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palmdoc1's Profile

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Aria 50% wine back for Sundays

Haven't seen it advertised anywhere but Aria's locals deal is back, only on Sundays unfortunately. 50% off any wine up to $500. This deal is especially great at bar masa where markups are about 90-100% (on some higher end sakes, with discount, cheaper than you can find retail).

Jan 26, 2015
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

Wanting to eat good without breaking the bank

Happy anniversary! Forgive the rudeness of some of our posters here please. First, I assume your limit does not include drinks. If so and despite the definitive statement above, you can go to Ramsay burgr for 20/pp. Ramsay pub and grill for closer to 25-28/pp. This assumes water and tax/20% grat.

It's correctly stated that your options are limited without a car, taxis are indeed expensive. And unfortunately 20 pp equates to little more than 15/pp exclusive of tax and tip. This is a difficult proposition on the strip. Kage makes some good suggestions - ethnic cuisine is in your range. Maybe you could rent a car? I've seen (during low demand weeks) economy cars for 20-25/day all in. This would greatly expand your choices. There are some good to great places off strip - not far - that are (relatively) cheap and damn tasty.

With respect to your anniversary meal, what is the pp you might be thinking? Again, Kage's rec for Charlie Palmer is solid. It's not the best but includes wine and is more than decent usually. There's a tram at bellagio that goes to Mandalay (or at least Luxor) I think.

Jan 15, 2015
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

New Years trip advice please

Wanted to give a brief recap of our trip. We really appreciated all the suggestions and help. Chicago is an awesome city and we can’t wait to return. We arrived Thursday evening and went to Tavern of Rush for a drink (GF parents frequent the place when in town so compulsory but glad we did). We only had a couple martinis and dozen oysters but the oysters were the best of our trip, and all of 2014 as well! Very surprising.

Boka for dinner that night – I failed to check to see which places were open for NY day prior. We liked it overall, flawless service, really exceptional. Food on the other hand was 2 for 4. Delicious bass app, great novel use of buttermilk. Artichoke soup was another winner. Less so our 3rd dish the lobster pasta special. We were both quite disappointed. Pasta was weak and the lobster was way overcooked (inexcusable imo). The next dish was walleye so undercooked we had to send back to kitchen. Finished with an unmemorable dessert. Like I mentioned above the service was incredible notwithstanding the kitchen issues. Started really bright but finished on a low. I don’t really understand execution problems with a restaurant of this caliber – maybe the “A” crew had the night off? We’d give it another shot next time in town.

Fri made in to JAM for a latish breakfast. Loved the area and the buildout of the space was lovely. Be fun to live close and have it as a go-to spot. Couple good cocktails, great espresso, French toast, omelet, burrito were all tasty and visually engaging. Service was terrible as a note, which was strange because the owner/investor? was sitting next to our table eating and checking with staff. Same light fixtures as Boka which was weird.

Took train back and wandered over to Eately. This place is awesome, always wanted to go when in NYC but never made it. Glad we did here. One could have some pretty incredible dinner parties after shopping here. Grabbed a couple beers and small app.

Friday night. I went back and forth between Schwa and El Ideas. Ended up with El Ideas based on the comments above re: cancellation and didn’t really want to spend $800+ at Grace. We had such a great time here I will go back for sure next time in town. We agree with others that food was not across the board outstanding, in fact we thought 3-4 were winners (lamb, oyster, scallop) with the rest good, and only one mediocre (peppermint). We liked the Wendy’s fri/frostie riff but thought middle coursing was strange. Regardless, Foss is a great host, as well as the FOH whose name escapes. We had a more mellow crowd (roll of dice apparently) as not many tables were hanging out in kitchen or drinking heavily. Still, a really great time and such an interesting concept – we now are both big fans of Foss. Can’t remember having more fun recently (though lots of wine/sake/whiskey surely helped). As a note, we found the most success pairing the courses by having everything out in glass and moving around.

Post dinner tried 3 dots and a dash but GF did not want to wait because of the cold so we ended up at Naha for a few drinks and dessert. Nice space, didn’t try much so won’t comment except drinks were competently made. Malnettis wasn’t far so we went over for nightcap and small pizza(meh). I should note that EL reservation only did one seating (5:30) so we weren’t the total pigs it would appear given a 7 hr timeframe.

Sat went to M. Henry for brunch because we really hadn’t been up to that neighborhood yet. Quaint spot/locale, food was pretty good – again service was incredible here too. Franny’s killer egg (disagree didn’t get the hype), veggie dagwood (great veg sandwich) and pancakes (good, not great). Cool that it’s BYOB and fun spot but would try somewhere else next time.

Met someone who told us to go up to signature room at Hancock for a drink so we obliged. We stupidly failed to think about the fog so it was slightly claustrophobic in the lounge (low ceilings, etc.) It was getting colder so we headed over to Muraski for some miso and sake. Hip, young new owner was very pleasant and we discussed his sake list for some time. Their selection is decent, if a little pricey, but would return.

GT Oyster for dinner. We were both really looking forward to this place. Hate to say but this was the most disappointing meal of the trip. Several kinds of oysters(best were only decent, esp. compared against Tavern on Rush. Again, shocking because I assumed it’d be the other way around). Hamachi crudo, tuna crudo, oyster po boy sliders, octopus, and fish tacos. Nothing was bad per se, it just wasn’t that good (po boy was satisfying though). And the quality of the fish we didn’t think that good either. To be fair, GF fav seafood restaurant is Son of a Gun in LA, so may be biased. Service was, as we’d come to expect in Chicago, excellent.

Jazz Showcase after dinner. What a treat! I so wish we had just one spot like this in Vegas, you guys probably have a dozen. Good drinks and great music. With the lackluster Malnettis the night before, we tried a late night redemption at Giordano’s (sp?). No luck, we decided that we aren’t Chicago style pizza people. Give me a Robertas, Milo and Olives, Grimaldis any day.

Awoke Sunday with the depression of last vacation day and headed over to Publican for brunch. This was the best of the trip. Great pork tinga stew and crab scramble – perfect for the snow and chill. Beautiful room too. Having incidentally glanced at dinner menu and the impressive seafood sourcing, we’d like to try. After touristy stuff, we had to squeeze in a Chicago-style dog. Portillo’s was close to Eately, grabbed 2 loaded dogs. Damn tasty, could eat many more. Ran by Eately and grabbed a prime rib sandwich and cheese/meat selection to go for flight.

We took Uber basically everywhere (walked when we could Thurs-Sat before it got really cold), and it’s cheap but not as nice (drivers or cars) as West Coast. Drivers’ knowledge of the city is very poor and most have only been driving for few weeks. We were long-hauled more than once (never happened previously in hundreds of trips). I heard lift or the other one(?) may be better for the Midwest.

Some random notes. IPAs are not popular out there at all, we didn’t find more than one or two maybe per list. Unrelated, everyone is so nice and service irrespective of price point was generally excellent. Quite refreshing. Can’t wait to come back and try some more spots. We had such a great time, thanks again for all the help.

Jan 05, 2015
palmdoc1 in Chicago Area

Veranda at Dinner - a mixed experience, even at half off.

Just read qaw's link, I'm confused. Weren't you the first to comment...nicely done?

Dec 21, 2014
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

Dinner for 2 @ $125

Sorry didn't respond earlier westie. Let me say, I appreciate what they are trying to do. I was excited to try it and we made the hike from the west side. It is just, imo, very poorly executed. We tried 9-10 things and overall I found the food quality to be low and preparation seriously lacking (both in terms of technical prowess and seasoning). The best word to describe several dishes was clumsy. David did only prepare a few of our dishes I appreciate that perhaps this was out of the norm but I won't be driving there anytime soon. I also thought the beverage list was very overpriced for the location/buildout. My initial comment was more based on the distance from strip coupled with chance it wouldn't be great btw.

An interesting aside, we ate at hearthstone for the third time last night (wanted to give it benefit of doubt). Both of these places received raves from uhockey who apparently was known to the house. I've still yet to find more than a serviceable light group restaurant but I think these experiences speak to the consistency problem with known reviewers. But that's a whole other conversation. Love to hear if clawson is better than my experience. I haven't heard much since its opening.

Dec 17, 2014
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

New Years trip advice please

We really appreciate the detailed, thoughtful responses. We are staying at Hyatt Regency (east upper wacker dr), my first time in Chicago not hers. Eately sounds like a great plan for Friday.

Boka it is - looks great - I love smaller, focused menus! Fat rice looks really interesting too, we will fit that in somewhere. Frontera is out, maybe we will see about topo (mainly she just wanted to go because we watch him occasionally on pbs). Great suggestion for jam. Let me know if our location changes any suggestions. Again, thank you all so much. Getting excited.

Dec 17, 2014
palmdoc1 in Chicago Area

New Years trip advice please

Gf and I are coming to town jan1 -4 from Las Vegas. Did some research and have a few questions.
Thurs dinner - ruxbin
Fri lunch - frontera?
Fri dinner -el ideas. Did a lot of back and forth between schwa(friend can get us res but reviews are so hot/cold) or grace(not sure if I want to drop 700). Ideas seems a happy middle and unique.
Fri/sat cocktails - feel like we have to go to aviary if we can get in, couple other great bars saw on eater/here that I don't have in front of me right now.
Sat brunch/lunch - ?
Sat early dinner - gt oyster
Sat late dinner -sepia
Sunday brunch - lulu
Sunday early dinner -publican

I know we have to have some deep dish and a dog at some point - Lou malnatis seems widely discussed.

As you can see, I need some help. Pp is not that important. Sushi and Asian are out unless exemplary because what we have here and la/sf is so close. Feel the same way about steakhouse(is it worth burning a meal when we have at least 5 great steakhouses in Vegas)? Had considered girl & goat, mindys hot chocolate for dessert,

Are we ok staying with el ideas? Am I screwing up not going to grace and or schwa? I know asking for a lot of input, we really appreciate anything offered. Thank you!

Dec 16, 2014
palmdoc1 in Chicago Area

Yusho help?

I would disagree with the seafood comment above. Fed ex has plenty of flights here too. It's pricey for sure but as our ocean populations continue to dwindle it is as cheap as it will ever be (or at least that's the excuse I use every time I get a large bill at raku and kabuto).

Dec 08, 2014
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

Dinner for 2 @ $125

I'd add Spago. Avoid David Clawson by all means. Verandah has been a recent star, and quiet as well.

Dec 02, 2014
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar - New at Red Rock, and for now perhaps the most interesting dining in Summerlin

As a follow up, why book under your name unless special treatment is the bonus. I ask, as someone who's seen your blog progression since Phoenix, etc., assuming objectivity is the goal. Admittedly I never use open table so I am unaware of verification procedures; however, you seem to frequently have dining companions to book the table. Nonetheless, aside from fix (serviceable) I've never been mildly impressed with light group but am intrigued to check hearth out.

Nov 02, 2014
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar - New at Red Rock, and for now perhaps the most interesting dining in Summerlin

Your comment is unclear to me. You were recognized, or known based on reservation name?

Nov 02, 2014
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

SLS: "Social Sunday" for locals

Thanks for the heads up!

Nov 02, 2014
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

Raku vs Yusho

Only been to Yusho 3x and raku prob 50+ to be fair, but not even close - Raku. Yusho has a great word of mouth with many posters here I respect, but I personally don't understand the hype. And that's just the food, it may be one of the worst build out and lighting combos in town. If I wee visiting the cab ride is more than worth the raku experience, of course depending on where you reside full time.

Jul 07, 2014
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

Last minute help for sat night

I did, and she didn't give an indication of crowd level in bar despite repeated attempts to clarify.

Jun 06, 2014
palmdoc1 in Los Angeles Area

Last minute help for sat night

Last minute trip with gf. Providence 80 menu looks good. My question: can we score a two top at bar around 8-9pm or is it too packed. Also, having never been is the bar a nice place to eat. Thank you

Jun 06, 2014
palmdoc1 in Los Angeles Area

Change at Kabuto. Gen-san is gone.

Went to Kabuto last night after it had been closed for ~2weeks for "renovation." When making our reservation, we were told Gen-san was taking some time off. Last night we discovered he is gone for good. The samurai behind the counter has even disappeared! I must say I felt very sad during the dinner. I really liked Gen-san, even if the rice was at times too warm and the fish progression always without rhyme or reason.

His number 2 (whose name escapes at the moment) was in charge with the general manager of the restaurant group (Monta, Goyemon, sushi mon) overseeing, literally, the entire bar peering over the chefs' shoulders. Fish was good, not great, but the cutting and saucing were widely variable. Some cuts, specifically bluefin group, were noticeably different sizes. Also, the chef saucing the nigiri was very heavy-handed - to the point of drowning out snappers, etc. A plus, the rice temp was consistently ok. It will be interesting to see how Kabuto holds up without Gen-san's quality control and dedication.

In all honesty, I'm not that excited to return any time soon. I will miss Gen-san and wish him luck. If anyone has further info, please share.

May 02, 2014
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

Where to buy food for home cooking

Westside/ish suggestions:

Farmer's Market schedule is attached. I've been pretty happy overall, for LV.

http://www.lasvegasfarmersmarket.com/...

There are not a lot of options as you stated. Whole Foods is where I buy most seafood and poultry.

The Butcher Block for meats. Two locations. Personally, I don't think Mull or Larry's is comparable but they are mentioned often as evidenced here. TBB charges a premium but is worth it to me. Its selection of prime + above (including A5) is great and singular in town.

Italian: Siena Trattoria and Market. I really hate the prepared food here, but the market is good.

Asian: there are plenty of good options. Ranch 99, Nakata, etc.

Bon breads is excellent and sold in several stores. Whole foods and Roccos come to mind. Worth searching for, damn good bread. They had a small storefront on Hualapai/DI but closed for some reason.

Mar 03, 2014
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

Max Jacobson - get well soon

Saw a mention from SI Virbila. Apparently, Max was hit by a SUV and is/was in critical condition. If anyone has more info...,

Dec 28, 2013
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

Spago - Strangely never mentioned here

It enjoys an underwhelming reputation perhaps because it is a chain or 20 years old. Mr. Puck's success may an additional detraction. Who knows but IMO it is one of the best, most consistent meals in town.

The food is excellent. How refreshing to see a spot where the menu truly changes and evolves. I know of only a handful of restaurants that take great dishes off the menu to make room for something new and untested. No doubt Chef Klein deserves much of the credit. Cocktail program A+. The wine list is another bright spot. Unlike so many of its strip brethren, deals abound and markups are very reasonable. A few notes: We usually dine at the bar (maybe 70%) but the service is outstanding anywhere and always. Ask, if not told, about daily specials - a testing ground and seasonal outlet for the chefs. Also, it's not cheap, apps are 15-25, pastas in that same range, with entrees slightly higher.

For comparison, we give the edge to Spago over Country Club for best long lunch, view notwithstanding. I'm not an employee in full disclosure, just thought it deserved a mention.

Dec 21, 2013
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas
1

Best fries on the strip?

Spago

Nov 17, 2013
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

Where to watch Mayweather/Alvaraz

Coming in town tomorrow afternoon and am looking for a place to watch the fight. Westside bar or restaurant would be great. Thanks

Sep 13, 2013
palmdoc1 in Los Angeles Area

Quick trip this past weekend.

Napa Rose (DL) and by chance was seated at one of the chef's tables. We had several dishes. Food was good, not great, and generally underseasoned. Fun night though, service was as expected from Disney. We would definitely go back when trapped in Anaheim. Good view of busy kitchen was interesting as well.

Brunch at Baco Mercat. Chose because was sort of on the way from Anaheim to KL Wine, but happy we did. A beautiful in every way salad with peas, grapefruit and pears to start. Belgian waffle, torn bacon, and classic baco followed. We liked this place a lot. A note, they don't serve OJ. I get it, you're a hip restaurant (they have shrub though) but I like few things as much as a fresh-squeezed screwdriver.

Dinner Shunji. Discussed elsewhere. We'd return.

Farmshop brunch. Neat store, ordered potatoes, best french toast I've had recently. Less successful with its version of the omelet. Anyone know if this is cooked in a water bath? Would return.

Dinner Son of a Gun. I have wanted to go here since it opened but it never made the final cut in previous trips. Even with that added expectation, we both thought this was the best meal of the trip (top to bottom). We sat at the communal table, with perfect service I must add. Great flavors, outstanding product. Based on what I have read, this opinion seems above the consensus. I know its possible that everything was firing that night (guessing coinflip 6x correctly). Regardless, I wish these guys would come out here.

Lunch Milo Olive. Again, picked more based on convenience en route west. Glad we decided to eat there. Simple panzanella salad was delicious, pizza was pretty good too.

Mori. Saw east traffic was bad so we snuck into Mori for a quickish bite before the drive. One of our fav sakes there so we felt compelled. Great as ever. Maru-san is the man.

Aug 06, 2013
palmdoc1 in Los Angeles Area

N/Naka or Shunji?

Wanted to say thank you for the input. I appreciate the help. We ended up at Shunji (on the wait list at n/naka but never official so not sure if Shunji would have been the selection). Overall, we were impressed and had a great evening. My only regret is forgetting to specify sushi heavy as advised here. Shunji-san prepared about 12-14? items (highlights were soba, snapper tasting, chuwanmushi, and califlower soup). We only could eat a few pieces of nigiri because we were stuffed. A wonderful bonus was the Ichigo JG. I really thought this is a well-crafted sake, and nice compliment to Shunji-san's deft work. I'm interested to try it again. Food cost was very reasonable for both the number of dishes and product quality.

Aug 06, 2013
palmdoc1 in Los Angeles Area

N/Naka or Shunji?

Coming to town this weekend and have one free night. Read a lot of favorable reviews for both. Thanks

Jul 31, 2013
palmdoc1 in Los Angeles Area
1

2 nights in Vegas

A good summary, updated in March.
http://vegas.eater.com/archives/2013/...

Apr 16, 2013
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

Strip House - Restaurant Week

This year's offerings are pretty weak with Bellagio/Aria/Cosmo absent again. Strip House at PH looked appealing and turned out to be excellent, and great value as well. Very decent salad, if overdressed. Choice of Ribeye or Filet, both perfectly cooked, well seasoned. Worth checking out. As usual, you have to ask for the RW menu.

Mar 13, 2013
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

Great uni. Where?

I have had some trouble finding top quality uni here(either Santa Barbara or Hokkaido). Kabuto's is never more than decent, Sen's is usually slightly better. Last couple times at Bar Masa it was terrible. Went to Yonaka last night, they talked it up, was B/B- at best. I know there must be somewhere with great uni that I'm overlooking. Thanks.

Feb 12, 2013
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

French Fries

Such a simple thing, the french fry, yet it is so hard to find well-executed versions here. My favorites of late, Spago's - incredibly consistent each time, and the Country Club at Wynn. Other notables?

Nov 27, 2012
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

NY perspective on Vegas trip

Kabuto is very, very good for Las Vegas (unqualified best IMO), though for me not in the same league as NYC or LA's best....with an optimistic yet. As to your question, I've only been to Yasuda(3x, most recently three months ago) and 15 East (2x, one at bar). Both I find to be superior; however, I obviously cannot comment on the others. For comparison, I recently ate at Mori within 2 days of Kabuto. This only served to highlight the difference in the top notch places and second-tiers like Kabuto. Based on numerous factors, are comparisons with some of America's best really fair to Kabuto - probably not.

Rcurtism, I saw your other post where you stated how you thought Kabuto much better than Yasuda. Care to expand - the selection pales but obviously the quality of fish and shari impressed?

Having said that, I usually eat at Kabuto a few times a month. It is definitely a great space and Gen-san(from Megu) serves up quality product, at a great price. Remember too that Kabuto is only a few months old and getting better with age. I think you will enjoy it very much. Ask Gen-san what he has in the back(off menu).

Jul 10, 2012
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas

Raku - Kaiseki or Omakase?

Be my pleasure

Jun 20, 2012
palmdoc1 in Las Vegas