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Restaurants & Bars

Las Vegas trip report

lbamber | Jun 30, 201909:51 AM     9

Warning: TL; DR

Thanks to all the hounds who have been so kind in helping us figure out where to eat. We are fortunate enough to be able to spend a couple of months in Las Vegas. We are hampered by DH’s dietary restrictions, low protein and low sodium. This means we can have maybe one or at most two “splurge” restaurant meals a week. So every meal out is a precious experience, and we don’t want to waste a single one.

We are staying in SW Vegas, and only venture to the strip restaurants when we are going to a show, so that is also affecting our restaurant choices.

First stop was Chengdu Taste in Chinatown. Wontons in chili oil, cumin (toothpick) lamb, and dry fried green beans with a bit of pork. Eyes rolling to back of head deliciousness. Enough for another meal. If only they had cocktails..... I can not recommend this highly enough.

Jaleo at the Cosmopolitan before a show. Our server was fabulous. One of the best servers we have had in terms of guiding us, given our tastes. We started with the jamon iberico de bellota cinco jotas. This came with a half order of pan con tomate, so it was perfect for two. Melt in your mouth deliciousness. Absolutely worth the splurge. Throwing sodium concerns to the wind, we had the olives, stuffed and Ferran Adria’s way. These were fabulous, and even DH who eyes olives with great skepticism, loved them. I was torn between the green salad and the Russian salad. The green salad with the romesco and fried capers has gotten a lot of good press, but the Russian salad looked very good as well, and more unusual. The server told us that the green salad was less likely to be sent back (!), so we went with his suggestion. A green salad sounds boring, but this was not. Deliciousness again. We ended with the garlic shrimp. They were very nice, but at our primary residence we can get fresh, not frozen, shrimp straight off the boats that are shrimping within visible distance from the shore. Given what is available to us at home, the shrimp were just ok. DH had the signature Hendricks gin and tonics, and loved them. I loved the alcino cocktail. So all round, great service, great cocktails, and very good food. All at prices that are pretty reasonable for the strip.

Wazuzu at the Encore before a show. We had the roti panang, Cantonese BBQ plate (ribs, char siu, and duck), and nasi goreng. Good cocktails, but I cannot recall what they were. It was all very delicious, at least to our taste, and we had half to take home for another meal. A little pricey for what it was, but it’s the strip. And we could get in early before the show. Followed by wonderful cocktails at Parasol Down. Fabulous people watching, too. I could learn to live like this.....

Last night we had a show at Treasure Island, and we had dinner at Sushisamba. Given the mixed reviews, I was nervous, but we had an excellent meal. Thanks to Mr. Feldman for suggesting that the fusion dishes may be better than the sushi itself. It helped that we were there from 4-6 pm, and I can see that it could get unbearably loud and crowded later in the evening. Our server was fabulous, and very helpful. The caipirinha was delicious, not too sweet, and strong. (Unfortunately, their take on a pisco sour was waaaay sweet for our taste, and did not complement the food at all). Since I had read that they can rush you, we ordered one dish at a time, and the server quickly got that idea. We started with the crispy scallop in a lettuce cup. Three bites, even though it seemed to be only a half scallop. Party in your mouth. This was my second favorite dish of the night. Next up was the crispy yellowtail taquitos. Tiny tacos, but filled with a ceviche like mixture of yellowtail. DH complained that he would like them better if they were three times the size. LOL. We then had the yellowtail Tiradito with lemongrass and jalapeño. Four sashimi like slices of yellowtail on a delicious sauce. Next we had the sea bass miso anticuchos. Our server suggested getting 1.5 orders so we could each have a skewer. If I had known we could get 1.5 orders, we may have done that with the Tiraditos, which came with four slices of fish, and there were three of us. Anyway, the sea bass was beyond amazing. A bit sweet for my taste, but I have never had a better fin fish dish. So tender and perfectly cooked. Then we splurged on the hot stone waygu. The 5 Oz portion came with I think 10 slices of waygu, and small dishes of various salts, oils, and sauces. The server showed us how to oil the stone, and the best way to use the salts, oils, and sauces. I like my beef rare, and less than ten seconds per side was just right, OMG, this is perhaps the best thing I have ever eaten in my life. DH’s eyes rolled back in his head, and he said that this is the best piece of meat he has ever eaten. It was way expensive, of course, but we knew that going in, and given that we had literally not had steak in years, it was an amazing experience and so worth the splurge. We have another show in the area in a few weeks, and we will return for the hot stone waygu. I can see that the restaurant could be a zoo, and not worth it later in the evening, but for a very early dinner, it was fine.

Went to a show at the MGM Park, and had dinner at La La Noodle. The spicy cucumber salad was delicious. The lobster “dumplings” were more like fried lobster hush puppies. They were ok, but certainly not what I consider to be dumplings. We had gone for the Sichuan pork hand pulled noodles, but they are no longer on the menu. So we had something else, which was forgettable. Cocktails were weak, and service was rushed though they were not busy. I would not return. We had cocktails at NoMad bar. The server talked me into a drink I would not normally order, but it was very very good. We have another show at this venue, and we will have snacks and cocktails at NoMad rather than going to one of their restaurants,

Now for some thoughts about smaller restaurants in the SW part of Las Vegas. We had a very nice meal at Goong, which is a Korean BBQ place. DH had dolsot bibimbap (hot stone bowl). I had the spicy BBQ pork. The servers cooked the pork for us, and there were about 8-10 panchan, all very fresh and tasty. Again, enough for another meal. No doubt the Korean BBQ places in Chinatown are better, but this was as good as we can get within 150 miles of home,

Zabb Thai Spice Kitchen. A small family run place, with limited seating. We got takeout. Crispy rice and sausage (not much sausage), Laos papaya salad (less sweet and more funky than Thai papaya salad, so so good!), red chicken curry, and spicy basil pork. You won’t confuse this with LoS, but for a local place, it was very very good. Much better than we can get within 150 miles of home. The sweet guy taking the order asked what we liked, and how we liked it prepared. I asked for no added sugar, and while the basil pork was a tad sweeter than I prefer, it was all much better than we had any right to expect in the SW boonies. Enough for two dinners and a couple breakfasts for me. Inexpensive.

We got takeout dips and baklava from Great Greek. I normally make my own hummus, tzaziki, etc., and this was as good, if not better, than my own. Not cheap for what it was, but very fresh and delicious.

We also enjoyed las pupusas near Town Square. It is tiny hole in the wall, but freshly made pupusas, fresh curtido, and very tasty homemade hot sauce.

Amore: A taste of Chicago, the servers were great, but we learned that Chicago style “thin crust” pizza is not our thing.

If one has access to a kitchen, you cannot beat Tina’s Gourmet Sausage house. We got Portuguese sausage to make caldo verde, and Andouille for jambalaya. Both were among the best i have ever had, and I typically mail order Andouille from LA. The folks working there are so friendly, and give you too many samples! I can not recommend this highly enough.

Now if only I can persuade DH to sell up back east, and move to Vegas, all will be well, except that we will both weigh 200 lb!

Hope this long report helps someone, as I have benefitted from CH over the years.

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