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Dining notes from another short visit to Vegas

zook | May 21, 201512:40 PM

Another quick in and out to Las Vegas, but still managed to do some great eating. Night one was a return to Chada Thai. Had hoped Chada Street would have been open by now, but it looks like it may not be ready to go even in time for my return visit in June. You really can't call it "settling" however, as the food and service continues to excel. My only problem is that we tend to order the dishes we've enjoyed before and never really venture on to new things. Having said that, the raw oysters and mushroom Brussels sprout apps continue to shine. Soft shell crab and Apple salad, another favorite, did not disappoint. Instead of our usual drunken noodles with sea bass, we had them with the duck, which was really well prepared.

Day two took us to the Peppermill for brunch. I had never been there before and decided it was time to try it. Yes, the portions are huge, and the vibe energetic, and the food was fine, but I found it to be more gimmicky than what I'd want for a good brunch in the future. So, essentially now it can fall into the category on "been there, done that".

Dinner was at David Clawson. This was our first visit here. The reception upon entry couldn't have been any more welcoming, and the service throughout was exceptionally friendly and proficient. We sat at the bar so we could observe the desserts being made. Although we were there on a Saturday night at 7:00, the restaurant was fairly empty throughout the night which was surprising to me in light of how much we enjoyed our meal. We shared numerous plates, some stronger than others. For example, the quail sounded more interesting than the actual finished product. On the other hand, the plain sounding garlic noodles was real tasty comfort food. We really enjoyed the foie gras, sea bass, and duck. The crab cake was virtually pure crab and little filler with a nice red pepper sauce. The apricot pudding and a daily dessert special of a wine flavored cake were a nice ending to a great meal. Yes, it's quite the hike to get there if you're staying on the strip, but if you have a car, the drive is very pleasant and worthwhile.

My last day was Mother's Day, usually not a great day to eat out or experience great service, however, we sort of managed to avoid those issues. For brunch, we returned to Chang's for dim sum cart service with the added half order of roast duck. It was quite busy with large Asian families there for the holiday. The cart service was frequent, so no complaints there, but this time around, it seemed that the servers were less proficient in English than the time before. Because my son didn't want to eat any pork items, we tried our best to insure that we didn't order any, but because of the language barrier, it was difficult to do. After awhile it was sort of comical when the cart servers kept repeating pork to us to the degree that we thought they were just saying it to keep going. Despite that, we managed to have several plates of food, mostly good, but nothing exceptional. It could be because of the crowds for Mother's Day, but it did seem as though many of the dim sum we had and enjoyed on our last visit were not available this time.

For Mother's Day dinner, my son booked a table at Sage which was the perfect choice. Although there was a momentary surprise in that they were not serving their regular menu due to the holiday, they had a special five course Mother's Day menu ( not that interesting) as well as a three course menu containing a few choices in each category. Between the two of us, we managed to order different apps, mains, and desserts so we could share them all. Everything we had was delicious. The ambiance is so nice there starting with great service, tables spread far apart for privacy, and a nice vibe from the two musicians playing in the bar. We hadn't been to sage in a few years (can't remember why not), and so it was a pleasant reminder of how enjoyable it can be.

As noted above, I'm returning in June, so would welcome any suggestions for any new finds along the way. A return to Carnevino is on that agenda and most likely a first time visit to Hearthstone. Will be there four nights so have room for some more suggestions.

Peppermill Fireside Lounge,
P.F. Chang's
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