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Suggestions for 2 1/2 Day Trip

Thanks for the heads up. And early November brings lovely weather to get reacquainted with that place.

Between now and then, still nothing wrong with a window table.

Aug 30, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

Suggestions for 2 1/2 Day Trip

If you are definitely going to go to a steakhouse, and also celebrating an anniversary, Prime (Bellagio) belongs on any short list, and perhaps deserves the top if you make steak your anniversary night. The combination of the work the kitchen does, the service, and the setting (perhaps al fresco by the lake, now that our evenings are cooling down), are difficult to beat.

Aug 30, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

Chada Street -- First Impressions?

I can already envision this scenario, based on what you will read below, for your trip. An early afternoon phone call - "Hi Aimee, how many of the Goong Share do you have?...30?...OK, could you please set them all off to the side until we arrive..."

Aug 21, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

Round and Round they Go; Where the Chef Stops, Nobody Knows . . . .

One of the bittersweet episodes for those of us that live here, and one that got very little publicity at the time, was that about seven years ago Larry Forgione was going to head the Tableau kitchen full time. There was a "soft" dinner period, and a friend and I not only had a memorable meal (mine was a wonderfully sourced and cooked duck, from a farm in New England he knew well), but got to spend about a half hour with Larry afterwards, over a nightcap. Unfortunately some business matters prevented the plans from becoming a reality, but damn it was a splendid evening.

Aug 21, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

Chada Street -- First Impressions?

Ordinarily I would hesitate to post anything until a place has been open for a few weeks, but having known Bank for over a decade, and eaten at Chada more than enough times, it does not take long to get a favorable impression from Chada Street, and to trust the taste buds. This space is lovely, the menu extremely down to earth - Thai food for Thai's would be a an appropriate categorization, a real riff on street flavors - and the dishes are just as clean, well-spiced and balanced as we have come to expect from that kitchen.

Much like the original Chada, the combinations are extremely alcohol friendly, and it is an ideal menu for group sharing. Fortunately there is also Firestone Walker Easy Jack on tap, which not only pairs wonderfully to that kind of cuisine, but also allows for a little responsible lunch imbibing even when there is work to be done afterwards.

There were no misses on the first lunch. "Por Pia Yuan" (vegetable roll, mint, basil, cilantro, pork meatloaf), "Ka Nom Jeen Nam Ya" (vermicelli noodles, fish curry, shredded cabbage, cucumber, bean sprouts), "Goong Share Nam Pla" (raw shrimp, fish sauce, garlic, chili) and "Look Chin Ping" (grilled housemade chicken meatballs; six per order, with three already gone before I reached for the iPhone) made the list, and about half of the remaining menu is currently in the fridge, to be sampled over the weekend. Photos of three of the lunch dishes are attached; the noodles got attacked too quickly when they came out first (comparable to the sublime crab curry at Chada, but with its own distinctive flair).

This is Bank and Aimee at their best. Crisp, vibrant and complex flavors. In particular the Goong Share Nam Pla is worthy of a mention, because those six shrimp are priced at $8, less than half of what you would pay for that quality just about anywhere else, and it could easily be $20-22 at a strip property.

Chada Street will be open for lunch from 11:30 - 3 PM Monday through Friday, and dinner from 5 PM - 3 AM seven days a week. I expect to have been through the entire menu by some time in early September.

Aug 21, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas
1

China Poblano- Jose, where are you?

I concur, but with China Poblano being particular egregious. At least in Las Vegas Jaleo, E and Bazaar Meat are near his comfort zone, but this concept was so far away. From the start, it came across as a cynical attempt by the Cosmopolitan to tackle two cuisines that were not represented under their roof, while they had most of the other traditional bases covered, using the Andres affiliation to set absurd pricing. Who's up for some $15 guacamole? The inspiration needs to be high level, and execution flawless, for what they were trying to pull off, and on my visits they did not come close to that.

Aug 19, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas
1

China Poblano- Jose, where are you?

I believe this is a good perspective to put China Poblano into, having brought it up in a thread long ago - if the same food at the same price point was presented, without the Andres name attached, what would the shelf life have been? Because of the Andres influence, many have a preconceived notion when they go, and that does impact experiences. Take the name away, and what is there? Just not much, and at a truly ridiculous value equation.

Aug 19, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas
2

Chada Street -- First Impressions?

I had planned to go today, until seeing the note. But it did bring a chance to try another new place a few blocks away - Viet Noodle Bar (http://www.vietnoodlebarlv.com). The Bun Bo Hue was as good as any I have had in Las Vegas, a complexity of spice and depth that included three blood cakes, instead or the usual one or two. The various meat and offal components were substantial.

Keeping up with new places along the Asian corridor on Spring Mountain requires more meals than I am able to eat most weeks, but the diligence remains.

Aug 18, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

Chada Street -- First Impressions?

Alas, the impressions will have to wait just a bit longer - it was a "soft" opening over the weekend, but the full roll-out date has not been set yet.

Aug 18, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

48 hours in Vegas

SUMMER TASTING MENU
Super-Giant Pork-Skin Chicharrón (Greek yogurt, za’atar spices)

Ferran Adrià Olives, Modern & Traditional (Liquid green olive, gordal olives stuffed with piquillo pepper and anchovy)

Bagels & Lox Cone (Dill cream cheese, salmon roe)

Croquetas de Jamón (Creamy béchamel filling with jamón iberico de bellota)

Beef & Parmesan Grissini (Washugyu beef, espuma, caramelized onion purée)

Chateaubriand, Tenderloin (Brandt Beef, CA, Holstein, Perigord sauce, pomme soufflé)

Robuchon Potatoes

Grilled Asparagus, Romesco sauce

DESSERTS
Cream Puffs, Assorted Tarts
WINE PAIRING, $25/PERSON

NV 1+1=3, Brut Parellada-Macabeo-Xarel·lo Cava

2013 C.V.N.E., Monopole Viura Rioja

2011 Emilio Moro Tempranillo Ribera del Duero

NV East India Solera, Emilio Lustau, Palomino Fino-PX Jerez

Aug 12, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

Gelatology -- Desyree soon to resurface on South Rainbow

This is also perhaps a fitting place to note that Art of Flavors has re-opened next to Viva Las Arepas, but has been a bit of a disappointment. I can understand some of the issues that led to the parting of the ways with Desyree in that space - her stuff was exquisite, but also a bit beyond what the original intention of what the shop was to be - an inexpensive place for someone to have a gelato after an arepa. But the reincarnation is a mixed bag - the gelato is good, not great, lacking the creative flavors that Desyree brought forward and also her execution level, while the price point has not been lowered as much as it should have to reflect that. I am not sure that they have hit the target they were aiming for.

Jul 27, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

48 hours in Vegas

Something to go on the cocktails list, along with some in-house made Eastern European/Mediterrranean specialties, Forte (4180 South Rainbow), can also fit what you are looking for. One of the more interesting cocktail programs around, including barrel aging a lot of their own spirits (https://instagram.com/p/5LbjWdLrNI/).

Jul 23, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

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

Those that have not been to Bartolotta yet, and are heading to Las Vegas this summer or fall, may want to put it on your itinerary; it appears that they will be parting ways in 2016.

Jul 22, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

A "Deal" at Bazaar Meat?

I believe it is - there was no stipulation attached to the menu, except for being "summer", which likely means through the end of August.

Jul 19, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

A "Deal" at Bazaar Meat?

Now asked and answered. Purely in the spirit of wanting to help fellow Chowhounds, a friend and I dedicated ourselves to taking one for the team, and made personal sacrifices of our time. We were more than pleasantly surprised, one of the least likely places in Las Vegas to offer a bargain turned out a terrific experience.

It started out with an exorbitant amount of Chicharron, which was a fun play off of the Cava (we did the wine pairings as well), so much brought out that about half of it was later boxed for carryout. The next cycle really does bring a series of bites - a spoon of the fabulous Andres liquid olive, one stuffed olive, one Bagels & Lox Cone, one Croqueta and one Grissini, but because of the richness and complexity of those preparations, it was a satisfying sequence. That brought on the main course, the Chateubriand, with the Robuchon potatoes and grilled asparagus, and those servings were substantial. This was not a "tasting" course at all.

The Chateaubriand (for two) is pictured, having been cooked flawlessly. There was absolutely no need for any of the Perigord sauce with it, but that sauce was fabulous with the pomme souffle (a tip - bite the top off of one of the potatoes, then pour some of that sauce into the remaining "cone", and you have a bite that is worthy of the stand-alone predecessors). The Tempranillo pairing was well chosen, being able to balance out the butter in the potatoes, and the romesco sauce with the asparagus, while allowing the meat to be the star it deserved to be.

The wine pairings were a riddle going in because of the $25 price tag, but the pours were more than fair - figure about the equivalent of three full glasses. If there was something that did not work it was the Emilio Lustau Jerez overpowering the desserts, but that is not necessarily a bad thing - if I did this again, I would have coffee with the desserts, and let the Jerez be a stand-alone to finish (perhaps a small piece of dark chocolate to go with it).

When you factor in the quality of each calorie brought to the table, and each sip from the glasses, this would be a value at far beyond the $90 price tag, and it provides a terrific opportunity for someone that wants to be able to explore a mini-spectrum of the Andres inspirations. Alas, based on the head count in the casino pit that night, you should probably also get there while you still can.

Charlie Palmer's, Veranda, D 1, Chada and other musings

...which can happen when you and a dining partner order every single menu item between the two of you...

Jul 09, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

A "Deal" at Bazaar Meat?

It will truly be interesting to see how long just about anything under this roof can hang on - Katsuya and Cleo have been sold to the "One Group", hopefully with no disruption in the flow of the vastly under-rated Cleo. But the SLS was an ill-conceived idea from the start, with poor execution turning it into an even worse one.

Jul 08, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas
1

Charlie Palmer's, Veranda, D 1, Chada and other musings

District One (http://www.districtonelv.com). I am among those that find the regular menu to be good enough, though not memorable. But their seafood specials are outstanding.

Jul 08, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

Charlie Palmer's, Veranda, D 1, Chada and other musings

While I appreciate the compliment, is it only to avoid appearing as the true culinary marathoner that you are that you neglect to mention that District One and Chada were followed up by Raku Sweets as the nightcap (a combination that is truly difficult to beat).

Perhaps you do not want to revisit the memory, or have it be known publicly, of you and Keith literally ordering the entire menu...

Jul 08, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

A "Deal" at Bazaar Meat?

Here are those pairings. All told, an intriguing as hell deal for $90...

WINE PAIRING, $25/PERSON

NV 1+1=3, Brut Parellada-Macabeo-Xarel·lo Cava

2013 C.V.N.E., Monopole Viura Rioja

2011 Emilio Moro Tempranillo Ribera del Duero

NV East India Solera, Emilio Lustau, Palomino Fino-PX Jerez

Jul 07, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

A "Deal" at Bazaar Meat?

This is being presented without having made a personal appearance to try this out, but perhaps it provides an opportunity for those want to try some of the various tastes at Bazaar Meat to experiment without breaking the bank. What is actually somewhat bothersome is the price of $65. I would perhaps be more interested if it cost more, if that makes sense - at this price point I am wondering how many actual bites of each course are brought out. I will get around to it at some point, but if a Chowhound would like to take one for the team, I would love to hear the reviews.

SUMMER TASTING MENU

Super-Giant Pork-Skin Chicharrón (Greek yogurt, za’atar spices)

Ferran Adrià Olives, Modern & Traditional (Liquid green olive, gordal olives stuffed with piquillo pepper and anchovy)

Bagels & Lox Cone (Dill cream cheese, salmon roe)

Croquetas de Jamón (Creamy béchamel filling with jamón iberico de bellota)

Beef & Parmesan Grissini (Washugyu beef, espuma, caramelized onion purée)

Chateaubriand, Tenderloin (Brandt Beef, CA, Holstein, Perigord sauce, pomme soufflé)

Robuchon Potatoes

Grilled Asparagus, Romesco sauce

DESSERTS
Cream Puffs, Assorted Tarts

Jul 06, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

Japaneiro: Outstanding food in unlikely location

Is this where we are also supposed to disclose that when we saw abalone on their specials board, we asked how much they had, and then ordered all of it...

All in the spirit of bringing back the best info for Chowhounds that we can, of course.

Jun 30, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

Japaneiro: Outstanding food in unlikely location

You have touched upon something that may be important here Palmdoc - we decided to work the specials board, and did not peruse the menu. One of the keys to making a concept like Japaneiro successful is how consistently they can execute each of the menu items, day in and day out, and you have touched upon that very issue. That gets filed away before the next visit, when the focus will shift to the regular menu, and a better opportunity to explore how steady the level of execution from that kitchen will be.

Jun 30, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

Japaneiro: Outstanding food in unlikely location

What he said...

One of the comments at the table that came up a couple of times was that on a few of the courses, Japaneiro was "Out Raku-ing Raku". That is about as high as praise can get for this kind of cuisine in Las Vegas. Both the quality of the ingredients, and the execution, were superb.

Jun 29, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

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

Actually, we all help to, with shipping and handling being part of the menu tariff...

Perhaps one of those cabana tables on your summer sojourn? They are situated so that the afternoon sun does not reach that area, which keeps it from absorbing too much heat, and can leave the evenings still pleasant.

Jun 24, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

Any Pho Recommendations

One of the reasons for the lack of much fresh posting on that front may be that the Las Vegas scene remains relatively unchanged - perhaps two dozen or so places to get a competent and reasonable bowl to satisfy cravings, but none yet that elevate to a higher level. The one caveat is that while I have enjoyed several of the seafood specials at District One (3400 South Jones), and their Mekong River Noodle Soup, I have yet to try any of their pho versions. So that will be coming up soon. Largely because of consistency, Pho Kinh Do (4300 Spring Mountain) is usually first preference these days, but that only means they are a slight slurp above the others.

Jun 13, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

Vegas Venue for 120 near Venetian?

Ordinarily a crowd of 120 would tax a lot of places - you might have to take over the entire restaurant. But there is one right at the Venetian that can handle that size, and may be a good fit: Canaletto (http://www.venetian.com/restaurants/i...).

Jun 11, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

I can certainly understand the change in personal policy, when it comes to Komol. But through the years there has also been an underlying factor that can matter - Komol stays open during that late afternoon pocket when Lotus is closed, and is also open for lunch on Saturday and Sunday. So when cravings hit at certain times, they remain an option. Now I have to figure out where Arawan fits into that rotation...

Jun 10, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

This can be a good spot to begin the Arawan discussion. You might think that arguably the worst place in Las Vegas, and one of the worst in North America, to open a Thai restaurant would be within walking distance of Lotus of Siam and Komol. Some will remember this as the location that was once Tokyo. But it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Arawan is the product of Yanika Bumroongsawad, who once had "Stick E Rice" in a location on east Desert Inn that was not conducive to success (Maryland Parkway seems to be the east/west dividing line for being able to make an Asian restaurant work). It has a clean and comfortable decor, and while the menu is far more limited than Lotus or Komol, there are plans to do a lot more on the dessert front.

Here's the thing - Bumroongsawad knows her way around a kitchen. The last visit was one of the $9.95 lunch specials, which includes a cup of soup and dessert, the latter this time a mango/sticky rice combination formed like a large piece of nigiri. The entree was chili mint chicken, which brought a high level of execution and deft spicing. It was also more of a dinner portion than a lunch serving, with brown rice ($1 surcharge), and perhaps what would best be called a "twice fried egg" (on top of the rice in the photo), a sunny side up egg quickly fried a second time. Not an easy thing to pull off, but it worked.

Is there room for another Thai restaurant in the shadows of arguably the two best in Las Vegas, and among the best in the US? Also two that have more than withstood the test of time and have already built loyal followings? That is a good question. The food at Arawan has been terrific, and would be worthy of a first-choice in many neighborhoods. But it will be difficult to ever be more than #3 in this location.

Jun 10, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas

"The Noodle Man" (return of...)

She was there yesterday, but not quite in a "hosting" capacity - since the posted seating capacity is only for 38 people (and I am not sure how they would squeeze that many in), she will likely not be a greeter as often as in the past. And all of the wontons and dumpling are made in-house; I got to sample some from a dining companion, and there was that nice chew involved. Perhaps the best sign of all was that when we left our table at lunch on a routine Monday afternoon, there were already three parties waiting for it. In this location they have a real opportunity to be successful.

May 19, 2015
QAW in Las Vegas
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