STRIPSTEAK - http://endoedibles.com/?p=18846
Having been fortunate enough to travel far and wide to sample some of the best dining our country has to offer it was after great deliberation that I decided to schedule a joint birthday celebration for my mother and aunt at Michael Mina’s STRIPSTEAK; a friendly relationship with one of the restaurateur’s managers allowing me to arrange a special five course tasting menu nearly a week in advance that should have been perfect but in execution was anything but. Surely one of the more trendy Mina properties, lodged in Mandalay Bay with high ceilings, slick design, and plenty of polish to compliment the thumping music it was just moments before our 7:00pm reservation that we presented to the hostess stand and quickly whisked to a table along the back wall it was with ample pleasantries that we were greeted, a trio of $15 cocktails to compliment the duck fat fries soon in hand but something immediately awry as the area’s temperature trumped eighty degrees – a trend to continue for the next two hours despite repeated complaints and the apparent efforts of restaurant manager Ashley to contact maintenance as beads of sweat rolled down our brows. Suffering largely in silence so as not to disrupt the celebration but clearly uncomfortable it would not be long after seating that our five-course menu would commence and wanting for a truly grand experience each round of food arrived as a trio, items including the “Instant Bacon,” Bone Marrow, Spinach Souffle, and Wagyu vs. Wagyu truly exemplary while the foie gras, chicken, and halibut were inexplicably overcooked to the point where the first two were nearly inedible while the later – a gift from the kitchen – was saved only by its aromatic sauce. Eventually moved to a table in the front dining room for a breath of fresh air mid-way into a main course where veal was presented instead of the pork that I’d ordered it was at last in the finale that STRIPSTEAK would prove most impressive with a trio of world class desserts followed by the restaurant’s signature beignets but with both managers avoiding our table as the $500 tab for Chef Gerald Chin’s uneven cooking arrived I could only shake my head wondering when Chef Mina last stopped by Mandalay Bay, a stunning departure from memorable experiences at Bourbon Steak, Wit and Wisdom, American Fish, or Arcadia.