Simply put, é is the BEST restaurant experience in Las Vegas, PERIOD (and let me clarify...if you are reading Chowhound you can generally be considered one of those who "live to eat" as opposed to those that eat to live. There will always be those that love T.G.I.Fs and cannot appreciate a place like é for all it is worth). Nothing, and I mean, NOTHING compares to it. Is Guy Savoy more formal and polished? Is Robuchon more classic? Is Raku more interesting? Is Lotus of Siam more diverse? Maybe yes to some or all of those but no restaurant can compare to the experience that é will give you.
é has it all. From the moment that I walked up to the hostess stand to the moment I left I felt as if had been transported to another world. I will not go through each course with pain staking detail as it has been done many times already. What has not been mentioned all that thoroughly is the service, which in my opinion, was almost as good as the food (sorry Anthony, I will always put food 1st...but you were a damn close 2nd!). The room is very whimsical with two side walls adorned what looks like old library card catalog drawers. Some of them are open with playful objects sitting on/in the drawer that make you wonder if Jose has enjoyed the same college experience that many of us did as youths. Having the 3 chefs and two servers, if you will, allowed for a great interactive evening. Each course, i believe 19 or 20 all tolled, was pure joy. So much so that I found my self giggling with pure delight and astonishment. There are very few meals I have ever had where I felt this way. Some dishes were simple in ingredient components yet complex in their preparation and some were both. Some have said that the place is "gimmicky". I disagree. Whimsical and possibly goofy at time in presentation but NEVER for preparation.
And if I were to have a criticism, it would be the wine pairings. They are by no means bad but certainly lack the depth that the food has. With such a high bar set for the food it is a shame to pair it with wines that are more run of the mill. For comparison sake, Ko in NYC's pairings were stellar compared to the wines we had. The cocktails looked very interesting so maybe I would be inclined to try them next time.
All I can say is for those that have not been, beg, promise, steal...do whatever it takes to secure one of these 8 seats. And for those that do not believe, your loss. And for those on the fence about whether or not you want to go, all I can say is that read the reviews of those who HAVE been...it is simply THE BEST dining experience in Las Vegas at the moment.
Lotus of Siam
953 E Sahara Ave Ste A5, Las Vegas, NV 89104