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Southwest Thai Wine Bar Trip Report

Las Vegas Trip Report (Part 2) Lotus of Siam, Nora's Wine Bar, and Hue Thai Aisan Cuisine


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Las Vegas Trip Report (Part 2) Lotus of Siam, Nora's Wine Bar, and Hue Thai Aisan Cuisine

Dave Feldman | Aug 12, 2006 12:46 AM

Although I was still full from the previous night's dinner, I went to LOS for lunch. Spicy seafood soup (with high quality hunks of red snapper), my beloved hoh mok plar (curry-pasted eggs, cabbage, and catfish. Also a little amuse of green papaya salad with little pieces of fresh, charbroiled shrimp instead of the usual dried crab or shrimp. What can I say? It was all great.

Dinner at Nora's Wine Bar & Osteria at 1031 South Rampart Blvd., the Summerlin cousin of the original on West Tropicana. I've only been able to find one recommendation for it on Chowhound, from Paul Carelli. I'm a little surprised it has gotten so little attention here, as both locations are immensely popular.

I found elements of the place annoying. Reservations seem to be invariably worth only a shorter wait. Upselling begins as soon as you meet your waiter, at least ours, who was rather smug. And they were out of two of the three entrees we ordered.

Nora's offers a huge list, with 60 wines by the glass, and three- and six-ounce pours (with no penalty for the smaller size -- nice). The bar was mobbed, as was the communal dining table.

We ordered the Margherita pizza as an appetizer. The crust was an abomination, and the cheese relatively tasteless and applied too liberally. But I liked the sweet and piquant tomato sauce, and this turned out to be a foreshadowing of things to come. I loved my spaghetti with bottarga, particularly the roasted tomato sauce. My friends both ordered penne alla vodka. One was wild about it, the other kept stealing my spaghetti, as it was the first time she ate bottarga and she was smitten. The vodka sauce was a little creamy to my taste, but it was well prepared.

I had lunch today at Hue, which, despite its name, is primarily Vietnamese. At lunch, bahn mi are the main attraction for takeout orders, but the majority of folks who ate in were eating more substantial fare. I loved my bahn mi, the house special with beef, pork and wonderful sausage. The vegetables were fresh and pristine, and the bread was perfect. Nothing radical or different about Hue's bahn mi's -- just impeccably done. More surprising was the quality of the mango slushy -- it straddled that fine line between juice and dessert admirably.

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