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Restaurants & Bars 5

Trip Report

JRSD | Mar 26, 201504:54 PM

Spent a couple of days in town this week during the pizza convention. Strange trip for me where I eat about half my meals at places I had either been to before or been to other locations.

Fat Choy - excellent peking duck bao and short rib grilled cheese. Duck had great crisp skin and juicy meat and flavor of the whole thing was delicious. Short rib grilled cheese was super rich without being as greasy as expected and really tasted great. Was disappointed they did not have the chicken and waffle on the brunch menu any more and it seemed like they had streamlined (dumbed down?) the menu a bit. Would still recommend it for sure.

M and M Soul Food. Seemingly recently opened location on S Las Vegas Blvd had breakfast of fried chicken wings, grits biscuit and eggs. Chicken came surprisingly quickly for being made to order and was not as juicy as I remembered it being when I eat at the other location. Breading and chicken had good flavor although the breading crumbled off a little more than expected. Loved the biscuits for sure - especially with the drippy egg yolk on them.

White Rabbit Cafe. Really enjoyed the food truck in So Cal and wanted to support their brick and mortar. Had a Longuanisa burrito and lumpia and thought it was good, but probably not worth a special trip. The white chocolate champurrado from the truck is great, but didn't have room for it to compare. Food is very comfort-oriented, lots of egg yolk, rice and gooey textures. Probably very popular at 4:21.

Tacos and Beer. On Paradise in old Firefly location and has the same owner. Tried a mini taco place and they were tiny. About 1/2 the size of a street taco, they were really one bite items. Plate of 6 was a decent amount of food and they were hit and miss. The fish, rajas, bean/cheese were all very good and the lengua, carne asada and chorizo were just OK. Friend's carnitas burrito was not very good (but when the place has taco in the name...). Excellent beer selection with some real standouts in the upcoming section and a solidly above-average selection when we were there. Wound up splitting a bottle of Bruery's Tart of Darkness that was not obscenely marked up at all.

After breakfast at the pizza convention, hit up Makers and Finders for late lunch. Pretty disappointing overall. Cold brew was insipid as if they had put too much ice in the cup or let it sit for a while before serving. La Paisa Arepa had good filling - plantains and chicken skin both stood out and went well with beans, but Arepa that was flavorless and hard. Friend's brussel sprouts were reportedly good.

Quick stop next door at Hop Nuts was good. Tried their Extra Pale Ale that was very hoppy. Someone there clearly loves West Coast IPAs as it was super clean with virtually no malt back. Great space that could be amazing when they finish it.

Dinner at Blue Ribbon was exactly as expected and excellent. Had a bucket of chicken wings which were great with the wasabi honey, the oxtail fried rice which is unbelievably rich and oily with a bone marrow omelet on top and a roll-your-own hand roll platter which featured excellent fish and was definitely amusing. Just because, I rolled the crab stick and veggie bundle provided with the oxtail fried rice in a hand roll. Please don't judge me but it was delicious!

Finished the trip with buffet brunch at Wicked Spoon. Liked it better than the bachannal at Cesars. Spicy cold noodle salad with shrimp was actually pretty hot and the shrimps were not over cooked and seemed very fresh. The bone marrow with kimchi glaze was the most original thing I have seen at a buffet and was delicious. The carved meats were better - rare roast beef, thick cut bacon and ham were all very good and made better by getting sunny side up eggs to go with. Bagels looked awful so grabbed the good marble rye and made a super thick smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich that was great. Went to the omelet bar for diced onion and tomato. Was too full to try much for dessert but the chocolate croissant and apple turnover were good also had a small bowl of congee with crullers and chinese sausage that was a great end to the meal. Coffee that came with was also very good.

Overall a trip with a lot of really solid eating. Would definitely recommend Fat Choy and Wicked Spoon. Would conditionally recommend Blue Ribbon but if you were not going to be in a position to try any of their other places and are OK with that type of expense then would recommend it for sure. Would recommend Tacos and Beer with the caveat that the ability to get good beer with good food at a reasonable price seems fairly rare in Las Vegas so that it is nice to know of places that fill that niche even though it may not blow you away.

Fat Choy Restaurant,
Hop Nuts Brewing,
Wicked Spoon,
M&M Soul Food Cafe,
EllaEm's Soul Food
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