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Las Vegas (Mostly) Off the Strip (Long + Pics)

Las Vegas (Mostly) Off the Strip (Long + Pics)
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  • Post #91 - February 9th, 2012, 11:38 pm
    Post #91 - February 9th, 2012, 11:38 pm Post #91 - February 9th, 2012, 11:38 pm
    It's been too long since I've visited LTH. I'm so glad to see there is still some love for off-Strip LV here.

    Steve, you hit three places that I have a very soft spot for: the Peppermill; Hash House (did you try the jalapeno jelly?), and especially Ronald's Donuts. One little correction: only some of the doughnuts are vegan, and I'm pretty sure the apple fritters are not. I can't tell the difference between the vegan and non-vegan offerings (typically, there isn't butter in any doughnut, is there?). My faves there are the buttermilk bars, the crullers, and the simple maple cake doughnuts. I'm not that much of an apple fritter fan, but even I can see why so man people love them.

    You definitely got a bum order of chicken wings. You can tell from the photo that they are dry.
  • Post #92 - June 24th, 2012, 7:26 am
    Post #92 - June 24th, 2012, 7:26 am Post #92 - June 24th, 2012, 7:26 am
    stevez wrote:With my Vegas trip coming to an end, I had my last breakfast in the last known place of employment of the late great hungryrabbi, R.I.P., Baglemania...

    Bagelmania
    855 E Twain Ave # 120
    Las Vegas, NV 89169
    (702) 369-3322


    Following the breadcrumbs laid down previously here, we not only had our last breakfast here but got an extremely well packed airport lunch.

    The nova platter was much better than it needed to be, and the bagels were NY quality vg to excellent! The roast turkey was indeed real turkey and moist to boot. Home fries were excellent, the bacon vg. The pancakes were reported as missing the mark.

    This is a place IMHO as precious as Manny's, absent Manny's history and lore: therefore RUN don't walk before it emigrates to Summerlin, Green Valley or Henderson, far from the airport return route from the strip.
    Chicago is my spiritual chow home
  • Post #93 - June 24th, 2012, 7:32 am
    Post #93 - June 24th, 2012, 7:32 am Post #93 - June 24th, 2012, 7:32 am
    Botanas Michocana
    First stop here for ice cream. Many flavors, sweet and not very good. ESL functional.

    Luv-It Custard
    Last visit ten years ago. Has the formula changed or have we? It seemed far sweeter and with less flavor. Just the custard chocolate and vanilla, not their specialty the Sundaes.
    Chicago is my spiritual chow home
  • Post #94 - June 25th, 2012, 6:32 am
    Post #94 - June 25th, 2012, 6:32 am Post #94 - June 25th, 2012, 6:32 am
    And finally, really really off the strip in Summerlin:

    Chef Marc's Parma / Pastavino

    We went our first night in town for Wednesday pizza night, when Marc rolls up a wood burning pizza oven to the side door and makes exemplary Naples style pizzas fired with hot and clean burning almond wood. The Margherita was just that--even as the temperature in the parking lot at 8 PM pushed 99 F.

    Chef Marc's is a complex place expressive of one mans' vision--an Italian deli, a wine lounge, a family place with epicurean aspirations. Lots of house made pastas. Organics and farm to table. A moderate wine list with depth in surprising areas.

    With the wine, a 12.5% alcohol $30 Pinot Grigio appropriately tart on a hot night came garlic bread. Greasy, cheesy that had me laughing at this contemporary play on an amuse bouche.

    After the pizza we split a locally sourced amply portioned mixed green salad with a scoop of ricotta insalata and balsamic vinaigrette. Very good, would definitely reorder.

    DDD had Linguine with White Clam Sauce ($19), whole manilla clams, pasta cooked perfectly.

    I had Chicken Scarpierello ($26). Make that Jidori chicken, an organically sourced bird featured up and down the Strip at the top restaurants like Carnevino and B&B and just about any other that cooks yardbird, served atop polenta or pasta and accompanied by broccolini. Scarpierello (shoemaker's chicken) is a pan roast, a first cousin to Chicken Vesuvio. In New York and environs it's made with a red wine/red wine vinegar reduction and includes lots of garlic. This version was well browned, oven roasted and enough for two big appetites to share. The broccolini cooked bright green with lots of garlic. I forewent the polenta and pasta.

    Informal service was very attentive by a bunch of burly guys who looked liked Chef Marc's 'crew'.

    All in all highly recommended. Note too that there are $50 tastings, and with advance notice some market and personalized menus are possible.

    Could you tell I liked this place? For years' off the strip' to me meant LOS and Luv-It. Now I've got Bagelmania and Chef Marc's. I think I'll enjoy LAS a great deal more from now on, now that I know how to avoid the Disneyfied restaurants that line the strip harvesting mid-America's dollars by having convinced everyone that a good Las Vegas non-buffet meal merely begins at north of $150 a head out the door.

    Las Vegas GNR Uphill ALERT: Chef Marc's and Bagelmania, to start.

    Chef Marc's
    7591 W Washington Ave
    Las Vegas, NV 89128
    702-233-marc (6272)
    Chicago is my spiritual chow home
  • Post #95 - July 8th, 2012, 11:37 pm
    Post #95 - July 8th, 2012, 11:37 pm Post #95 - July 8th, 2012, 11:37 pm
    I notice that I've posted in two different Vegas threads, but since this one seems to have more posts, I'll post here. I recently returned from five nights in Vegas and thought I'd post my thoughts here. We mostly did buffets for breakfast/brunch, trying Paris, Wynn, Aria and Wicked Spoon (Cosmopolitan). Paris has really gone downhill in recent years - used to really enjoy it but it was truly (and shockingly) awful, with only the made-to-order crepes and creme brulee being worth eating. I used to think the Wynn buffet was very good but it too left us disappointed - decent, but very noticeable quality decline from last year. Aria and Wynn were similar in quality, both okay but nothing to get excited about. I would say Wicked Spoon really stood out in terms of both food quality and interesting choices, and was far better than any of the others.

    We also had two small brunch/lunches at non-buffets: One was a return trip to China Poblano, Jose Andres' Chinese-Mexican tapas spot in the Cosmopolitan. Once again, I really wasn't super impressed. We shared two items, the bbq pork steamed buns (okay, but the buns were a little dry and the pork filling too sweet) and the Dan Dan Mian (hand pulled noodles were pretty good, but no noticeable Szechuan peppercorn or other heat, although flavor was decent). The problem with China Poblano is that they seem determined to please a heavy-drinking, 20-something crowd, and less willing to deliver the intense flavors that some of the menu items suggest.

    We also had some dim sum at Beijing Noodle No. 9 at Caesar's Palace. I read on Chowhound that the former chef at China Mama (which I've heard is a very well respected spot for dim sum in Vegas' Chinatown) is now at Beijing Noodle No. 9, so we figured we'd give it a shot. While BN9 didn't deliver as good quality as we were expecting, we generally enjoyed the meal. We had the xiao long bao, which are filled only with pork here. They were pretty good - the wrappers perhaps a tad dry but not too thick, and the filling was tasty and full of flavorful broth. Far from the best XLB I've had, but respectable. Beijing pancake wrap with beef and cilantro was pretty tasty, although I expected the exterior to be crisp and it was lacking in this area - still very flavorful though. Pork buns were okay, but the buns were a little dry, a problem that also affected the sweet red bean paste buns. Finally, Dan Dan Mian featuring hand pulled noodles. A tad of Szechuan peppercorn could be detected, but very little. Still, a little more heat than the version at China Poblano and pretty flavorful. Overall, Beijing Noodle was decent and recommended if you would rather not leave the strip.

    As for dinners, we ate at Sage (the Shawn McClain restaurant inside the Cosmopolitan), é by Jose Andres, Abriya Raku, D.O.C.G. enoteca and Kabuto Edomae Sushi. I'll cover Sage and D.O.C.G. briefly here, é by Jose Andres and Abriya Raku in subsequent posts, and then Kabuto in greater detail with pictures below.

    In another Vegas thread, I described the outstanding meal I enjoyed at Sage last year. This year, I was not so lucky. The meal started off with a terrific duck rilletes with olive and cherry. However, it went downhill from there. I started off with the grilled Spanish octopus with smoked potato puree, shishito peppers, preserved lemon and arugula. It sounded great, but really disappointed. The octopus was formed into cylinders that were far too chewy and lacked any grilled or charred flavor, and the entire dish was extremely salty. My main course - Iberico pork loin, crispy pork shoulder, spaetzle, creminelli mortadella and baby carrot - did not fare better. Again, way too salty and there was so little spaetzle and carrots so there was nothing to cut into the richness.

    I didn't taste my dining companion's beef tartare or scallops with oxtail, but although he enjoyed the tartare, he was disappointed with the scallops and also found the dish way too salty. I'm not sure if there have been changes in the kitchen or we just caught them on an off night but this meal was pretty close to 180 degrees different from the one I enjoyed last year.

    Yet, Sage was still better than D.O.C.G., a Scott Conant restaurant inside the Cosmopolitan. A pizza with prosciutto, arugula and parmesan featured a very soft and undistinguished crust of the type I'd expect to find hanging in a grocery aisle. Spinach ricotta gnudi were the size of meatballs, all wrong texturally, and did not taste good. Semolina pasta with housemade sausage, olives and porcini featured well cooked and flavorful pasta, but relatively bland and too-lightly seasoned sausage and very little in the way of porcini mushrooms. Overall, D.O.C.G. proved to be a very bad choice.

    On the plus side, we really loved our meal at Kabuto Edomae Sushi, a newish spot in the same strip mall as Raku. I can't remember where I first read about Kabuto, either on Eater or in Las Vegas Weekly, but I'm really glad I did because it is really outstanding. This is where you go to enjoy fish in its most bare form. I only wish I could find such wonderful nigiri in Chicago (no, Katsu doesn't come anywhere close). It's been several years since I was in Japan, but the Kabuto experience is pretty close to what I remember experiencing eating excellent nigiri in Tokyo. When you arrive in the strip mall housing Raku and Kabuto, you'll see the sign for Raku but Kabuto (on the left, before you get to Raku) has no sign. But you'll see a window that tells you you're in the right place:

    Image
    Window looking in to Kabuto

    Kabuto apparently gets most of its fish flown in directly to the restaurant from Toyko’s Tsukiji market, but I know that we also had tuna from Spain. At Kabuto, you can order off of the menu, choose the nigiri menu ($48 for 10 pieces, plus a glass of sake, a hand roll, green tea and dessert) or the omakase menu ($80 and includes I believe 6 pieces of fish, but not sure of what else). We chose the nigiri menu, and added a couple of extra pieces each. Here is the glass of mango sake to start us off:

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    Mango sake

    I can't remember each piece we were served in the precise order (and I'm not great at identifying each piece below), but it included baby amberjack (shiokko), jack mackerel (ma-aji), salmon roe (ikura), striped pig (inaki), ocean trout (umimasu), see eel (anago), tuna (akami), medium fatty tuna (chu-toro), tamago, tuna hand roll, kamashita fatty tuna (kamashita; we ordered this as an addition) and sea urchin (uni; also ordered as an addition).

    We sat at the sushi bar (there are only 2-3 other tables and I think 8-10 seats at the sushi bar - reservations are a MUST) and were mesmerized by the precision and intensity of the sushi chefs. Each item was delivered one at a time, delivery timed perfectly, fish not at all cold and stunning in flavor. We were not given soy sauce or wasabi. Rather, the sushi chef delicately handled the rice and fish and seasoned each item with aged soy and wasabi (and perfectly I might add).

    My pictures are poor (brought my "other" camera), but you get the idea:

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    salmon roe - stunning - as good as I've ever tasted


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    Cold sake service


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    pickled ginger, the only item served with the nigiri


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    Tuskfish?


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    Tuna


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    Medium fatty tuna


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    Sea eel - magnificent


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    Tamago - unbelievably good, and so picturesque. Doesn't this make you wonder what everyone else is doing with tamago?


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    Kamashita fatty tuna - absolutely terrific - we were told that this is the fattiest piece of the tuna (bluefin here), from the belly, just below the collar.

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    Sea urchin - I have not had sea urchin anywhere this good in Chicago, so rich, so smooth.


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    Tuna hand roll


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    fish and brushes dipped in various soy sauces


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    Head sushi chef at work


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    Strawberry crepe cake with strawberry powder and strawberry sauce - fantastic


    I can't decide whether I enjoyed Raku or Kabuto more, and I suppose your preference will depend on the experience you prefer (if you want sushi, definitely Kabuto). Regardless, I would say that Kabuto is a must visit on your trip to Las Vegas.

    Kabuto Edomae Sushi (website provides only phone and address)
    5040 W. Spring Mountain Rd., #4
    702.676.1044


    I'll post later about é and Raku.
    Last edited by BR on August 3rd, 2013, 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #96 - July 11th, 2012, 2:52 pm
    Post #96 - July 11th, 2012, 2:52 pm Post #96 - July 11th, 2012, 2:52 pm
    Have you been to Ichiza? A lot more of a "fun" place; i.e., w/o the intensity, but really special. Anyways, between that, Raku, the noodles at Monta, and this, I think my next trip could be an all Japanese kinda one. I also heard there's a Japanese "Italian" place in the same mall. That one I'm not as sure of.

    Thanks for the report.
  • Post #97 - July 12th, 2012, 7:51 am
    Post #97 - July 12th, 2012, 7:51 am Post #97 - July 12th, 2012, 7:51 am
    Vital Information wrote:Have you been to Ichiza? A lot more of a "fun" place; i.e., w/o the intensity, but really special. Anyways, between that, Raku, the noodles at Monta, and this, I think my next trip could be an all Japanese kinda one. I also heard there's a Japanese "Italian" place in the same mall. That one I'm not as sure of.

    Thanks for the report.

    Agree 100% on Ichiza, but didn't make it there this trip. And I have not yet visited Monta (also, I would need a good chunk of time in Vegas to even contemplate a good exploration of "Chinatown" - impressed how large it has become). But Kabuto really struck a chord with me, simply because I feel like the ocean tsar decided that Chicago is not a fish-worthy destination; why, I have no idea. Kabuto helped me put that frustration aside, if only for an evening. Not all of the nigiri were new to me or unheard of, but every item was excellent. We need someone in Chicago to abandon or escape the True World Foods grip. With all of the great restaurants in this city, I'm shocked and ashamed that we don't have a sushi place to really be proud of.
  • Post #98 - July 15th, 2012, 9:21 pm
    Post #98 - July 15th, 2012, 9:21 pm Post #98 - July 15th, 2012, 9:21 pm
    Updating my most recent report, I'm back with my thoughts on é by Jose Andres. Overall, I very much enjoyed the meal. However, é was priced almost the same (if not slightly more) than Next's El Bulli menu and I thought Next was far superior.

    I won't share my pictures - they're not very good and I found pictures online from someone who had the exact same meal as I did. (see this blog) However, my experience definitely differed from that poster. é is located within Jaleo Restaurant inside the Cosmopolitan. They offer two seatings, five nights per week, 8 persons per seating (at a bar where some of the food is prepared in front of you). One aspect of the meal I enjoyed was sitting at bar and watching the preparations. Food-wise, however, not everything impressed.

    The meal started with a sherry-based cocktail that was pleasant, but perhaps not so exciting.

    We then moved on to the clavel, a rose that tasted largely of raspberry, set atop a mold shaped like Jose Andres' hand. Tasty, sweet, and an interesting lead-in to the next bite.

    The next bite was a macaron of idiazabal cheese. While I enjoyed the flavor, the interior of the macaron did not offer the smooth filling promised (mostly crunchy).

    I really enjoyed the next bite, honey-caramelized pork rinds - delicious.

    We then moved on to a tube of apple and blue cheese, which had the texture of something between a foam and a marshmallow. I thought this was fine, but the apple came through more than the blue cheese, and I would have preferred the opposite.

    Next up was a nitro almond cup, combining the flavors of almond cream and caviar. Other than the always enjoyable flavor of caviar, I didn't find this dish particularly memorable.

    This was followed by crispy chicken skin in escabeche, which also featured chicken gizzards and thyme air. I didn't enjoy the chicken skin that much as I found it had a burnt flavor.

    But the next couple of courses I enjoyed quite a bit. First, neulas, which was a thin biscuit surrounding a truffle cream, and topped with purple basil blossoms. I thought that both the flavors and textures were outstanding.

    Then was the Ferran Adria version of the olive - a black olive sphere that was delicious; at Next I had a green olive - I enjoyed both immensely.

    Then, my favorite dish of the night, bocata de bacalao - cod (cheek?), caramelized onions and fried brioche, and it was outstanding.

    Perhaps I've had too many liquid spheres of late, so the cava sangria sphere didn't excite me much (the new foam?), but it was tasty enough.

    The next course did not impress me at all. Artichoke puree with vanilla, I just didn't get this at all.

    Lobster with citrus and jasmine air showcased perfectly cooked (and plentiful) lobster, but I thought that the jasmine air was just a bit too aromatic.

    Another one of my favorites was the chickpea stew with Iberico ham. If I'm going to register one complaint, it's the overuse of spheres (here, liquid spheres in the place of chickpeas). That being said, this course was delicious - my second favorite (after the bacalao) of the savory courses.

    I thought I would love the turbot and bone marrow, but ultimately I found too many flavors fighting for respect, and I never quite figured out how to bring it all together. In some ways, this is where é misses the mark. You see them preparing much of the food, it's all quickly plated, but you really have to push and keep pushing to find out all of a dish's components, the inspiration, and how they should be eaten. It's almost as if they have concluded that most people don't want to be inundated with these details, whereas I think diners want the entire story.

    But the next course was another one of my favorites, and really pretty simple. Wild mushrooms, in broth, in papillote cut at the table, and then topped with rosemary air. Although the air could have offered a bit more rosemary, it was all still very delicious and the richness of the mushrooms was sensational.

    But then another small crash - secreto of Iberico pork and squid. Sounds great, so how could it go wrong? The pork was dry and a bit tough, and the squid very chewy. I never could have imagined I would not have enjoyed this dish - okay, but fell far short of expectations.

    However, I was very impressed with the desserts. First, a cheese course of La Serena sheep's milk cheese with orange pith puree. Somewhat simple, but also outstanding.

    A very light flan that was a beauty to watch being plated, and served with an equally delicious orange ice. An outstanding flan, and I love flan.

    And yet I might have enjoyed the chocolate and olive oil even more. Dark chocolate and fruity olive oil combined - I would never have known just how good they taste together.

    We were then treated to a coffee-rum drink - we had watched the rum burn off while a couple of the previous courses were being prepared.

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    Then, a rice pudding of sorts (flavored with lemon and cinnamon) and encased in a crispy ice cream cone that was somewhere between a sugar cage and a waffle. Delicious!

    Cocoa paper with dried strawberry seemed simple and light, but delivered nice chocolate and strawberry flavors, even if the chocolate reminded me a bit too much of Cocoa Krispies.

    Finally, a 25-second cake and "air" chocolates, white and dark. These were fine, but the worst of otherwise stellar desserts.

    I enjoyed é, but I found that the meal really gave me that much more respect for what the folks at Next have accomplished. I have waited to post my thoughts on Next El Bulli knowing that I would be eating at é, and I simply enjoyed the flavors far more at Next. Also, Next employed so many more techniques than é, which really shows in the different textures and presentations seen throughout the evening (too many damn spheres at é). Would I recommend é? That all depends - I would say that most of the meal was very interesting, and I obviously enjoyed many of the flavors, but at $400, I just didn't think it matched up in terms of similarly priced meals, and didn't showcase enough modern techniques.
  • Post #99 - July 21st, 2012, 11:04 am
    Post #99 - July 21st, 2012, 11:04 am Post #99 - July 21st, 2012, 11:04 am
    Finally, on to Raku, and Raku was terrific, as you'd expect. Although we may have wanted to do the Kaiseki menu, this has to be arranged at least three days in advance, so keep that in mind (I forgot). In retrospect, I think that we were able to sample more dishes by not going the Kaiseki route, so really no big deal.

    We started the evening off with a special of tuna - fatty and fattier - that we were told had just been flown in, and it was really tremendous and pretty much on par with the tuna we enjoyed at Kabuto, except that the fattiest piece of tuna at Kabuto was fattier, richer and even more delicious.

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    Tuna


    Next we were delivered two separate dishes, soft boiled egg and deep fried bean curd with mochi, which we ordered off the Oden portion of the menu, thus served in broth. Both were nice, although neither stood out in terms of the better flavors of the night. The broth itself was good too, but still not particularly exciting.

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    Soft boiled egg (before & after) and Deep fried bean curd with mochi


    On the other hand, the house-made tofu really stood out. We couldn't decide if we wanted it served regular or fried, so they said they'd split it in half for us - great! The regular house-made tofu is terrific:

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    House-made tofu


    But the house-made fried tofu, Agedashi Tofu, that was served later in our dinner was even better, much better and was one of my three favorite bites of the night. It's fried, served in a dashi broth, with mushrooms, shredded nori and topped with salmon roe and green onion, and served with a large dab of chile paste:

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    House-made fried tofu - Agedashi tofu


    From the Robata grill portion of the menu, we enjoyed the shishito peppers. Very fresh and with a light dose of peppery heat, nicely flash fried and served with a mound of bonito flakes. Here's a close-up of a couple of the peppers:

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    Shishito peppers


    Continuing with the Robata grill portion of our meal, we enjoyed the perfectly cooked yellowtail with a soy sauce glaze:

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    Yellowtail with soy sauce glaze


    But I found the direct-flamed eggplant to be rather boring. Eggplant, slightly charred, with bonito flakes - just didn't excite me.

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    Direct-flamed eggplant


    Raku's miso soup (of course, "Yummy Miso Soup" on their menu) is one of the best I've tasted, and not the afterthought it is at so many lesser Japanese restaurants.

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    Miso soup


    We were then bombarded with a number of proteins from Raku's Robata grill, and they really shined. All were perfectly cooked and juicy. My favorite was easily the Kobe beef outside skirt with garlic. Words cannot describe how delicious this was - tender but not too tender, great beef flavor and grilled beautifully.

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    Kobe beef outside skirt with garlic


    Almost as good was the Kurobuta pork cheek, so flavorful and surprisingly tender:

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    Kurobuta pork cheek


    One of the better filets I've tasted, Kobe beef filet with wasabi was as tender as you would expect, again cooked perfectly, but more flavorful than most filets.

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    Kobe beef filet with wasabi


    Duck with balsamic soy sauce was very good, yet not quite as good as we had hoped. I think I would have liked some textural distinction between skin and meat, maybe a little more char even. Still, quite tasty.

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    Duck with balsamic soy sauce


    Then, another huge star, the "Juicy Deep Fried Chicken," which is on the appetizer portion of the menu (but note that dishes are not served in the order one from the west might expect upon reading "appetizer"). Well, Raku does not lie as the chicken was really juicy. More importantly, the crisp and brittle and utterly delicious skin and sauced greens made for one of the best fried chicken experiences one could imagine, and I am a tremendous fan of fried chicken. I believe the chicken skin is removed from the meat before frying, to allow it to get so crisp and brittle. I had been to Raku before, but did not order the fried chicken. That will not happen again - this fried chicken is a must order.

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    Juicy Deep Fried Chicken


    Can't remember exactly what these rice balls (below) were - grilled and maybe fried. They were quite, but probably did not stand out (or maybe we were getting full).

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    Rice, grilled and fried . . . I think


    Finally, miso with crab. Well, I know Raku's miso is terrific, and I love crab, so what can be wrong? Well, just a bit more work than I was wanting, that's all. Flavor was terrific, but I wouldn't do it again.

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    Miso soup with crab


    Raku is an outstanding restaurant, although I rarely hit it on trips to Vegas. As I've noted before, I simply prefer other Asian cuisines and have a hard time missing out on Lotus of Siam, and I often have limited off-strip trips. But do not interpret my preferences as an endorsement of Lotus over Raku (or Kabuto for that matter) - just a matter of preferences. But even despite a couple of dishes that didn't excite me, overall this was a really tremendous meal, with the Agedashi tofu, the fried chicken and the Kobe skirt steak being my three favorite dishes. And returning to the same strip mall two nights in a row, for Raku and Kabuto, made for quite the little trip to Japan (too bad I missed Monta, same strip mall).

    Abriya Raku
    Last edited by BR on August 3rd, 2013, 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #100 - July 23rd, 2012, 7:10 am
    Post #100 - July 23rd, 2012, 7:10 am Post #100 - July 23rd, 2012, 7:10 am
    BR wrote:Raku is an outstanding restaurant, although I rarely hit it on trips to Vegas. As I've noted before, I simply prefer other Asian cuisines and have a hard time missing out on Lotus of Siam, and I often have limited off-strip trips. But do not interpret my preferences as an endorsement of Lotus over Raku (or Kabuto for that matter) - just a matter of preferences. But even despite a couple of dishes that didn't excite me, overall this was a really tremendous meal, with the Agedashi tofu, the fried chicken and the Kobe skirt steak being my three favorite dishes. And returning to the same strip mall two nights in a row, for Raku and Kabuto, made for quite the little trip to Japan (too bad I missed Monta, same strip mall).

    Abriya Raku


    Nice post!

    You know if faced with choices, I would surely put a lot of cuisines ahead of Japanese (no that I dislike Japanese food). I've just found that as good as Lotus is, it's not really that different, quality wise, that what we have in Chicago. Raku, Monta, Ichiza, and more that I have not tried, however, seem so much better than what I've had here. For instance, I went to Slurping Turtle not that long after Monta, and I proved my point, to myself at least. Also, the places in Las Vegas seem bracingly authentic and transportative, which I find, adds to the pleasure.

    Also, to echo what I said a page or so ago, how can the tofu at Raku taste SO much better than any other tofu out there. It's like Kobe tofu. I mean, come on. Tofu is not very complicated, and there should not be that many variables. How can someone do it that much better?
  • Post #101 - July 23rd, 2012, 8:19 am
    Post #101 - July 23rd, 2012, 8:19 am Post #101 - July 23rd, 2012, 8:19 am
    Thanks for the compliment. I certainly understand the contention that one should put Lotus of Siam down on the list of Asian restaurants to visit in Las Vegas because of the great Thai (particularly Northern Thai) food that we have here in Chicago. But even in Chicago, I don't just stick to one of the great Thai restaurants; rather, I rotate and I do so because there is little overlap in the authentic dishes (and great variances even among the same dishes, but at different restaurants) and I like the variety. Likewise, Lotus offers many dishes that are simply not on the menu at any of the Thai restaurants in Chicago (although I'd bet a couple could be persuaded in advance to prepare special orders). So I'm sad that I missed it on this trip . . . I definitely would have preferred it to D.O.C.G. and given the lackluster evening at Sage, there too (and my wallet would have much preferred it to é, although I'm happy to have had the experience).

    Regardless, "Chinatown" in Las Vegas might be one of the most underrated food destinations anywhere and I have barely scratched its surface.
  • Post #102 - July 23rd, 2012, 9:05 am
    Post #102 - July 23rd, 2012, 9:05 am Post #102 - July 23rd, 2012, 9:05 am
    BR wrote:Regardless, "Chinatown" in Las Vegas might be one of the most underrated food destinations anywhere and I have barely scratched its surface.


    I agree, and I'm also surprised that no one has followed my footsteps to Orchid's Garden for dim sum. The variety and quality of the dim sum there is way better than anything we have in Chicago.

    Orchid's Garden
    5485 W. Sahara Ave.
    Las Vegas, NV
    702-257-8807
    Steve Z.

    “Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”
    ― Mark Twain
  • Post #103 - September 30th, 2012, 12:34 am
    Post #103 - September 30th, 2012, 12:34 am Post #103 - September 30th, 2012, 12:34 am
    In case you needed another reason to visit Vegas, consider the October 2012 opening of Chada Thai & Wine, from Bank Atcharawan, who according to this preview has been the manager/head sommelier at Lotus of Siam for the last 12 years. To me, perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of Chada Thai is that it will be featuring the food of Southern Thailand, something very rare (and not really found in Chicago). Needless to say, this will be be a must visit for me on my next visit to Las Vegas.

    Chada Thai & Wine
    Chada's Facebook page
    3400 South Jones Blvd. #11A
    Las Vegas, NV 89146
    702-641-1345
  • Post #104 - September 30th, 2012, 12:37 pm
    Post #104 - September 30th, 2012, 12:37 pm Post #104 - September 30th, 2012, 12:37 pm
    Does anyone know if Ichiza, Raku or Monta happen to be open for lunch?
    Steve Z.

    “Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”
    ― Mark Twain
  • Post #105 - November 1st, 2012, 2:26 pm
    Post #105 - November 1st, 2012, 2:26 pm Post #105 - November 1st, 2012, 2:26 pm
    Above I posted pictures from my outstanding meal at Kabuto in Las Vegas in July. I can't stop thinking about the uni, tuna, the beautiful tamago, the amazing knife work by the sushi chefs, and I cannot wait to return. Anyway, if you go to Kabuto's website (the menu portion of the site), you can see better pictures of their food. Here's the link. You'll then need to click on "view more." And I urge any fans of traditional, yet amazing sushi to visit Kabuto.
  • Post #106 - November 5th, 2012, 3:48 pm
    Post #106 - November 5th, 2012, 3:48 pm Post #106 - November 5th, 2012, 3:48 pm
    BR: Look forward to that future Chada Thai report. I've looked at Chada's menu quite a few times, and it is CLEARLY not as "Southern" as they purported to be. There isn't one single kaeng on there, IIRC.

    Had to the chance to hit Kabuto in August, but had to cancel that Vegas trip. Almost made it again during SEMA, but still it eludes me. What a bummer.
  • Post #107 - December 2nd, 2012, 7:10 pm
    Post #107 - December 2nd, 2012, 7:10 pm Post #107 - December 2nd, 2012, 7:10 pm
    Been perusing the board and ready to throw it out there: going in June for a Tues-Fri trip, first time for us- me , husband and daughter who will be just 21. Big part of trips for us is eating- cant afford money or time wise the most expensive so no Joel Robuchon, etc...
    Plan on staying mid- strip , not sure where yet.. was thinking Venetian or Bellagio but might take it down a notch to have more eating money.

    Thinking of from this list so far== we might have a car and plan to go downtown at least an afternoon and evening:
    breakfasts:
    Bouchon, HHaGG or Hash Hose, Peppermill, Mon Ami, DuPars, Tableau tho its not called that now

    Buffet for one meal= Bellagio, Spice World or Wicked Spoon

    Lunches and Dinners, have to see whats open for lunch also:

    A steak place, but only maybe, cause daughter is pescatarian, and- we live in Chicagoland- do we need to do a steak place really?
    Raku, soup dumplings at Beijing Noodle #9, LOS but might bump this for Raku, Kabuto, Ichiza
    Sage, Milos (lunch?) Bradley Ogden, Fleur, Michael Mina, Comme Ca, Aureole
    Seablue, Nobhill, Bartolotta, American Fish

    Obviously have some narrowing down to do. Any thoughts?
    Raku over LOS because not all of us are into heat, and Japanese appeals to more of us 3 than probably Thai.
  • Post #108 - December 2nd, 2012, 7:35 pm
    Post #108 - December 2nd, 2012, 7:35 pm Post #108 - December 2nd, 2012, 7:35 pm
    aviva5675 wrote:Been perusing the board and ready to throw it out there: going in June for a Tues-Fri trip, first time for us- me , husband and daughter who will be just 21. Big part of trips for us is eating- cant afford money or time wise the most expensive so no Joel Robuchon, etc...
    Plan on staying mid- strip , not sure where yet.. was thinking Venetian or Bellagio but might take it down a notch to have more eating money.

    Thinking of from this list so far== we might have a car and plan to go downtown at least an afternoon and evening:
    breakfasts:
    Bouchon, HHaGG or Hash Hose, Peppermill, Mon Ami, DuPars, Tableau tho its not called that now

    Buffet for one meal= Bellagio, Spice World or Wicked Spoon

    Lunches and Dinners, have to see whats open for lunch also:

    A steak place, but only maybe, cause daughter is pescatarian, and- we live in Chicagoland- do we need to do a steak place really?
    Raku, soup dumplings at Beijing Noodle #9, LOS but might bump this for Raku, Kabuto, Ichiza
    Sage, Milos (lunch?) Bradley Ogden, Fleur, Michael Mina, Comme Ca, Aureole
    Seablue, Nobhill, Bartolotta, American Fish

    Obviously have some narrowing down to do. Any thoughts?
    Raku over LOS because not all of us are into heat, and Japanese appeals to more of us 3 than probably Thai.

    I've never been to the Hash Hash A Go Go in Vegas, but I've visited the one in Chicago and it struck me as huge portions of merely average tasting food, nothing better. Otherwise, I can't help you much with breakfast choices.

    As fare as buffets go, I think Wicked Spoon is the best of those three. My second choice would be the buffet at Aria, then Bellagio.

    Beijing Noodle No. 9 is fine if you're looking for Chinese on the Strip. If you're willing to travel, you could certainly do better.

    Raku and Kabuto are terrific - which one to choose depends upon what you're looking for. Kabuto's focus is really on Edomae-style sushi - pure, impeccably fresh nigiri - so you just have to decide if that's what you want. I personally couldn't argue against choosing Lotus, Raku or Kabuto, but make sure to reserve early for any. With differing tastes, Raku might be easiest to please.
  • Post #109 - December 2nd, 2012, 7:45 pm
    Post #109 - December 2nd, 2012, 7:45 pm Post #109 - December 2nd, 2012, 7:45 pm
    Not Hash House a Go Go, but Hash House on Decatur, which I have also posted about. I was there again not too long ago and it is still great. Highly recommended for at least one breakfast.
    Steve Z.

    “Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”
    ― Mark Twain
  • Post #110 - December 3rd, 2012, 2:27 pm
    Post #110 - December 3rd, 2012, 2:27 pm Post #110 - December 3rd, 2012, 2:27 pm
    Yeah I saw some pics of A Go Go breakfast servings and its beyond reasonable, even for good food...

    Beijing..9-- Im still trying to eat a soup dumpling in this lifetime and saw they have them- thought it'd be a good place to stop in and try some, even as a snack/non meal time.

    Im leaning Raku also.

    Any thoughts on any of the lunch/dinner places?
  • Post #111 - December 3rd, 2012, 3:01 pm
    Post #111 - December 3rd, 2012, 3:01 pm Post #111 - December 3rd, 2012, 3:01 pm
    aviva5675 wrote:Yeah I saw some pics of A Go Go breakfast servings and its beyond reasonable, even for good food...

    Beijing..9-- Im still trying to eat a soup dumpling in this lifetime and saw they have them- thought it'd be a good place to stop in and try some, even as a snack/non meal time.

    Im leaning Raku also.

    Any thoughts on any of the lunch/dinner places?

    By the way, I think Caesar's huge new buffet, which has received a ton of press, is now open. I'd certainly be curious to check it out.

    I had one great and one not-great experience at Sage, and I don't know the reason why the food and service quality would have been so remarkably different. However, that has always been my experience with places on the Strip in Vegas, where paint by numbers is sometimes a concern. And chefs move around, staff turns over, and you never know quite what you're going to get. I'd still give Sage another try though.

    The only other place you've listed that I've visited is Aureole, and I had a very good meal there, but it was too long ago to be relevant.
  • Post #112 - January 28th, 2013, 4:00 pm
    Post #112 - January 28th, 2013, 4:00 pm Post #112 - January 28th, 2013, 4:00 pm
    Steve Drucker wrote:Botanas Michocana
    First stop here for ice cream. Many flavors, sweet and not very good. ESL functional.

    Luv-It Custard
    Last visit ten years ago. Has the formula changed or have we? It seemed far sweeter and with less flavor. Just the custard chocolate and vanilla, not their specialty the Sundaes.

    I will be in Vegas next week at the MGM Grand Las Vegas and I keep hearing good things about Botanas from locals. I am excited to try it out. I'll let you guys know what I think!
    Last edited by Tnorton on February 7th, 2013, 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #113 - January 28th, 2013, 10:17 pm
    Post #113 - January 28th, 2013, 10:17 pm Post #113 - January 28th, 2013, 10:17 pm
    Tnorton wrote:I will be in Vegas next week and I keep hearing good things about Botanas from locals. I am excited to try it out. I'll let you guys know what I think!

    Welcome to LTH, Tnorton! Have a great trip, and do let us know how it goes... we'd love to hear.
  • Post #114 - March 24th, 2013, 11:15 am
    Post #114 - March 24th, 2013, 11:15 am Post #114 - March 24th, 2013, 11:15 am
    Looked for posts on where to eat in Las Vegas, but looks like the last topic thread is from 2009. Apologies if my searching skills are wanting.

    I will be in Vagas in a few weeks. Staying on the strip over a weekend and a few days into the next week. I'm looking for cheap options for great food as well as restaurants that are worth every penny. Looking to stay on or near the strip, but am willing to travel a bit if necessary.

    Thanks for the help.
  • Post #115 - March 25th, 2013, 1:36 pm
    Post #115 - March 25th, 2013, 1:36 pm Post #115 - March 25th, 2013, 1:36 pm
    Great thread, and thanks Stevez for his informative posts and photos (as usual on his trips). I'm going to be in Vegas for 8 days/7 nights in April (business and pleasure - no way would I stay there that long!)

    I'm on the simple side of dining, and I, like many here, hit In N Out when I first arrive. I have Hash House and Hash House A Go-Go on my list and thanks to Vital Information for mentioning Farm Basket and The Coffee Cup. I also want to try Lucille's BBQ, but looks like no one here has mentioned it yet.
  • Post #116 - March 25th, 2013, 1:37 pm
    Post #116 - March 25th, 2013, 1:37 pm Post #116 - March 25th, 2013, 1:37 pm
    foo d wrote:Looked for posts on where to eat in Las Vegas, but looks like the last topic thread is from 2009. Apologies if my searching skills are wanting.

    The topic is old, but the posts go all the way up to 2013 on the later pages.
  • Post #117 - March 25th, 2013, 2:05 pm
    Post #117 - March 25th, 2013, 2:05 pm Post #117 - March 25th, 2013, 2:05 pm
    Ram4 wrote:I also want to try Lucille's BBQ, but looks like no one here has mentioned it yet.

    Don't.
  • Post #118 - March 25th, 2013, 6:15 pm
    Post #118 - March 25th, 2013, 6:15 pm Post #118 - March 25th, 2013, 6:15 pm
    TonyC wrote:
    Ram4 wrote:I also want to try Lucille's BBQ, but looks like no one here has mentioned it yet.

    Don't.

    Because . . . ?
  • Post #119 - March 26th, 2013, 12:31 am
    Post #119 - March 26th, 2013, 12:31 am Post #119 - March 26th, 2013, 12:31 am
    TGIFriday of BBQ.

    It's excusable to have such chained things as Grimaldi's and Hash House A-Go Go in Vegas, but I draw that thin red line in front of Lucille's (and Serendipity III).
  • Post #120 - March 26th, 2013, 2:25 pm
    Post #120 - March 26th, 2013, 2:25 pm Post #120 - March 26th, 2013, 2:25 pm
    TonyC wrote:TGIFriday of BBQ.

    It's excusable to have such chained things as Grimaldi's and Hash House A-Go Go in Vegas, but I draw that thin red line in front of Lucille's (and Serendipity III).
    Thanks for the warning, but give me a suggestion. What's a great BBQ joint out there other than Memphis Championship BBQ? Or is that considered a must go place (many I know don't care for it - sorry stevez!)?

    Any places out there known for a killer Chicken Fried Steak (with cream gravy - no sausage)?
    Last edited by Ram4 on March 26th, 2013, 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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