy it was next the appropriately titled “Sweet & Salty” that wowed, the pink crystals a textural masterstroke and veritable palate cleanser to slightly under-spiced carrot cake and the inspired chocolate freckled Zoolander instantly rousing memories of Autumn in Ohio. Tasting bites throughout the afternoon interspersed with sips of La Colombe’s Corsica it was perhaps an effect of my coffee predilections that my final two tastes of The Cupcakery would prove most memorable and as good as the prototypical Red Velvet was in delivering light cocoa beneath aggressive tang it was the seasonal “El Rolo” that stole the spotlight, an Amedei-like smokiness to the dark chocolate proving an ample foil to intensely sweet liquid caramel.

Apr 16, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

4/12/15 Dining Report - Roxy's Diner, Wake Up Coffee Cafe, District One, The Cupcakery, Yonaka

Full Yonaka Report here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/972555

Apr 16, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

Yonaka - every bit as good a reason as Raku to venture off-strip

I'd do Twist over Savoy or Yonaka if money was no concern; particularly if from Austin.

Yonaka is great, but I found the fish quality at Uchi slightly better. Desserts at Yonaka were superior, though.

Apr 16, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

Yonaka - every bit as good a reason as Raku to venture off-strip

Full review in the blog with copious photos, text as below:

http://endoedibles.com/?p=18161

Reinvigorated in my interests for Modern Japanese ‘fusion’ by a March experience with the Beard Award winning cuisine of Chef Tyson Cole at Uchi it was with guarded optimism that I assented to a friend’s suggestion to finally visit Yonaka; a three hour and sixteen course tasting of dynamic flavors and pristine balance proving the best I’ve experienced in Las Vegas this calendar year. Located in a typical strip mall on West Flamingo and featuring a concept self described as ‘Japanese tapas’ the evening began with the simple decision of bar versus table and opting for the later amidst a warm yet stark interior it was to the tune of a shared $95 omakase plus several supplements that the meal unfolded – an invigorating paco-jet concentrated cucumber amuse setting the stage for what would follow. Beginning first with a trio of fried happy hour bar-snacks from which the ‘best’ would be impossible to select and then transitioning into several amply portioned plates both cold and hot it was early on that a consistent pattern of superlative proteins over bright citrus and subtle aromatics emerged, the Suika Saka and Sakana Yaki particularly enthralling while the slightly overcooked Niku Berry’s beef proved that a mélange of mushrooms can truly save a plate, particularly served point/counterpoint with tart early-season strawberries. Rounding out savories with the crunchy Age Maki, an inspired take on Mexican Street corn dressed with briny uni, plus a $9 bite of slightly overseared foie gras cribbed direct from Austin it was at long last that we transitioned to sweets, a trio ordered but four delivered and all amongst the best I’ve experienced from Eastern influenced cuisine – the mango ‘yolk’ of the panna cotta and banana pudding-come-crème brulee Kanmi-O both on par with the pastry at Robuchon or Twist at half the price.

Apr 15, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

Yet another Vegas Vacation...

Strongly consider Yonaka for a dinner if you can get off strip - it was mesmerizing.

Not particularly keen on doing Bouchon yet again, but if there are other spots on your checklist for lunch/brunch on Saturday I can likely make it work. Shoot me an e-mail or get at me via the blog.

Apr 15, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

Great steak and seafood?

Second Carnevino. Steak for him, pasta or apps for you. Perfect.

Apr 14, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

Need Help!!! Tasting Menu $100ish???

Twist or Yonaka. Kabuto or Raku as wildcards.

Apr 13, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

Please help me finalize dining plans

I did not enjoy five50 at all when compared to Secret, Pop-Up, or Pin Up. Obviously a very subjective thing, but everything about five50 feels like a horrendous money grab.

Apr 13, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

Please help me finalize dining plans

...and yet some, on other sites, seem to dislike the local Asian Scene. It is truly odd.

Apr 10, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

4/5/14 Dining Report - Terrace Point Cafe, Cathay House Restaurant, Carlo's Bakery, Yusho

Carlo's Bakery: http://endoedibles.com/?p=17800

Admittedly surprised by the passionate service of red sauce classics at Buddy V’s and Chef Valastro’s hands on approach to business during an early walkthrough of his imported Hoboken storefront it was with seemingly appropriate expectations that I approached the newly minted Carlo’s Bakery during its first official Saturday at The Venetian but with high prices, meager portions, and pedestrian pastry besmirched by long lines and paltry service suffice it to say the “cake boss” has a lot to learn. Clever in design and diverse in craft with cakes, cannoli, cookies by the pound and more sold in the Italian tradition of tickets and hand bills Carlo’s problems begin at the door where several starry eyed customers forget tickets in the face of photo-ops and proceeding to the counter the issue is multiplied by mislabeled product, the fledgling staff all the more confused with items frequently forgotten by many early reports – in my case a $3 creampuff for which I was charged but never received. Moving next to the product, prices not substantially different from the east coast flagship but still dramatically inflated given the name on the door, my tasting began with a pair of pre-filled cannolis and with sog already setting in suffice it to say better can be had at Montesano’s for half the price, any true Italian realizing filled-to-order is the only way to go. Admittedly disappointed but moving on to more, a duo of $3.50 cupcakes smaller and far less inspiring than Sprinkles or Bouchon would follow and proceeding to a duo of forgettable cookies I was thankful when three forms of puff pastry finally proved memorable – the fresh-cut Napoleon I’d watched the team layer, frost, and cut in the kitchen a flaky masterpiece and the still-warm cinnamon strudel danish a pastry well worth the five bucks. Obviously new and clearly capable of sustaining a few bumps in the road on the backs of adoring fans it will be interesting to see just how long Buddy and team can ride the initial wave of hype, but featuring the only legitimate Italian Bakery on the strip I’m sure they’ll be around long enough to justify waiting to visit unless one is a true fan – and even then I’d suggest checking out Freed’s or Montesano’s first.

Apr 09, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

4/5/14 Dining Report - Terrace Point Cafe, Cathay House Restaurant, Carlo's Bakery, Yusho

Cathay House Restaurant: http://endoedibles.com/?p=17837

Having found KJ Seafood and Dim Sum at the Rio a good value for high quality cart service as a packed dining room assured freshly circulating plates throughout our ninety minute stay it was with a group of five that I sat down at Spring Mountain staple Cathay House hoping to further dispel rumors of Sin City’s subpar dim sum but with slipshod service and too few patrons even on Saturday at noon the results were, at best, mixed. Starting at the door where hasty greetings lead us to the back room it would be less that thirty seconds after seating that the blitzkrieg began – baskets and steamers that had clearly been propped against the wall shoved in our faces with several selections requiring an unannounced trip to the kitchen microwave – and kicking off with a trio of steamed options it was only BBQ Pork buns that proved competent as rubbery XLB and Shu Mai skins undermined otherwise juicy contents. Still frenetic in pace as a $16 lobster special with slippery noodles swimming in ginger found its way to the table alongside a trio of excellent baked pastries it would unfortunately not be long before these gems were lost amidst overly salted garlic smelt and a dry coconut sponge, the duo immediately leaving me parched as beverage refills lagged. Admittedly underwhelmed at this point but willing to go one more round it was at long last (actually only 40 minutes) that Cathay House would rally with a strong finish from a duo of kitchen fresh carts – the crispy duck, sticky pork ribs, and supple shrimp balls all piping hot and reference standard leaving me to wonder what could have been had everything else been delivered fresh.

Apr 09, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

4/5/14 Dining Report - Terrace Point Cafe, Cathay House Restaurant, Carlo's Bakery, Yusho

Terrace Point Café: http://endoedibles.com/?p=17770

Located in The Wynn overlooking the resort’s lush gardens and pools Terrace Point Café had long been on my breakfast ‘to-do’ list and with a Saturday morning meeting behind me our 9:00am arrival found myself and a friend squarely in the middle of the restaurant’s morning bustle, a friendly but overburdened server named Hector providing service for the subsequent two hours. Open for breakfast and lunch featuring a well culled ‘all-day’ menu of novel takes on staples from each it was with minimal delay that options were perused and opting for one course savory and a second sweet it would not be long before plates arrived, each surprisingly well portioned and pristinely prepared to justify an admittedly high tariff. Beginning with butter-poached lobster atop savory waffles and a bed of fresh vegetables liberally topped with creamy béarnaise alongside two crispy fried chicken breasts stacked amidst supple waffles crowned with an egg and Crystal infused maple syrup suffice it to say that both ingredient sourcing and preparation technique proved every bit worthy of Steve Wynn’s reputation and yet as good as these were the sweets that followed were even better, the crunch-yields-custard French Toast among the nation’s best even before adding pure maple syrup while the mountain of fluffy pancakes sandwiching layers of vanilla tinged cream cheese resembled a true Red Velvet cake big enough to share…amongst four. Truly an enjoyable morning bathed in the warm sunshine of immense windows and high ceilings it was admittedly with some regret that we neglected to taste any of Terrace Point’s pastries but returning later that day after a bit of Fashion Show shopping I opted to make amends at grab-and-go sister, Drugstore Café – a trio of three items proving equally competent to that served in the dining room with both a decadent brioche cinnamon roll and rich “magic” cookie bar proving delicious and slightly superior to the twice-baked almond croissant; a shattering shell and great texture marred by just a bit too much sweet frangipane; a good choice for the strip but a far cry from Bonjour or Sugar Bee’s for city’s best.

Apr 09, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

4/5/14 Dining Report - Terrace Point Cafe, Cathay House Restaurant, Carlo's Bakery, Yusho

The full Yusho thread is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/971549

The rest, as follows.

Apr 09, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

Please help me finalize dining plans

Top notch review. I keep wanting to go to Kabuto but it always seems to get passed up. I need to remedy this.

Apr 09, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

ISO inexpensive best good food for first trip to Vegas

Outdoor stop at Miracle Mile Shops. :-)

Apr 09, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

ISO inexpensive best good food for first trip to Vegas

Walking to LoS is a hike.

Secret Pizza ain't all that anymore; not with Pin Up.

La Cave. :-)

Apr 09, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

Mandalay Bay or near by - top picks - 3 nights

Yusho (Monte Carlo)
Robuchon (MGM)
MiX (The HOTEL)

Apr 07, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

3/29/14 Dining Report - Bonjour Bakery, Flour & Barley, Sprinkles, Rollin' Smoke Barbeque

I parked Bellagio and walked it.

Apr 07, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

In Search of a Great Burger

You're probably best served by Burger Bar. :-)

Apr 07, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

Yusho - my thoughts as to why you should be excited about visting the strip instead of Spring Mountain

Short answer, no. Long answer, they are very different and both very excellent.

Apr 07, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

3/29/14 Dining Report - Bonjour Bakery, Flour & Barley, Sprinkles, Rollin' Smoke Barbeque

You name the destinations, I'll do another BBQ trek anytime. Memphis? More Texas? :-)

Apr 07, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

3/29/14 Dining Report - Bonjour Bakery, Flour & Barley, Sprinkles, Rollin' Smoke Barbeque

I see locals deals coming aplenty at those prices.

Apr 07, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas

Yusho - my thoughts as to why you should be excited about visting the strip instead of Spring Mountain

Is it blowout worthy - yes, in my opinion. Could you get away with it as a 'casual' spot if you order lightly? Also yes.

Prices are a bit more aggressive than the Chicago location - though that is to be expected. Items range anywhere from $7 to $39 with most hovering at $15 to $20. For my dollar the 2xFried chicken at $16, the Duck Breast skewer at $12, and the Logan Poser Ramen (enjoyed in Chicago, but also available here) at $21 represent great values while the $15 Octopus and $39 Beef were both pricey, albeit truly delicious.

http://endoedibles.com

Apr 06, 2014
uhockey in Las Vegas