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Arepas (Venezuelan) in Las Vegas?

Quick update: I Love Arepas has been open for five or six days now. Their arepas exceed all expectations and it looks like they'll have hallaca soon. I wrote about it here: http://www.meetup.com/Adventures-Dini...

May 12, 2011
arcosdesign in Las Vegas

Arepas (Venezuelan) in Las Vegas?

There's a new Venezuelan eatery opening up Downtown at the old Naked City Sandwich Shop space on Las Vegas Blvd (at Oakey). It's called I Love Arepas - looks like there's an outdoor cart as well similar to the street carts you see in Portland, Oregon.

-Poly

Apr 29, 2011
arcosdesign in Las Vegas

Bachi Burger

Thanks for the review. This will effectively negate any calories burned at the Pilates + Yoga studio in the same complex. Oh, and R.I.P. Dunkin Donuts on Windmill. :(

May 01, 2010
arcosdesign in Las Vegas

Las Vegas cheap, fun eats for college students?

Yayo Taco on Maryland Parkway near UNLV.

Dec 27, 2009
arcosdesign in Las Vegas

recession deals in las vegas

To keep this thread going, I just have to share what I've discovered to be the best breakfast deal in town. Waffles Cafe on Fort Apache between Russell and Hacienda (south of Tropicana) on the West side of town has a daily (weekends included!) $4.99 Waffle breakfast special which includes a big fat waffle (toppings extra), eggs, bacon or sausage and unlimited good coffee. Their waffles are on par with anything in the Pacific Northwest - fresh, thick, crispy on the outside, warm and soft on the inside, just delightful. I liked everything I had this morning. The bacon strips were long but looked a bit dry so I opted for sausage. I can assure you the plump beef sausage link did not disappoint. Absolutely perfect on every level.
Take that, Bouchon! Well worth the trek, locally owned small business, friendly staff who greets everyone that comes through the door with a sincere "Good Morning!".
But the real reason to go are the waffles which are unparalleled anywhere else in the city.
-Poly

Dec 27, 2009
arcosdesign in Las Vegas

Lotus of Siam CLOSED; Rosemary's FULL--What to eat in VEGAS????

Since you liked Origin India, try Namaste (right next to Lotus of Siam). Every meal I've had there has been nothing short of spectacular. And it's well under your $100pp budget!

Dec 09, 2009
arcosdesign in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS - 2 Requests. 1) Red Sauce Italian 2) Mexican

Best hole-in-the-wall Mexican can be found at La Mexicana on Twain and Decatur. It's not too terribly far from the Strip, especially if you have a rental car.

Diego qualifies for the worst food experience I've ever had on the Strip. Steer clear. The food sat under a heat lamp and by the time it made it to us, the meat had dried out.

Jan 21, 2009
arcosdesign in Southwest

Bollywood Grill, Rainbow & Sahara - Las Vegas

Bollywood (Grill, can they PLEASE drop the grill part?) is located in a converted 50' style diner complete with vinyl booths and chrome exterior. The South Indian owner, Reddy, owned Viceroy in Berkeley, CA but judging by the reviews, that's not something to brag about.

I wanted to like this place and there are things to like for sure but not enough to sustain my business at this point. First of all, they've done the best they can to convert the diner decor to an ode to Bollywood complete with framed Bollywood star photos on the walls, round shimmery tiny mirror tiles on the black ceiling to resemble "stars", casting director themed bathrooms, a flat screen television screening Bollywood awards shows and films. Tacky, to be sure, but almost fun in a David Lynch-ian way.

But...the food. We started with daal and when I asked for daal, the waiter gave me a funny look like "hey, you're not supposed to ask for that!". You see, everything here is simplified on the menu so if you're looking for daal, ask for lentil soup. What you'll receive resembles a very watery and loose interpretation of daal. I wasn't feeling it. Nor was I feeling seeing things like caesar salad on the menu.

My boyfriend ordered Chicken Korma and I had trout masala. The trout was quite good, the masala almost tasteless. My boyfriend's korma was better than we've had at other Indian restaurants (Mantra PUTRID Masala - I HATE THAT PLACE) but it still wasn't quite up to par. And we had the mandatory naan, rice and sag paneer. I found the sag paneer a tad too greasy though the cheese had a nice consistency. The madras coffee tasted like instant Nescafe coffee made with milk the Mexican way.

Everything at Bollywood (I refuse to say Grill as it cheapens the name somehow) comes a la carte so prepare for a doozy of a bill. Our total was $65 without alcohol. Though $65 would have been perfectly acceptable for a decent Indian meal. Unfortunately, this was not so hot.

One note: there are a variety of Indian sweets/snacks at the counter and of course, even after our lackluster meal, I could not resist purchasing a small pink box of them. I have to say they were pretty good - the textures, colors and tastes were all spot on. But my suspicion is these are NOT made in-house. They're probably purchased down the street at New India Market for a fraction of the price and then sold here. The display is fairly impressive and extensive (everything from rasmalai to gulab jamon to jalaby).
$7.99 for a pound of sweets.

In all, I'd go back if I was in desperate need of something resembling Indian and didn't feel like trekking out to Sai India Curry. But not anytime soon, you know?

Nov 11, 2008
arcosdesign in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Bakeries

For unusual baked goods, Amena Arabic Organic Deli and Bakery can hold their own. They serve borma which is impossible to find anywhere outside of Palestine and they also serve what they call a "less sweet" baklava which is more flaky than sticky and very subtle. I'm also pretty addicted to their chocolate and white honey chocolate "quickers" which are coconut balls. The chocolate on these quickers will please anyone with a taste for fine chocolate as it is closer to a dark hazelnut more than anything. Way too special and rich to be given away 3 for $1 so snag 'em before Amena catches on.
For something really special, order their shoelace and honey pastry "kunafi". Kunafi is a baked sweet cheese topped with crushed green pistachios. 20 minute wait and a wee bit pricy but oh, so worth it! love, Poly

Amena Arabic Organic Deli & Bakery (in the Trader Joe's Shopping Center)
2101 S. Decatur Blvd (at Oakey/O'Bannon)

Jul 24, 2008
arcosdesign in Southwest

Cajun shack in Las Vegas mentioned on NPR

I ate at Cajun BBQ Shack today. I must agree with Friend of Bill - beware of Curtas!

Cajun BBQ Shack doesn't even hold a candle to K's BBQ. They literally threw some dry meat on a styrofoam plate, slapped some bad bottled BBQ sauce on top of that, topped it off with a straight out of the package Aunt Hattie's hamburger bun and called it a sandwich. Their sides were mostly store bought syrupy Smart & Final or Costco specials. Bad!
It was terrible. Please don't waste your time or tastebuds. Also, the service was non-existent. We were not greeted by anyone when we walked in. We seated ourselves and then after 10 minutes of waiting around watching two girls behind the counter chit-chat to each other asked if we should order at the counter. She said yes. We ordered and the rest is a horrible excuse for a bbq joint. I can't even believe they have the audacity to serve this stuff.

R.I.P. K's, we hardly knew ye.

love,
Poly

Jun 08, 2008
arcosdesign in Southwest

Downtown Vegas - breakfast buffets

Eric,

When was the last time you were there? I was there April 1st and no foolin', it was great.

Jun 04, 2008
arcosdesign in Southwest

Las Vegas - looking for the opposite of what Vegas is all about

Rosemary's is a big fat bore. There, I said it. I'm so sick of hearing about Rosemary's on this site and every other. That and Pamplemousse. I just don't get it. What is the obsession? The food doesn't wow me and I find their wait staff incredibly annoying at both places. I'm sorry but when I can pronounce your French dishes better than you can (and I'm not French), it doesn't leave me with a good impression your restaurant. And to the OP, Rao's = no.

Poly

Jun 03, 2008
arcosdesign in Southwest

Downtown Vegas - breakfast buffets

Yes. Fremont Casino buffet does. And I venture to say it is the best breakfast buffet in Downtown complete with a disco/Liberace/faux rainforest setting. Vegas kitsch on overdrive. They not only have pancakes, they have a crazy wide selection of breakfast treats you won't find elsewhere. I held an April Fools Day plating contest there with a dining group I run and ....the joke was on us! The food was surprisingly high quality and easy to work with due to the wide variety. I'd go again in a heartbeat. Well worth the $10 or whatever it costs.

Poly

Jun 03, 2008
arcosdesign in Southwest

Sugar free/No sugar added cake in Las Vegas

This place is the best: http://www.mrs-williams.com/ don't let the location scare you (Spring Mountain and Decatur - the bakery is an eyesore to look at). However, all of their baked goods surpass any sugared version and everything is baked fresh daily. Their in-store pricing is much lower than the website pricing. Ask for Pepe - he'll take care of you and he's sweet as can be. This is by leaps and bounds my very favorite bakery in Las Vegas (for bread and pita, Amena Organic Deli wins).

Another option is Sonya at Castle of Cakes - you'd have to call ahead of time. But she can and will make sugar-free cake. http://www.castleofcakes.com/

Other than that, if you must stay on the strip - try Jean Phillippe inside the Bellagio. Individual sugar free pastries are available but they are totally NOT spectacular (and they should be).

Good luck,
Poly

Jun 03, 2008
arcosdesign in Southwest

Viva Zapatas Fine Mexican - North Las Vegas, NV

rp1760, I'd highly suggest renting a car if you plan to do some off-strip dining. It will prove more economical in the end. Also, Viva Zapatas is way out there (even for locals) though worth it, if you are looking for real Mexican food.

Mar 27, 2008
arcosdesign in Southwest

Viva Zapatas Fine Mexican - North Las Vegas, NV

Debbie, I'm a lard lover, too. I'm Mexican - both of my parents are from Mexico City (my mother from the richy part and my father from the dirt poor areas - typical Mexican soap opera material) so I've experienced both Mexic City street food and high end, sit down meals prepared by in-house chefs at guarded estates for family dinner in an exclusive neighborhood called Bosque de Las Lomas and Polanco.

Viva Zapatas comes closest to the lattter. They use olive oil for everything. It's true. You can watch them make it right before your eyes. I don't know how - I don't know if they're using an extra special type of flour (a fatty flour, does such a thing exist?) or another ingredient to keep their tortillas intact but their tortillas are among the best handmade tortillas anywhere. Wait a minute! BUTTER! I think they use butter but please don't quote me on that!! I seem to recall a friend of mine mentioned she saw sticks of butter near the tortilla making area. I could be wrong though.
The lengua is NOT sweet. How to describe it? Soft, subtle, it starts as a very smooth, even taste with cream and the hints of sweetness only come as an afterthought. It's very ... smooth and not overt. I wish I could wrap more words around it. It's the most sophisticated lengua I've ever had!

Mar 25, 2008
arcosdesign in Southwest

Viva Zapatas Fine Mexican - North Las Vegas, NV

Viva Zapatas knocked my socks off. The restaurant is small and oddly shaped which only adds to its charm. High strong sturdy back chairs, booths, a bar and pretty old Mexico bathrooms. The walls are filled with Mexico's rich history - from sepia toned turn of the century family photos to horse saddles, wood wagon wheels and leather goods, spend a few minutes admiring the historical tributes on display. Lorenzo, the hip host extraordinaire in square framed glasses, delicately guided me through the extensive menu with finesse. He introduced me to the owner, a person of grand stature only to match his grand food standards. The chef is from Mexico City (D.F.) and makes specialties only found there. This is REAL Mexican food. Yes, we've all had tacos, burritos (burritos are an American invention), enchiladas, tostadas and dreaded taco salads before. But none of this is good Mexican food. Does it satisfy? Yes. Is it tasty? Sure. But is it my mother and my grandmother's cuisine? No.
We started with sopita de fideo (similar to pasta fagioli for Italians). It's the chicken soup for Mexicans. A mild tomato broth with miniature noodles. It's purposely a very plain dish - served to whet the appetite and as a cure-all in Mexican households (given to children all the time!). Then came the table-side guacamole, made to order with coarsely cut onion and tomato. After everyone ooohing and aaaahing at the table - a woman who said she did not care for avocados or guacamole tried one small bite of the guacamole which led to many more. Viva Zapatas managed to convert an avocado-hater to a guacamole lover! This is a testament to the freshness of their avocado and the fine hands who make the guacamole here. It's unlike any you've ever had before in your life. For our vegetarians, we had nopalitos cactus salad, rectangle cut. Most people shy away from cactus due to the slimy nature of the plant. Here, the nopales are tender without any slime and have only a dash of lime to enhance the cactus. Cheese enchiladas came out piping hot, resembling a lasagna with lots of cheese. These were the first to go, a crowd-pleaser through and through among the veggie table. Then the chile rellenos, the chiles hearty and the batter light; a perfect marriage. The super mild chiles were enveloped in a light fluffy batter (think: very soft pleasing tempura) filled with cheese and served accompanied by refried beans made with OLIVE OIL (no animal fats or lard ever used at Viva Zapatas) and spanish rice. Sizzling veggie fajitas served with in-house HAND MADE flour and corn tortillas. You can literally watch your tortillas made right before your eyes! The vegetarians in our group were crazy happy. The real stars of the show were reserved for the meat-eaters in our group though. Oh My God. Can Viva Zapatas please just stop? This is going to haunt me for days, this food. This revelatory experience of "what I have been doing at Lindo Michoacan for the past 4 years when Viva Z. is SERVING IT UP?". A storm of plates came out, fast and furious, one after another, all equally mouthwatering with audible gasps and moans at the table. It felt like a collective orgasm. Immediately, the pollo con rajas de crema took me straight back to my childhood. My grandmother and my mother both made this. It is not easy to find. I have searched high and low. Most Mexican restaurants just look at me like I am speaking a foreign language. It was brought out, in all its glory, the heavy cream sauce had an aroma one could only describe as heavenly. Home. They did not miss a beat on this dish except for one. My mother would top the cream sauce with pomegranate seeds. Next, Mexico's long-held secret recipe for blackened chicken, Pollo Sarandeado, brushed with creamy mayonnaise, well-seasoned and braised. Rib eye thick cut medium rare steak cooked al jerez, Chicken mole poblano, the perfect blend of chocolate and aztec spices topped with sesame, filete relleno fish filled with octopus and shrimp (outstanding)!, camarones, shrimp tierra y libertad (land and liberty) their trademark dish of bacon wrapped shrimp - oh trust me, it's as good as it sounds, fajitas de marranito (little piggy fajitas) tender carnitas, succulent juices, lengua slow cooked tongue in milk, sugar, cinnamon and raisins (must try, even if you think you can't do tongue, trust me cooked like this, YOU CAN AND YOU WILL) steak al cognac - the Mexican answer to French country cooking brimming with mushrooms and liquer. Showstopping dessert of flaming fried ice cream surrounded by caramelized bananas and wafers of caramel.
Wow. I'd dare call this the Lotus of Siam of Mexican restaurants. The service and hospitality were above reproach. Our waiter Jesus handled our table of 18 without a hitch. The pleasant keyboardist played both my song requests immediately (Amor Eterno and Mujeres Divinas). A+++++
It's a trek especially from the Strip but more than worth it. If I lived out of state, I'd fly in for this.
Viva Zapatas
3826 E Craig Rd
North Las Vegas, NV 89030
(702) 643-8888
Reservations strongly suggested unless you want to wait at least an hour. Word is out amongst the locals and even though the location is way out there, there is always a wait.

Mar 24, 2008
arcosdesign in Southwest

Amena Organic Arabic Deli & Bakery, Las Vegas, NV

They're from Nazareth so they are Arabic-Israeli (Palestinian) - very kind hearted. I feel like family when I go in there now, they roll out the red carpet EVERY time. So kind. Their friendly demeanor is unheard of anywhere, honest. love, Poly

Mar 23, 2008
arcosdesign in Southwest

Amena Organic Arabic Deli & Bakery, Las Vegas, NV

Amena's motto "We Cook With Love" extends to the family style warm welcome you'll receive by their cute deli staff as you enter this brand new (4 days and counting!) Mediterranean/Arabic deli and bakery. It shares the same shopping center as Trader Joe's on Decatur (near Oakey). I suspect this will bode well for them locally as patrons of Trader Joe's can stop in for the best baklava in town (oh yes! more on their baklava in a second), a stuffed pita with shawarma or any of their fantastic fresh salads. The salad selection here is outstanding from the sweet sesame nazarene with crunchy shredded cabbage and nuts to the soft green tabbouleh with bulgur to the shredded spinach to the cubed cucumber and lemon to the corn with tiny bits of red pepper, all of Amena's salads will please though the nazarene does stand out as the star of the salad show. I recommend you try them all as each has a unique taste and flavor all its own. The shawarma here comes with a taste of curry and you can ask them to pile your pita sandwich high with fresh lettuce, sliced red tomatoes, pickles, garlic sauce, yellow roma tomatoes in spices, cucumbers, hummus, tahini and the list goes on. I asked for everything; the result was the most flavorful shawarma sandwich on the planet with explosions of creamy hummus and tomatoes and pickles at every turn. Mouthwatering! The baklava sold here wins for the single best baklava in town. None of this sticky slimy stuff you get everywhere else. What are those places hiding anyway with the slimy stuff? No, this is flaky and lightly sweetened with so much nuance, it's like fine art. They also serve dark chocolate dough bites dusted in coconut, assorted other mediterranean/Arabic pastries including hard to find borma and organic pita topped with coarse thyme. The owner brought out a 5 gallon bucket of thyme to show to a customer. I've no idea where he acquired this thyme but it was most fragrant thyme. Simply intoxicating like something out of the movie "Perfume" or perhaps, the owner has a secret wormhole to a spice market we're not privy to. I'd love to know where he found this high quality thyme in a city of substandard herbs and spices. My only suggestion to Amena would be to add a combination plate to their menu so everyone can sample the variety of salads and pastries here. Everything is fresh, organic, healthy and made with the utmost care. The owner and his staff were so incredibly friendly - I looked behind me to make sure they were talking to me?! Service like this is unheard of anywhere and only surpassed by the quality of their food. You can sample anything you like at Amena. Like family, they are more than happy to have you try anything they made with their loving hands. Lunch here averages about $8.95. I fully expect Amena to be packed once people learn about the treasures that await inside. It's clean and sparse inside but the food is flavorful and packed with what they promise: love.

UPDATE: Went back 03/11/08 for lunch with three friends and had their beef pita sandwich - delicious along with the first dessert listed on their menu (kunafi) which was a lightly sweet baked cheese, mmm. Order the kunafi with your meal, it takes 20 minutes to bake, and you can ask for it at any level of sweetness you like from not sweet at all to dripping in sweetness. Everything, delicious and fresh as usual. I move them to 5 stars.
The owner, Amir, and his staff are delightful and kind and care so much about pleasing you - they really make you feel welcome and at home. BONUS: Free day-old bread in a basket - the owner's generosity knows no bounds. I took a loaf, even for yesterday's batch, it's softer and fresher than anything sold at the supermarket. The in-house bakery here uses mostly organic ingredients. A million thumbs up. Patronize this place, it's a jewel in the desert.

EVEN MORE AMENA UPDATES: Their in-house baker is a third generation baker, he makes all of their breads and pastries (to perfection, I might add). Their pita bread is hot and fresh out of the oven ($1.49 for an ENTIRE bag, unheard of - dry stale pita at Von's across the street for $2.79!!). Had lunch here today with a group of 12 - everyone was floored by the food and the sweet attentive service.

Amena means Honest and True in Arabic - their name suits their business so well. Honest and True Organic Deli and Bakery, yes!

Amena Organic Arabic Deli & Bakery
2101 S. Decatur Blvd (at O' Bannon, north of Sahara/south of Oakey)
Suite 9 - in the Trader Joe's Shopping Center
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Hours: 10 AM to 8 PM, 7 Days (I believe?)
no idea if they have a phone and definitely no website
Cash + Credit Cards Accepted

Mar 22, 2008
arcosdesign in Southwest

Sai Curry Las Vegas

I'll give you one more: Axum Ethiopian on Twain and Swenson (across from Merkato - which I don't think is nearly as good). Why Axum doesn't have a line around the block is beyond me?! The place is always empty - I suspect it has a lot do with the restaurant ambiance and the perceived lack of safety in that area (even though, it is literally walking distance to the Wynn!). But it's superb - now that Dallol is gone, Axum is my favorite Ethiopian spot though Lali Bela has a great beet stew.

Feb 22, 2008
arcosdesign in Southwest

Sai Curry Las Vegas

Janet, you've stumbled upon brilliance. I posted about Sai Curry a long time ago and no one paid attention at all! It's one of my very favorite lunch spots (along with Mariana's). love, Poly

Feb 22, 2008
arcosdesign in Southwest

Bakery Crumbs?

This is a stretch but I'll try.

My mom passed away last year. I've been brainstorming ideas to share with my sister, especially food memories.

One of my mom's favorite childhood treats were her visits to a bakery that sold bakery crumbs in bags. She lived in Texas but never mentioned the name of the bakery. These were not croutons or bread crumbs sold with the intent to give to birds. She described it as a bag of different cake crumbs in all different colors and textures from marble cake crumbs to strawberry angel food cake to butter cake crumbs.

Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? It sounds like something out of the depression era though my mom grew up in the late 40's/early 50's.

Are there any bakeries that sell such bags? I mean, I am sure I could go talk to someone at my local bakery and ask them to sell me a bag of cake crumbs and get a weird look and a bag to shut me up. But are there any known bakeries that sell mixed bakery crumb bags as a matter of practice?

I know the Maurice Lenell Cookie company sells imperfect and broken cookies in $2 bags. That's the closest I've come in my research though it's not what my mother described and she lived nowhere near Illinois. Any help APPRECIATED.

Poly

Dec 14, 2007
arcosdesign in General Topics

Vegas for locals?

P.S. How could I forget Mariana's for their bakery/panaderia? You have not lived until you've had their tres leches cake (avoid the prepared singles in the cooler that are NOT the same as the fresh tres leches cake you get at the panaderia). The fresh tres leches cake at the panaderia has sliced kiwi, strawberries and sometimes mango. They sell a smaller cake for about $10 but you gotta ask nicely as they're not too eager to sell you the small cake and will try to push you into the giant one.

A friend of mine swears this is the only tres leches cake she will ever eat (and she loves it) because she is not a fan of drenched cakes at all - in fact, she says most drenched cakes make her want to hurl - but this one, she goes out of her way to purchase. So that says it all. I served it at a party to unsuspecting vanilla/pedestrian non-chowish guests and everyone said they were skeptical at first but are believers now.

Enjoy!

Dec 09, 2007
arcosdesign in Southwest

Vegas for locals?

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension has a Master Gardener program. They sell fruits and veggies at their orchard on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9AM to 1PM, I believe. You may want to call and confirm this (as things constantly change here): (702) 257-5501.

The Orchard is located 100 yards east of the intersection of North Decatur and Horse Drive in North Las Vegas. The easiest way to reach The Orchard while roads are under construction is to take CC 215 (North part of the Beltway) to Aliante Parkway. Drive north on Aliante Parkway 1.9 miles to Horse Drive. Turn left (West) on Horse Drive for 0.9 miles to The Orchard.

As for our weekly Farmers Markets, try this link: http://www.lasvegasfarmersmarket.com/
They aren't very impressive!

I mostly frequent the Latino markets including Super Mercado del Pueblo on Washington and Rancho, King Ranch Market and Liborio. My favorite bakery is the sugar-free bakery on Spring Mountain and Decatur (near Hot N Juicy Crawfish - another favorite) but that's simply a personal preference. I beg anyone to tell me their eclairs and napoleons don't live up to any sugared versions out there though!

There's an Indian market next to Sai Curry on Tropicana and Maryland Parkway and another one called New India Market on Sahara near Jones. As for Asian supermarkets, I like Diho supermarket on Jones and Spring Mountain - nice produce section and some interesting cookware.

-Poly

Dec 09, 2007
arcosdesign in Southwest

Vegas "landmark" restaurant?

Even if you only stop in for drinks, the Golden Steer must be seen to be believed. It's gorgeous inside. Treasures await, seriously.

love,
Poly

Nov 05, 2007
arcosdesign in Southwest

Dallol Ethiopian Food - Las Vegas, NV

Thanks! Las Vegas is a tough town for anything off-strip and unusual. I was just thinking about a particular intersection (Sahara and Fort Apache) which should be bustling with business but has seen a HIGH turnover of pedestrian fare (including Lamar's Donuts, Cafe de Tout, Z'Tejas, Bertolini's and even McDonald's has shut down there). Even these types of popular places can't survive in this town. Grand Opening, Grand Closing. Can you imagine a tiny Ethiopian take out window in a weird part of town with no formal menu? I better eat there as much as possible while I still can, right?

- Poly

Oct 26, 2007
arcosdesign in Southwest

Dallol Ethiopian Food - Las Vegas, NV

Went again yesterday for lunch (10/24/07) at around noon. The owner/cook seemed flustered and told me she was not ready and did not have what I ordered. I told her to prepare ANYTHING for me and that I'd be back in 15 minutes. My flexibility paid off - she welcomed me back with an array of wonderful aromas and flavors packed and ready to go. Enjoyed it thoroughly!
Please maintain a level of patience and flexibility with her old-world style service. She may not always have what you want, she may not operate at fast food speed, she may not even be open on the day you arrive but if you catch her, trust you're in good hands. I do the same thing at LOS - I just tell them to bring me whatever Saipin feels like cooking that day. I haven't been disappointed yet!

Oct 25, 2007
arcosdesign in Southwest

The one place I "must" eat in Vegas

I third LOS. Save room for dessert.

Oct 23, 2007
arcosdesign in Southwest

Dallol Ethiopian Food - Las Vegas, NV

I'm no expert on Ethiopian food. I've paid some dues while living in San Francisco and in L.A. (the south end of Fairfax is Little Ethiopia with a variety of restaurants and coffee shops which I sampled occasionally). But Dallol felt like comfort food to me and for now, that's all I need.

Dallol (which apparently is the name of a volcano and a Northern settlement in Ethiopia) opened this month in the strangest food court mall in America (which happens to be across from the CSN Campus on Charleston Blvd near Torrey Pines). The location leaves much to be desired (it reminds me of an ugly indoor swap meet for some reason). Something about the location doesn't feel right. The location for LOS seems downright glamorous compared to this, so please...be warned. A few different "ethnic" (Mexican, Korean including boba, Italian, Jamaican/Caribbean and most recently, Ethiopian) outlets exist in the form of to go/order windows with community hard plastic seating inside. It's one long stretch of deserted nothingness - very unattractive.
However, Dallol's food is excellent and cooked with love by the small woman behind the counter. This is slower food - so if you're in a hurry, call in your order ahead of time (give her 10 or 15 minutes to put it together for you, she'll have it all boxed and ready). I ordered the vegetarian combination ($7.00) which came with more food than I knew what to do with.
If you're a fan of traditional Ethiopian flat bread (injera), this one will not disappoint. There is no shortage of it here either, she gave me two GIANT overlapping injera breads (one where she had placed hearty scoops of the vegetables atop and then one neatly folded which I enjoyed later with a different meal).
The two injera breads are, in fact, so generously sized they nearly do not fit in the large to-go box! Do not let the quantity fool you though- this is injera as it is meant to be, soft and warm and spongy and with that all too familiar sour bite. Delicious. Four vegetarian dishes were included: a lovely yellow lentil stew (unusually spiced and delightful), ultra creamy, smooth, butter based (after some research, I found out the butter is called niter kibbeh, a clarified butter much like Indian ghee infused with ginger, garlic, and several spices), collard greens (Gomen Wot) to rival any good greens you'd find in a Soul Food Restaurant sans the pork, a spicy red curry lentil which had some kick to it from the berbere (a thick paste of paprika, wine and other spices) and a smooth mixed cabbage vegetable stew (atkilt wot) which could convert any cabbage hater to a lover.
Honest, good, true, slow-cooked HEARTY food - spiced beautifully without being overwhelming, served generously and with heart. She also prepared the brightest, freshest green salad (Timatim Selata) I've ever seen in this city (our salads are sometimes on the grayish side, sadly enough) with fresh squeezed lime, olive oil and her own special blend of tossed secret seasonings. My only fear about this place is that no one will patronize it and it will soon close.

Great place for vegetarians and anyone willing to venture way off-off-off strip or those visiting who are staying with family and want to avoid the usual fast food fiasco.

I appreciate this woman, cooking her food without compromise in a small kitchen without any care as to whether you can interpret her scribbled menu on the message board. She did not bother to elaborate each dish on the menu. Everything is written without translation and without a clue as to what it is. She figures if you're there, you know what to get and if you don't know what to get, you'll simply have to trust you're in good hands. Her slogan is "tasting is believing". This is real food for unreal times and I, for one, believe.

-Poly

Dallol Ethiopian Food (no website, of course and I'm honestly surprised there's a phone)
6475 W Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 870-4471

Oct 23, 2007
arcosdesign in Southwest

Hangtown Fry in Las Vegas?

Will any of the oyster places at the casinos (or elsewhere in Las Vegas) make Hangtown Fry? Has anyone ever asked for it while in Las Vegas?

Oct 19, 2007
arcosdesign in Southwest