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Las Vegas Trip Report

Trip report March 2013


Restaurants & Bars 21

Trip report March 2013

shoprdoc | Mar 10, 2013 04:10 PM

As I routinely use Chow to research my trips (have planned trips around u-hockey's and others reviews lol), I wanted to provide feedback on our trip. My husband and I love to travel and as older parents do so frequently with our 10, 9 and 3 yo.

We arrived to LV and checked into our hotel and headed to Lotus of Siam for lunch as first timers. At 1115 am we were fourth in line. We wanted to try a bit of everything and ordered Nam Kao Tod (amazing), Spicy Chicken Wings x2 (my picky 9 yo eater polished off the second order on his own), Seafood Pad Ped, Pad Thai, Crispy Duck with drunken noodles (amazing but tepid), Khao Soi Short Rib (amazing flavor but tepid with one short rib so dried out I could not cut it let alone eat it - OK though as we had SO much more food than we needed), and Mango Sticky Rice which was yummy (and I don't like sweets) but took 30 plus minutes after dinner. My observations were that our server did not provide any assistance in either food or wine choices which I had expected from reviewing previous CHOW posts. His wine recommendation was "try this as people seem to like it"... He also tried to steer us to the buffet until I whipped out my CHOW list. We like spicy and asked for 7/10 with the exception of Pad Thai and Chicken wings which we asked for 4. Maybe the kids worried him but everything came out about a 4/5 at most. As overall great as it was, may try Chada Thai next time....

Veranda at the Four Seasons - split mushroom/sausage risotto and 4 cheese pizza among the 5 of us. Risotto good, noone would have more than one bite of pizza. Watermelon granita cocktail and Barrel aged Negroni and Service great! Breakfasts good with really nice service.

Charlie Palmer Steak - Husband hungry after Terry Fader show.... Sat at the bar. Nice bartenders and he thought the sliders and butterscotch creme brulee hit the spot.

Country Club at the Wynn for lunch - upscale and pricey. Nothing to complain about.... Service very good and food well executed (club sandwich, seafood cobb, hot dogs for the kids).... I would try somewhere else next visit.

e Jose Andres - this was our "date night" and it was amazing. We have had 2 near attempts at Alinea over the years (although we have done Aviary several times) so this was a new adventure into molecular for us. The Truffle Cotton Candy, Lobster with Citrus Jasmine, Torta Pascualete with Cotton Candy and Pan Con Chocolate courses were sublime. Foie Gras and Iberico pork with Squid (Squid was amazing - pork that I had was tough and my husband felt his was underdone) were good but did not reach the level of the rest of the small plates IMO. Whole experience (we did the regular drink tasting ) was well worth the price.

Border Grill - Grabbed a lunch here on the way to a 1 pm matinee show. Can honestly say I am horrified that these chefs would put their name on this one.... Chips heavy and greasy with burnt french frie butts interspersed. Salsas of which there were 3 were good. Food - Chicken quesadilla, bean burrito, fish tacos inedible... I have no problem paying 14$ for a drink but when it is advertised as reposado tequila, grand marnier and hand squeezed lime and when you get a sickly sweet drink tasting of commercial mix and nothing else - bad form. Plus service terrible- we didn't get drinks for 20 minutes as we watched our waiter flirting with the barmaid. F---- Shame on everyone involved.

My final review involves Sage - We have loved Shawn McClain since his early Chicago days. The evening started out poorly. When we checked in at 530 pm we got HUGE attitude at the door (We don't take children under 5 and we don't have a children's menu, and we don't have highchairs). I nicely said that I was well aware of that and that is why if they checked our 3 month old reservation they would note we had requested a banquette (works well to put the 3 yo in between us and in this case he slept the whole dinner) out of the traffic flow. They then seated us in a completely empty restaurant next to the only other table - 2 gentlemen clearly trying to have an intimate evening. Big pet peeve of mine... Our waiter arrived on the scene and proceeded to tell us we could NOT have the tasting menu as that would involve everyone and that clearly would not work. Really? We do them quite frequently and have never been told that before. Only after we ordered a 300$ bottle of wine, and he realized my 10 yo was ordering sweetbreads for an app., did he come back and attempt to be gracious. As my daughter says, BFF by the time we left... I do get it that they would have no way of knowing that our kids are well behaved and accustomed to fine dining (if all else fails -the ipads I bring along work miracles). However, I did take vicarious pleasure in the parade of drunken parties being seated later in the evening -boisterous, interestingly dressed, and carrying in adult "sippy cups". That being said the food met all expectation and more. Foie Gras Brulee was proclaimed by my husband as the best he has ever had and he orders it pretty regularly when we fine dine. Fennel Crab Ravioli and Scallops were incredible and Green Garlic Soup, Sweetbreads, and NY strip my kids split were all excellent. Grilled octopus salad was among my top 5 favorite presentations I have had of octupus. My husband and kids shared dessert and all were equally divided amongst themselves which one was favorite. I don't think you could go wrong with any - grapefruit semifreddo, pineapple mousse, arancini dolce.

Viva Las Vegas!

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