q

QAW's Profile

Title Last Reply

3 dinners with a boss who likes plain food

The Barrymore (99 Convention Center Drive, inside of the Royal Hotel), brings both the menu you are looking for, and a great old-Vegas vibe. And it appears that things will only get better, with Eric Lhuillier, formerly of Pinot Brasserie, now joining that kitchen. It is a nice coup for the restaurant, and great to see him stay in town.

Sep 25, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Louis Osteen restaurant Louis' Las Vegas for Southern Carolina eats, did it resurface anywhere?

I was told a few months ago that he became a free agent, and was mostly doing consulting work, after finishing up a stint back on Pawleys Island again. I still have cravings for his Oyster BLT with Fried Green Tomatoes. Had I known how short-lived the Las Vegas project was going to be, I would have been back there weekly for one of those.

Sep 24, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

A romp through the menu at Bazaar Meat - a good meal, at a price.

Very well done. Now it does raise a question that you can help a few of us with - there will be several Chowhounds gathering at one of those tables in a couple of weeks, and there has been a little side talk of the suckling pig already. There will likely be even more discussion, while we peruse the menu over the first round of drinks that Long Island Chef will be graciously buying for us. If there is a large group wanting to do a menu tour, does the suckling pig fit the flow, or is that something that is better held back for when it can be the main focus of an evening?

Sep 21, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Just a comment/question

And another +1 for what is happening here, perhaps with an * for those that have not had much chance to explore the changing landscape recently. In 2000, sushi was almost impossible to find. Izakaya? Nope. One or two places for Pho. One for Ramen. A good authentic taco? No chance. Thai? The Chutimas were just getting ready to make their way. Chinese other than Cantonese? Only beginning to emerge. Ceviche, a fire-roasted chicken or anything Peruvian? One location. An arepa or a pupusa? Nope. A pizza Napoletana? Head to L.A. or Phoenix. What has happened since then has been fantastic to explore - now not only are so many cuisines represented, but there are so many options within each category. This has become an intriguing place for foodies to explore, with perhaps the biggest difficulty being keeping up with new places as they open (my to-do list is to the point at which it might take six months to get around to each place just a single time, and that is without adding anyone else new to the list).

Sep 14, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Dinner at Bazaar Meat®; dessert at Ku Noodle @ the SLS (12 Sept. 2014)

As one of a table of Chowhounds that will be there in a couple of weeks, I can only say Bravo for helping to whet the appetites.

Sep 13, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Did anyone try SLS buffet today? I walked in and walked right out

Talk about bad habits - I am still saying "Sahara" instead of "SLS". On Friday, the LVH officially becomes the Westgate. I am wondering how many months it will take before I can get that correct.

Sep 04, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Did anyone try SLS buffet today? I walked in and walked right out

I live a mile from the Sahara. Would have no problem bringing the remnants of a lil' porky carcass home for some nice weekend picking...

Sep 04, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Did anyone try SLS buffet today? I walked in and walked right out

I am open to any possibilities. Knowing a few of the appetites involved, we may already have enough to handle the suckling pig, and a whole lot more.

Sep 04, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Just a comment/question

No particular reference at all - just seemed like the right place to post as the thread continues, instead of at the bottom.

Aug 29, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Just a comment/question

Here's the funny thing - while some look at Chowhound as being elitist, in terms of "Chowhounders" that has been very far from my experiences, which is a big part of what has made participating on this board such a pleasure. I am not sure that anyone that has contributed from Las Vegas over the years would fit into that category, nor any of those I have met from out of town (of course, it could also be that elitists don't like me).

But there is one noticeable difference, and it may help to explain the traffic counts - age. The vast majority of dining companions I have met from this board have been over 40. For many of them, Chowhound was the first public forum for them to post about their experiences. But those that I know that go to Yelp first skew much younger. Since Las Vegas has an emerging younger population, and also because there is so much traffic from young Californians, particularly on weekends, it has made for substantial Yelp traffic concerning the local dining scene.

When I remember back to the first days with Chowhound this board was much more active, especially for off-strip restaurants. As that traffic has dispersed this particular board may appear to be more elitist now, largely because such a significant percentage of the posts are those questions about high-end restaurants on the strip. That ends up being deceptive in terms of the overall spirit of what this board has been through the years.

Aug 29, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Just a comment/question

As a local I can chime in here, especially since the illustrious Mr. Feldman and I have had this conversation across many tables in the past. And I would have to submit a plea of "guilty" for not posting personal experiences from Las Vegas Strip restaurants much at all in recent years, but the reality is that for places like Robuchon, Savoy, Twist, Le Cirque etc., there just is not a hell of a lot to say. They're very good.

The issue is not one of a lack of traffic for Las Vegas discussion in general, but rather why this particular board has not maintained market share. And in truth there is a bit of geography in play. It has come down to what many consider that dirty four-letter word that begins with a "Y". That organization was born on the west coast about a decade ago, and gained much of their original traction throughout the region, which has absolutely impacted Las Vegas.

I would never consider the ratings system or reviews from that site to be of much value, but it is invaluable as a "news" source. There is a link that you can go to that shows each review for a target city in the order that they were posted (starting with the most recent, and scrolling back), and I do check that link a couple of times each week to learn of openings and closings, menu changes, specials etc. And in this day of modern media, the fact that so many photos of the food at new places get posted is a genuine asset before deciding to try it out.

Here is the sad bottom line. A couple of times over the past two years I was asked to chart that traffic as it relates to this board, and the numbers tell the tale - "Y" posts about Las Vegas restaurants out-number posts on this board anywhere from a 300:1 to a 500:1 ratio in a given week. As someone that values the discussions here it is disheartening, and in particular it matters when it comes to all of the terrific "Mom and Pop" places we have across the valley - those discussions tend to fall flat here, while that same hole-in-the-wall can have hundred of reviews, with hundreds photos posted, on "Y". Quick example - Japanese Curry Zen (in the same plaza as Raku), a place with a simple and basic menu that puts a lot of pride into what they do, sits at 277 "Y" reviews, with 353 posted photos, as of this morning.

So there is the melancholy lament. This board is winning the dignity and integrity race, but losing the battle for volume. Not sure how the latter can be fixed.

Aug 29, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Did anyone try SLS buffet today? I walked in and walked right out

I know weeknights are difficult for you, but there is still a seat open for the Chowhound gathering at Bazaar Meats on October 2nd. That would take us to a party of six, a nice number to properly attack that menu.

Aug 24, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Did anyone try SLS buffet today? I walked in and walked right out

Funny, we had a party of four at Umami, and the topic came up. We thought we could handle it ourselves, and may genuinely make the attempt the next time they are in town. The difficulty with the Bazaar Meats menu will be finding a single thing to NOT order...

Aug 24, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Did anyone try SLS buffet today? I walked in and walked right out

Time to +1 the ah6tyfour take on the casino floor - they did give a lot of space away to the bar/restaurants/club, and crammed too many machines and tables into the remaining space. Walk-through points are non-existent for now. No design element in play at all - just get as many gaming options into the space as possible. It is more than likely that over time they can sort that out by removing some of them - after the opening weekend festivities, they are going to find attracting steady weekday play to be difficult, and the crowd they are aiming for on weekends is restaurant/club, not "pit". Having the Paradise parking garage elevator inoperable on Sunday night was also not a great way to make a first impression.

Also a +1 to uhockey on the Bazaar Meat references - close friends have been extremely impressed already. As it turns out, Jose Andres is over-seeing many aspects of the food development throughout the property, not just Bazaar Meats and Ku Noodle, and it led to a level of professionalism at Umami Burger that was a plus (it was chosen by out of town guests that wanted to be able to watch NFL and MLB, since the Sports Book is located in that space) - there is a Jose Andres Burger listed on the menu, but it was not available because he was not happy with the product yet. While not having it ready for opening weekend can be labeled as a mistake, in some ways one has to like a quality control to refuse to serve something that is not up to the expected standard. The food was uninspiring (the house-made pickles the exception), and both the wooden picnic tables and tacky antler chandeliers in the patio area do not blend in well with the vibe of the rest of the property. But being able to sip a Gulden Draak (not easy to find in Las Vegas) helped to ease those pains.

Aug 24, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Grilled Whole Fish & Best Lobster & SLS Eats?

Bartolotta and Minos are high-end options for grilled whole fish, albeit with the freight from bringing them in from the Mediterranean a part of the tariff, which will stretch it close to your price point. But in truth not sure anyone does a whole fish better than when Saipin throws a catfish on the grill (Pla Dook Yang) at Lotus of Siam. Only about a three minute taxi ride from the SLS. And if you want to make it a "Lobster Night", you will still be in time for a reasonably-priced special at the Palm (http://www.thepalm.com/lobster).

Aug 22, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

8/16/14 Dining Report - 24 Seven Cafe, Earl of Sandwich, Carson Kitchen, Viva Las Arepas, Art of Flavors, Slice of Vegas

Desyree's panini really are a treat. So that the Chowhounds can get an image in their minds, she makes her own buttery brioche in-house. The particular gelatos used for the combinations are then frozen to a colder temperature, and in the panini press it comes together beautifully - dynamic and well-balanced flavors.

There are five combinations:
Lombardo - Gorgonzola gelato, pear chutney, walnuts
Tre Chocolati - Chocolate gelato, white chocolate sauce, chocolate bits
Americana - Peanut Butter gelato, strawberry preserve
A.O.F. - Fior de latte gelato, chocolate-hazelnut spread, hazelnuts
Siciliano - Ricotta gelato, pistachios, candied fruit, chocolate bits

After the press they are cut in two (photos attached are of the A.O.F.), but do not let that mislead you - you are not going to share...

Aug 19, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Excellent service at Marche Bacchus

A whisper that is getting louder has Luciano Pellegrini, formerly of Valentino, on his way over to Marche to become head chef. That would be quite a coup - Pellegrini has a chance to bring the kind of Italian cooking that is extremely difficult to find in Las Vegas "neighborhood" restaurants, and we hope to see a Valentino-ish menu over there in the near future.

Aug 15, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Rosemary's Cafe -- Vegas

And so much for all that...

http://www.reviewjournal.com/entertai...

Aug 12, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Alize - review is coming, but first a question to the CH community

That really is awkward. Since it says "Recommended" above the various caviar riffs, it looks like an invitation to an upcharge for an added course. But even that causes some head scratching - if the regular menu has a Golden Osetra appetizer for $185, one wonders how a $20 bite would be composed.

Aug 10, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Next trip coming soon, but first...

This could actually be one of the keys to your decision - what is the food/drink ratio in mind? Because of Bank's background much of the menu is deftly crafted towards pairing with alcohol, and it is sometimes tempting to call Chada an "Iza-Thai-ya". Even the dishes that also appear on other Thai menus are going to have that little extra nuance or spice that come to life even more when paired with the proper libation (a contrast with a place like Yonaka, where the subtle flavors are more food-first in terms of pairing).

How about a roundtable question for the illustrious Mr. Feldman - if one were to state that Bank may genuinely know as much about pairing Thai cuisine with alcohol as any person on the planet, would that be a pretty fair assessment (and not hyperbole)?

Aug 09, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Next trip coming soon, but first...

There is something about a Hitachino White Ale, paired with some of the spicier dishes on the Chada menu, that is just about the epitome of what late-night dining should be.

Aug 08, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Rosemary's Cafe -- Vegas

Alas, I am not sure that a return of Rosemary's in some form is necessarily on the table anymore. Both Michael and Wendy Jordan are teaching in Seattle (he is at the Seattle Culinary Academy), and Las Vegas may not be on their radar screens.

Aug 08, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Private room for Birthday Party - 12-14 adults, 6 kids

The Bootlegger, at 7700 Las Vegas Boulevard South (702-741-4135), does a pretty good job with this kind of event, and at your father's age he may particularly enjoy the "old school" vibe. A couple of private rooms available, and a broad enough menu to make most folks happy (particularly the children).

Aug 07, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Next trip coming soon, but first...

Yonaka (http://www.yonakajapaneserestaurant.com). I believe they go to "Happy Hour" again at 11 PM, which makes it even better. Unfortunately they do not post their "Specials" menu on-line; those specials really showcase the creativity of the kitchen.

Aug 05, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Firefly, any good these days?

LVI/LIC:

Although I will not likely be able to join in other than Thursday night, by early October I would think - http://takeshi-omae.com/japanese_cuis... should be hitting stride, and be a worthy target (they will begin dinner service on September 1st, although it will be BYOB for a while). Since there are only 12 seats, it is a scheduling commitment that may need to be made well in advance.

Aug 04, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Firefly, any good these days?

How about this for an answer - Firefly may have never really been all that good. This was not a group from Spain wanting to bring "Tapas" to Las Vegas, where it was almost entirely lacking pre-Serrano/Andres, but instead a carefully crafted business blueprint to mimic the emerging popularity of the concept, and possibly expand (franchise). It was an early hit because the notion of tapas was new to a lot of their customers, and it had a decent social vibe for the younger crowd. But the food has never been much more than average, focusing on a lot of basic dishes that are hard to do screw up (with a saltiness to drive liquor sales), and never seeming to have Pride at the same level as Profits. Now that Jaleo and Serrano are here, Firefly does not need to be on anyone's short list.

Aug 03, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

7/26/14 Dining Report - Planet Dailies, Great Buns Bakery, Naked City Pizza on Paradise, Rx Boiler Room

It is great to see that you enjoyed your experience - this is the kind of place that a Las Vegas local can not help but feel a bit of an affinity towards. Because there are so many chains dominating the valley, outside of Asian or Hispanic offerings there are not many examples of small independents daring to take a chance. The Palmeri vision comes across when you read the menu, and then take a taste - this is a story of someone genuinely cooking "from the heart", and believing in what he puts on a plate. In this instance it is a case of not just a chef wanting to please the palate of a customer, but also of making sure that they go away having been "fed", which is a more subtle high-wire act than is often appreciated.

I will try to avoid a long-winded rant here, but try to be concise about why NCP appeals, particularly at this location. Many chefs/restaurants get away with a degree of culinary malpractice with tasting menus these days, small bites of explosive and often brilliant flavors that dynamically hit particular taste buds. But in truth, some of that "magic" is easier than it appears. What the consumer does not end up experiencing is that fifth or sixth bite, when the initial fireworks have worn off, and the dish would often fall flat. Friends and I call it "the bite they don't want you to take". Many of these proprietors are in the business of tantalizing, and there is nothing wrong with that, as long as there is genuine creativity in play. But sometimes it is only sleight of hand, combinations of contrasts that only work for a couple of bites, and the offerings are carefully limited to those bites (and no, this is not a reference to kaiseki or comparable notions from other cultures, when the individual tastes are part of a natural progression through a meal).

Chris does not do that. There is an old school aspect (are folks from Buffalo already old-school at birth?) of inviting a friend into his home, and wanting that friend to leave the table both happy, and full. That brings the step of creating flavors that do not just satisfy the taste buds, but also the appetite, and that is a particular art that is so under-appreciated these days, especially in this city. For example, yesterday's daily special was "smoked sausage, thick house-made spaghetti, wilted greens, mascarpone-goat cheese cream sauce, red chili". I did not venture over, but you can see the process. Creating flavors that do not just tingle, but are also balanced enough to make one want to eat through to the finish of a generous portion, deserves applause.

Chris will be doing the second of his "Mind of a Chef" pop-up dinners on Sunday, August 24th. $65 per head, and perhaps we can find enough folks to reserve a Chowhound table. I doubt that anyone will walk away hungry...

Aug 01, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen and Bar

Ahem.

So now we know the truth. You were going to sneak into Bazaar Meat the previous Friday without us.

Thank you for graciously canceling your first reservation, and at the same time volunteering to pay for the first round of drinks, while we peruse the menu, as your penance. It will be much appreciated.

The sixth seat is yours Michael, and you can take it knowing that at least the first cocktail is generously being paid for by a fellow Chowhound (I hope that Andres brings a decent sherry list, something far too difficult to find on the Strip these days).

Jul 29, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen and Bar

Game on...

(of course, this does prevent me from stopping over there throughout September, which may actually prove to be a bit difficult).

Jul 29, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas

Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen and Bar

As long as you understand the relative odds of finding something useful are in the "needle/haystack" range on some (others might say "most") days.

By October 2nd, Bazaar Meat (Jose Andres) at the SLS will have been open long enough to work out the early kinks. Just thinking out loud...

Jul 29, 2014
QAW in Las Vegas