Just returned from my first trip to Vegas in over a year; had three meals there that ranged from excellent to better-than-expected to disappointing.
Excellent: Lotus of Siam, of course. I was at the table and ordering within one hour of touching down. Can't say that I tried anything that hasn't been reviewed extensively on this Board, but the crispy rice and northern larb were both new to me, and both delicious. The crispy rise, in particular, just exploded with flavor (and heat). There were so many things going on in there that I couldn't begin to try and identify the many ingredients, but somwhow everything gelled in perfect harmony; I practically inhaled it. I also had the garlic chicken wings for the umpteenth time; they remain, to this day, the best chicken wings (and possibly the best chicken, period) that I have ever tasted. Oh, and the Riesling they recommended with the meal was terrific as well. Having just returned to NY, I already regret having only eaten once at LOS on this trip.
Better-Than-Expected: Star Canyon at the Venetian. I was staying at the Venetian and had a limited amount of time for dinner Friday night before meeting some friends, so I decided to try one of the places at the hotel. I wanted to try Delmonicos, after having read some recent positive posts on this Board, but they were booked solid, so I walked into Star Canyon next door. It's a southwestern steakhouse that frankly didn't look too promising, but the steak I had there, with a tangy mushroom sauce, was very flavorful. Not much in the way of ambiance, but the service was friendly and the prices not outrageous for a place at the Venetian. Not a destination restaurant, but not bad either.
Disappointing: Commanders Palace. I purposely skipped this place on a recent trip to New Orleans, having heard that it was too much of a tourist trap. But several posts have raved about the Vegas location. Five of us were at dinner, and although nobody complained about their meal, no one was jumping out of his or her chair, either. I had the gumbo special app. with alligator, shrimp and sausage, which was ok but nothing special. My duck entree was worse -- the best thing about it was the sauce, but the duck itself was dry and tough, and the wild rice seemed undercooked. A friend had the crab cake entree and didn't finish half of it. And I don't think it was because he was full. The place was quite pricey, too. Apps, in the high teens, entrees in the high 30s/low 40s.
I missed Wild Sage, Rosemary's and the In-and-Out Burger; will need to make another trip.
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