Red Square Restaurant & Vodka Lounge, Las Vegas NV

Red Square Restaurant & Vodka Lounge

White Ruskie – Stoli Vanil Vodka, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Frangelico, Marie Brizardd Chocolat Royal

KGB – Ketel One Vodka, Fresh Cucumber, Watermelon, Chili

Caviar Tasting – Buckwheat Blini, Trout Roe, Crème Fraiche, Chives / Potato Blini, Vodka Berry Sabayon, Crème Fraiche, Siberian Sturgeon Caviar / Potato Taco, Golden Osetra Caviar, Crème Fraiche, Chives

Russian Fingerlings – Tomato Chutney, Dill Sour Cream

Heritage Charcuterie – Beef and Pork from Troyanka, Berry Jam, Honey, Olives, Toasted Bread

Meatballs – Cabbage-wrapped, Roasted Tomato, Bulgarian Feta

Scallop – Lightly Cured, Buttermilk, Dill, Tarragon

Chop Salad – Tomato, Cucumber, Radish, Fennel, Housemade Russian Dressing

Vareniki – Wild Mushroom Dumplings, Stroganoff Sauce

Georgian Cheese Bread – Bulgarian Feta, Farmer’s Cheese, Farm Egg

Pelmmeni – Veal Dumplings, Tarragon, Dill, Lemon Butter

Pierogi – Potato and Cheese Dumplings, Chives, Crispy Onions

Salmon Kulebyaka – Mushroom, Spinach, Dill Butter, Puff Pastry

“Gorba” Chop – 14oz Berkshire Pork Chop, Carrot, Dill

Stroganoff – Braised Short Rib, Mushroom, Egg Noodle, Herbs

Brussels Sprouts – Bacon, Grain Mustard, Honey

Braised Red Cabbage – Apple, Caraway, Brown Sugar

Mushroom Julienne – Cheese, Cream

Double Espresso – Ice

Toffee Bread Pudding – Croissant, Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Toffee Sauce

Sweet Pierogies – Harry’s Berries Jam, Juniper, Cream, Brown Butter

Vatrushka – Sweet Bread, Quark, Orange, Almond

Formerly part of Light Group, a location next to the nightclub no accident, it was shortly after Red Square Restaurant & Vodka Lounge’s transfer to Hakkasan that Christian Concepcion took over fresh from Portofino, the young Chef with time at noma under his belt reinventing a boring Steakhouse menu into something rooted in the traditions of Eastern Europe that still remains modern and accessible.

Always something of an outlier in the Las Vegas culinary scene, its Vodka Lounge clearly an impetus to place a Restaurant themed on the former Soviet Union near Mandalay Bay’s primary entrance, guests will easily recognize Red Square as the Restaurant harboring a headless statue outside, the likeness of V.I. Lenin decapitated in 1999 amidst controversy but in the process creating another “Vegas” moment whereby visitors can don furs and do shots off the head in sub-zero temperatures.

Situated just off the Casino floor en route to a dining collection that remains one of Sin City’s best, Mandalay Bay’s numbers unfortunately still lagging some six months after the tragic events of October, it was shortly after checking in at the hostess stand that a table for six was readied beneath a sizable chandelier at room’s center, music as well as lights subdued with a red hue making the latter a challenge for amateur Food photographers.

Presenting a one-sheet bill of fare in print that may see older patrons pulling out lighted magnifiers, a much thicker list suggesting a collection of Wines, Cocktails and Spirits, it was abiding to the theme that drinks such as a Moscow Mule, KGB and White Ruskie were requested, each well crafted from top-shelf liquor but at the same time subject to “Strip pricing” at a base of $18.

Ordering broadly from various sections, a request for plates to be coursed out flanked by two surprises attempting to create a true ‘tasting menu’ experience, it was with a trio of Caviar bites that dinner began, housemade Blinis as well as a crispy Potato Chip offering delicate support for everything from Trout to Golden Osetra with each distinct, delicious and also available in traditional by-the-ounce service.

Allowing the kitchen to dictate the pace, a pre-theater surge dying down by eight o’clock allowing Chef Concepcion to spend time describing his extensive research in recreating the concept, it was to the benefit of two children that crunchy Fingerlings with dipping Sauces joined a collection of imported Charcuterie for round one, the chunky Pate of Pork and Beef amongst many highlights but Troyanka’s spin on Finochietta stealing the show with big notes of Paprika showing where Fennel often overwhelms.

Moving on to a collection of Starters and Salads, most surprisingly well portioned at prices that range $14-$16, it is not even in the simple Chop Salad that Concepcion goes low-effort as a pile of Vegetables is enlivened by housemade ‘pickled’ Vinaigrette, the use of Dill prominent but restrained just as it is with Scallop Crudo that even the Kids found enjoyable as their parents focused on what can best be described as “Grandma’s” Stuffed Cabbage without any Rice and superior quality ground Meat.

Happy to see a collection of Dumplings given their own headline, the lack of Chicken Paprikash forgivable even though it would seem better-suited as an entrée than Chicken under a Brick, the decision of where best to invest another $15-$17 comes down to one’s personal preferences though those dining as a group would be well-served to order all three, the Vareniki probably ‘safest’ as Christian’s Pasta making skills are exhibited in Mushroom Ravioli though the Pierogies should be prioritized by those familiar as they are as good as what one will find in the ‘ethnic’ shops of Pittsburgh or Cleveland.

Further impressed by Khachapuri, the Georgian boat of bubbling Cheese cooking an Egg added tableside into a gooey Fondue eaten like Pizza, it was by way of three Entrees and an equal number of sides that savories came to a conclusion, Escoffier’s model for Beef Wellington serving Salmon inside delicate Puff Pastry for just $29 while the Stroganoff and tongue-in-cheek “Gorba” Chop were both highlight reel dishes priced affordably for sharable portions, the former brightened by Carrots and Dill while the Bone-in Short Rib eats like Portofino’s Osso Bucco amidst springy Egg Noodles.

Slowing down at this point, Brussels Sprouts gone and only a few spoonfuls of sweet Cabbage or Mushrooms n’ Cheese remaining, it was with palates cleansed by Coffee that three Desserts were offered, this part of the experience still “a work in progress” according to Chef Concepcion and only the buttery Bread Pudding currently on the menu, though with any luck the flaky Pastry filled with fresh Cheese, Fruit and Nuts as well as pan-seared Dumplings full of Juniper-perfumed Berries will be quick to join it.

FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Swiftly modernizing a nearly twenty year old space, the “Russianesque” Steakhouse menu replaced by dishes that often taste like those from an Eastern European Grandmother’s kitchen, much credit is due to Chef Concepcion and his team for doing the research and getting this one right…now if only MGM’s marketing gurus will work as diligently to make sure everyone is paying attention to both Red Square and the rest of Mandalay Bay’s wonderful offerings.

RECOMMENDED: Heritage Charcuterie, Meatballls, Vareniki, Pierogi, Gorba Chop, Stroganoff, Brussels Sprouts, Bread Pudding, Off Menu Desserts if/when they become available.

AVOID: Alcohol is expectedly spendy and Mushrooms Julienne were a bit too briny for many, Desserts not served due to being too “American” are left to other’s opinions.

TIP: Open 4:00p to 11:00p daily with Dinner Service starting at 5:00pm and Happy Hour in the Lounge from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Check Groupon for occasional discounts.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

Red Square Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bread Basket, Bread Pudding, Coffee, Croissant, Croissants, Dessert, Food, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pasta, Pizza, Pork, Red Square, Red Square Restaurant, Red Square Restaurant & Vodka Lounge, Tasting Menu Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Kitchen at Atomic [2,] Las Vegas NV

The Kitchen at Atomic

Modern Times Cold Brew

Not Your Average Joe – Stout Casked Whiskey, Modern Times Cold Brew, Anise, Milk, Coconut

Hot Smoked Trout – Chives, Lemon, Toast, Gooseberries

English Pea Hash – Mint, Lemon Zest on Grilled Toast

Fries – Saffron Aioli, Ketchup

Beefy Monkey Bread – Honey Glazed Biscuits, Caul Fat, Shaved Cured Beef

Roasted Baby Potatoes – Sea Salt, Herbs

Seared Pork Belly – Coffee, Orange Zest

Higuera St. Breakfast Burrito – Scrambled Egg, Cheese, Tri-Tip, Salsa, Potato, Sour Cream

White Creamed Grits – Garlic, Cream

Eggs Poached in Tomatoes – Farm Eggs, Tomato, Chickpeas, Cilantro, Toast

D.K. Chicken Fried Steak – Chicken Fried Steak, Gravy, Two Eggs, Toast

Whiskey Bread Pudding – Bourbon Barrel Syrup, Strawberries, Honey Whipped Cream

When Justin Kingsley Hall took over The Kitchen at Atomic it was almost certain that Downtown Las Vegas was about to receive another great Restaurant and having already been impressed by Dinner service it was together with three others that Brunch was sat down to on Saturday, Chef Hall’s various former homes inspiring a menu that lacks for neither quality nor creativity.

Opening the garage door looking onto East Fremont widely, Las Vegas’ early-Spring as well suited for al fresco enjoyment as Sin City always is for day drinking, it was seated in a rounded leather booth that guests were greeted by a server named Cameron, the menu as yet difficult to find online tempting with sections labeled Small Plates, Sides, Entrees and Seafood Shenanigans.

Restricted to folks 21-and-older, an understandable limitation not uncommon in Sin City, it was as the likes of Led Zeppelin played at low volume from speakers overhead that Brunch began with a slow roll-out of plates, the first of two $4 orders of Fries crisp and delicious whether with Ketchup or aromatic Saffron Aioli alongside deboned Smoked Trout and Vegetarian Hash that offer plenty of temptation themselves, the former simply allowing excellent Fish to shine while diced Spuds enlivened by Peas and Citrus provide an inspired alternative for those who’ve had enough of Avocado Toast.

Nowhere near as busy by day as in the evening, a combination of factors including Atomic Liquor’s storied history as a late-night favorite likely at play, it is on the Menu’s backside that diners will find a handful of Cocktails created to compliment the full Bar and whether one opts for a Mimosa, Bloody or the Cold Brew-based “Not Your Average Joe” they can rest assure that the price is right as ingredients are as carefully selected as those that make up the Cuisine.

Smartly making familiar plates his own without abandoning the original concepts, Hall’s side of “Bacon” in reality thick slices of Pork Belly cured on-site with Coffee and Orange, those seeking a dish that truly stands out would be well advised to request at least one order of “Beefy Monkey Bread” featuring three caramelized Rolls presented sticky beneath Bresaola, though the meatless contingent is certainly not forgotten whether one selects the daily Urban Seed Salad, fragrant Baby Potatoes or Atomic’s take on Shakshuka that adds Chickpeas for texture amidst spicy Tomato Sauce and poached Eggs.

Allowing plenty of time to linger over Coffee and conversation, the large space and high ceilings offering a far less frenetic feel than eat or Carson Kitchen, those with more robust appetites will be pleased to know The Kitchen at Atomic does not hold back when it comes to plates labeled as Entrees, the Burrito named after a Street in Hall’s hometown of San Luis Obispo easily enough to feed two from its assortment of Eggs, Cheese, Potatoes and Beef while Chicken Fried Steak reportedly dedicated to Other Mama’s Dan Krohmer sees 10oz of Grass-fed Beef from Tasmania flattened and exquisitely tender alongside two Farm Eggs and Toast for just $21.

Never one to pass on Grits, the Southern staple here whipped thick with Cream and Garlic, those looking to end things on a high note will be happy to learn that the SLO-boy’s famous Whiskey Bread Pudding also makes an appearance at Brunch, here ditching the Cardamom and skillet in favor of a French Toast preparation completed by Barrel aged Maple Syrup and lightly sweetened Cream.

FIVE STARS: Well-culled but offering plenty of options to suit a variety of appetites The Kitchen at Atomic immediately becomes the weekend’s best reason to be in DTLV for Brunch unless one is below the legal drinking limit.

RECOMMENDED: Beefy Monkey Bread, English Pea Hash, Hot Smoked Trout, D.K. Chicken Fried Steak, Whiskey Bread Pudding.

AVOID: Cans of Cold Brew for $6 are a bit steep, though the blend is very smooth.

TIP: Brunch Menu offered Saturday and Sunday from 10:00a-2:30p with Dinner service Thursday through Saturday 5pm to 2am, Sunday and Wednesday 5pm till midnight. Be aware online menus, especially those seen on sites like Yelp or Foursquare, may not be representative of current availability.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

 The Kitchen at Atomic Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Atomic Liquors, Bread Basket, Bread Pudding, Breakfast, Coffee, Dessert, Food, French Toast, Kitchen at Atomic, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork, The Kitchen at Atomic Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bomb Tacos (Durango,) Las Vegas NV

Bomb Tacos

Horchata with Toasted Rice

Chips – Salsa Verde, Salsa Rojo, Guacamole

Carne Asada Tacos – Onions, Cilantro, Guajillo Sauce, Guacamole

Al Pastore Tacos – Onions, Cilantro, Pineapple, Guajillo Sauce, Guacamole

Wet Carnitas Burrito – Rice, Beans, 3 Quesos, Tomatillo, Pico de Gallo, Sour Cream, Guacamole

Shrimp Tacos – Creamy Cilantro Chile Sauce, Cabbage, Pico de Gallo, Cheese

Crispy Beef Brisket Tacos – Lettuce, Pico de Gallo, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Cotija Cheese, Guajillo Sauce

Carne Asada Curly Fries – Tomatillo, 3 Quesos, Pico de Gallo, Sour Cream, Guacamole

Crispy Potato Taco – Lettuce, Guajillo Sauce, Cotija Cheese, Sour Cream, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole

Mushroom Taco – Onion, Cilantro, Cotija Cheese, Guajillo Sauce, Guacamole

Shrimp Diablo Taco – Cabbage, Pico de Gallo, Sour Cream, Habanero Sauce

Bistro Taco – Onions, Cilantro, Guajillo Sauce, Guacamole, Fried Egg

Chorizo Taco – Onions, Cilantro, Guajillo Sauce, Guacamole

In a city where Tacos can be found up and down several roads east of Las Vegas Boulevard, not to mention on any number of 24/7 Bar menus for prices that frequently exceed ingredient quality, it was not until news broke of Robert Solano’s Bomb Tacos opening a second location downtown that the decision to visit his Westside original became pressing, a stop late Friday finding the Chef and his team turning out the sort of Meats and Sauces rarely seen Stateside at prices so affordable.

Open now for just over a year on South Durango across from Desert Breeze Park, a location invisible driving South and hidden going North further handicapped by a subpar website and lack of Facebook Geo-tagging, it is likely surprising to most that Bomb Tacos has actually been around so long in the Plaza also harboring Other Mama and TC’s Rib Crib, the simple signage probably not helping matters though those lucky enough to step inside will invariably be rewarded.

No stranger to the local dining scene, Solano’s involvement in Mundo at World Market Center probably his most well-known role despite time previously spent at Michelin-starred Topolobampo in Chicago, guests entering Bomb Tacos will quickly find themselves thrust into a space full of hand-built furniture where Spanish tunes play loudly, the menu scrawled in Chalk to one side with additional items including Vegetarian options as well as Beverages also available.

Operating out of a tiny kitchen with no walk-in, the product assuredly fresh and Sauces made “at least once” daily as told by the affable owner, it is after assessing the options that diners are invited to make their requests at a window where money is exchanged, a brief wait of no more than ten minutes to follow with some items coming out quicker than others, though those desiring things to be ‘coursed out’ should make it known when placing their order.

At this time a more full-service space than the one on Carson in DTLV, housemade Jamaica and Horchata for which Solano toasts his Rice to create a complex and nutty finish complimenting a collection of Mexican Sodas, it is wise for any who enjoy Chips and Salsa to begin with a basket additionally carrying made-to-order Guacamole for just $6, the fresh Chips a nice touch even though Tortillas are not made on-site while the dark Red Dip eschews heat in favor of smokiness.

Looking next at the Restaurant’s eponymous item, a variety of braised or fried Meats and Vegetables offered beneath fresh toppings including Solano’s signature Guajillo Pepper Sauce, it is no mistake that Bomb Taco’s best-seller is the Carne Asada listed atop the menu for just $2.25, the cheapest item intended as a hook and barely making its money back considering the tender Sirloin’s quality while thinly shaved Al Pastor is also a worthy contender for stomach space given its poignant aromatics that are carefully balanced with cubed Pineapple.

Further impressing with Fried Shrimp set-up against Purple Cabbage, the use of Cilantro Dressing instead of Peppers allowing Crustaceans to shine while those looking for a real punch in the mouth may instead upgrade to “Diablo” by way of Housemade Habanero Sauce, it is briefly stepping away from Tacos that guests will find Nachos, Burritos and Carne Asada Fries, the latter as messy as it is delicious with enough crispy coils and Beef to feed a group while the Tomatillo Salsa-soaked Flour Tortilla stuffed with Beans, Rice, Meat and Cheese should also be shared by all but those who are almost starving.

Capping individual Taco costs at $5, both the aforementioned Shrimp Diablo and “Bistro” version with Beef beneath fried Eggs still a good value as priced, a hidden gem on the menu is Solano’s double-coooked Chorizo that comes as a sliced Link rather than ground and dry like so many others, the intrinsic heat used as an accent rather than overwhelming everything else and arguably the most delicious item available.

Not forgetting those with dietary exclusions, Corn and Flour Tortillas interchangeable, it is with a nod to Vegetarians as well as Vegans that Bomb Tacos additionally offers three Meat-free options including earthy Mushrooms cooked snappy as well as diced Potatoes that mimic the texture of Ground Beef with lots of Seasoning, though those not harboring such restrictions should probably consider the juicy Beef Brisket on a light and crunchy Shell instead.

FOUR STARS: Truly a hard scene to differentiate oneself in, the competition abundant and prices highly variable from Strip to Suburbs, there is no doubt that Bomb Tacos is amongst the West Side’s best in terms of authenticity, quality and price – the too loud for comfort music, lack of Dessert or Beer and poor visibility (both online and from the street) notwithstanding.

RECOMMENDED: Horchata, Chorizo Taco, Mushroom Taco, Crispy Beef Brisket Taco, Carne Asada Curly Fries.

AVOID: The Potato Taco serves its purpose but is certainly not for everyone and the lack of a liquor license may also turn some off, though Beer is available at the location downtown.

TIP: Daily specials are occasionally offered on Social Media, Solano’s Octopus Taco said to be very impressive and a Lobster Taco apparently “coming soon” also something to be on the lookout for.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

Bomb Tacos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bomb Tacos, Bomb Tacos Durango, Bomb Tacos Las Vegas, Bomb Tacos LV, Bomb Tacos Westside, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cookies by Design, Las Vegas NV

Cookies by Design

Red Velvet with White Chocolate Chips

Oatmeal Raisin

Chocolate Chip

Chocolate Decadent

Chocolate Chip with Pecans

Suffice it to say that “Cookie Bouquets” were an unknown entity before a pharmaceutical representative entered the clinic porting several branded Sugar Cookies on sticks and although none were tried from that batch a decision was made to stop in, the fact that “Cookies by Design” is a nationwide chain also new information though it seems they’ve been in business for over three decades.

Described as “The original Cookie Bouquet Company” with both italics and ® added to the tagline, the fact that there are others not all that shocking in an era of “edible arrangements,” the reason many have probably not seen the Las Vegas franchise is it’s tucked away location in the back corner of a strip mall on Decatur, the signage not exactly eye catching and the woman running the shop not particularly pleasant, either.

Not currently in the market for Food-flowers, though a call made earlier that day confirmed individual Cookies are available, it was around 4:00pm that the store was entered and although only one man who appeared to be some sort of delivery guy was present it immediately felt like ‘business’ was disrupted – a curt “Can I help you?” answered by a request for “one each” of eight choices from a glass case though it turned out only five were available, the ones on display apparently not actual inventory but examples of what is kept in back.

Admittedly offering some cute ideas, the decorated Sugar Cookies embracing pop culture by way of Emojis, Unicorns and Build-a-Bear shapes, it was instead five flavors not that different from what one might find at CREAM or Sweet Addictions were selected at $1.50 each, first bites of Chocolate Chip and subsequently one with Pecans showing consistency from edge to middle that does not change and thus making one question ingredient quality as such a thing is pretty difficult to accomplish with just Butter, Flour, Eggs and Sugar.

Expectedly sweet, the fact that every grocery store and national brand of packaged Dessert has decided to eschew nuance in favor of Sugar and shelf-life part of the reason a truly good Cookie is hard to find outside of mom n’ pop bakeries or family recipes, those looking for the best of what Cookies by Design has to offer should probably consider one called “Chocolate Decadence,” the plethora of Cocoa Powder at least helping to rein things in whereas both Red Velvet and Oatmeal Raisin are probably equally mundane at half the price from Costco or Albertsons.

ONE AND A HALF STARS: Perhaps an acceptable option for someone ill in the hospital, a small child or ‘corporate gifting’ that will invariably end up in the dumpster the only real thing Cookies by Design has going for it is convenience and branding, neither of which should be motivating factors if one really wants to deliver a memorable present.

RECOMMENDED: Chocolate Decadence.

AVOID: Red Velvet, Oatmeal Raisin.

TIP: Each Cookies by Design is independently owned so perhaps other locations fare better.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

Cookies by Design Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Cookies by Design, Dessert, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Send Noodles, Las Vegas NV

Send Noodles

Thai Tea

Tempura Green Beans – Spicy Aioli, Unagi Sauce, Togarashi, Toasted Almonds

Gyoza – Pork, Shrimp, Ginger, Cilantro

Bang Bang Broccoli – Crispy Broccoli, TRUFF Aioli, Scallions

Okonomiyaki Pancake – Cabbage, Scallions, Mountain Yam, Kewpie Mayo, Bonito, Nori

Crispy Chicken Bao – Cucumber, Daikon, Sweet Chili, Jalapeno, Cilantro

Singapore Noodles – Shrimp, BBQ Pork, Curry, Vermicelli Noodles, Onion, Scallions

Dan Dan Mein – Ground Pork, Tofu, Cucumber, Shiitake Mushroom, Peanuts

Ramen Mac-n-Cheese – Ramen Noodles, Cheddar, Smoked Gouda, Cream Cheese, Spicy Rice Cracker

Mango Sticky Rice – Sweet Coconut Cream, Rice, Sesame, Mango

Sesame Balls – Adzuki Beans, Glutinous Rice, Sesame Seeds

Nutella Honey Toast – Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate Ice Cream, Honey, Nutella, Strawberries

So far making up for the closure of Alize with an impressive makeover of their 24-hour Café and Buffet it was alongside six others that a seat was taken at Send Noodles inside The Palms on Saturday, ages from Children to a Senior Citizen represented including a Chef and Assistant General Manager from elsewhere with all coming away a bit confused by what turned out to be a hit n’ miss meal.

Created by Station Casinos under the direction of Joseph Kudrak and Francis Mo, the former’s oversight a big part of A.Y.C.E. and Lucky Penny’s success with the latter operating as the Noodle Bar’s top toque, Send Noodles is described as featuring “a robust menu with influences from Mandarin, Cantonese, Szechuan, Japanese, Korean, and Thai cuisines as well as creative takes on American and Italian classics using Asian ingredients” and although no menu is yet posted online the concept proves true to its word with seating inside for perhaps fifty at most.

Open now for just four weeks on the north edge of The Buffet, its narrow profile and sparkling-clean bar catching eyes behind neon signage and a hostess podium, it was shortly after getting settled in that beverages including $28 Sake and $6 Thai Tea from a Can were served in addition to Water, Chef Mo stopping by with an associate to say hello and then turning the night over to servers unafraid to upsell more expensive items like Duck and Lobster but otherwise sufficient in their role.

A bit busy to begin but settling down by 7:30pm, an order placed in three rounds coursed out as anticipated save for one forgotten item that was brushed away with excuses rather than an apology, it was while chatting that dinner got started with crave-worthy fried Green Beans topped in Eel Sauce and bright spices while flavorless Gyoza identical to those at Lucky Penny disappointed for $10, the $12 “Bang Bang Broccoli” next proving to be the night’s most polarizing selection as some found the heavily truffled Hot Sauce off-putting while others felt it worked well in the plate’s context.

Intentionally inauthentic but occasionally sticking to tradition, the Japanese Pancake as fluffy and funky as expected beneath dancing Bonito, those looking for excellent Bao would be well-advised to check out crispy Chicken painted in fermented Chili and dressed in crunchy Vegetables while rumor has it the Beef Cheek version is less than stellar, one youth refusing to eat anything but the steamed Bun and his father confirming the Beef was too sweet and unpleasantly textured.

Moving onward to Noodles, a bowl of house Ramen and Mapo Tofu fulfilling the needs of a Gluten-free member of the table, it was in the opinion of one that Singapore-style Vermicelli could have used a bit more Curry that others found fault in overcooked Shrimp, the Dan Dan Mein on the other hand performing very well and appropriately spicy while $11 “Ramen Mac-n-Cheese” was sticky, rich and full of textures that were appealing to all.

Rounding out the evening with Desserts, all three from Send Noodles menu served in double portions, suffice it to say that fans of Adzuki Bean Paste will happily devour Sesame Balls featuring a crispy exterior and almost no oiliness while no one particularly enjoyed Mango Sticky Rice that was thick, pasty and nearly devoid of sweetness, the exact opposite situation as found in $10 Nutella Honey Toast that is every bit as delicious as it sounds but definitely best shared by two or more.

THREE STARS: Certainly not mailing it in with a menu of high aspirations and prices far lower than on-Strip competition it seems as though Send Noodles still needs time to dial in their recipes before being fully recommendable, though those selecting carefully and dining with a group can easily sample a lot of good stuff without spending more than $30-40.

RECOMMENDED: Ramen Mac-n-Cheese, Crispy Chicken Bao, Tempura Green Beans, Dan Dan Mein, Sesame Balls.

AVOID: Gyoza, Beef Cheek Bao, Mango Sticky Rice, Canned Thai Tea.

TIP: Open 11a-11p daily.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

Send Noodles Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Dessert, Food, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Nevada, pancake, Pancakes, Pork, Send Noodles, Send Noodles The Palms, Truffle, Truffles Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cinnaholic, Las Vegas NV


Nutty Professor – Butterscotch Frosting, Walnuts, Pecans

Crunchy PB & J – Peanut Butter Frosting, Crunchy Pecans, Strawberry Jam

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Fudge Brownie

It was almost immediately upon Cinnaholic’s announcement of impending Las Vegas arrival that an e-mail was sent to corporate, a refusal to answer inquiries about Ingredients save for “proprietary” since expanded to a lengthy list on the website confirming suspicions that little is “natural” about the their Vegan Cinnamon Rolls but recent comments from a local Chef enough to justify a visit…if only to see for oneself if it was really as bad as suggested.

Now open for a year in The Mall at Grand Canyon with additional outposts in Henderson and Centennial, a win on the television program “Shark Tank” apparently enough to take an idea for DIY-Cinnamon Rolls mainstream, it was just past two o’clock that the small store was found to be empty, a smell of Cinnamon in the air and two young women quickly offering greetings with smiles on their faces.

In reality a simple concept not dissimilar to Fro-yo or Shaved Ice, fresh Baked Cinnabuns ready to be crowned with Frosting plus a vast array of toppings, guests at Cinnaholic are welcome to choose from over forty suggested varieties or build their own piece-by-piece, the former seemingly best to see how their ideas fare and one Bun selected to personal preference while the other was deferred to the servers.

Not a spot where one should expect to wait long, the “Straight from the Oven” slogan on a back wall sort of misleading as previously baked Rolls behind the counter are visibly extracted from a warmer, it was with The Rugrats playing on a television that two non-Cinnamon Roll options were tasted while waiting just five minutes, the Chocolate Chip Cookie lacking any crispiness much like Chewy Chips Ahoy while Cinnaholic’s Brownie fares far better, the dense fudgey square one of Sin City’s best and a deal at just $2.50.

Setting aside more than half of the Cookie and Brownie as Cinnamon Rolls were passed across the counter, one for now and another for later, it was with mild amusement that claims from others about the Dough appearing ‘raw’ were confirmed upon cutting into the “Nutty Professor,” a topping of what tasted more like Salty Caramel than “Butterscotch” pleasantly mellowed by toasted Nuts but the texture and color beneath not dissimilar from Wonderbread and thus off-putting, an identical situation found in the “Crunchy PB & J” which, although edible, does not justify the price compared to Cinnabon let alone better Cinnamon Rolls found elsewhere.

TWO STARS: Generally put off by eateries that hide behind claims of “Vegan” as though it means healthy, the fact that *most* should realize a Cinnamon Roll is never anything but an indulgence, it is more Cinnaholic’s base that makes their product unappealing and in a city with the likes of CRAFTkitchen, Mothership, Joe Maxx and others making great Vegan Baked Goods there is really no reason to go here save for perhaps a Brownie or desire to watch Rugrats.


AVOID: Cinnamon Rolls.

TIP: 9a-10p daily…and take a look at the photos on their Facebook Page compared to the pale white ones pictured here or across Social Media by customers.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

Cinnaholic Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Lidet Café & Bakery, Las Vegas NV

Lidet Café & Bakery

Vegan Gluten Free Teff Bread

Orange Cranberry Bread

Vegan Banana Nut Bread

Cream Puff



Almond Croissant

Located on West Flamingo for over a year it was finally on Saturday that a reason arose to visit Lidet Café & Bakery, the signage signifying an Ethiopian influence that is actually indicative of ownership as the husband and wife team were both present and happy to discuss their products.

Translated roughly as new birth, the Café a passion project for the young woman who quit her job to take up baking full time, guests entering Lidet will quickly take note of a virtually spotless space that is brightly lit and nicely decorated, an overhead menu displaying Food and Beverage choices though several items from the list were not available over two hours after opening.

Describing the concept with enthusiasm, a menu that is Vegan-friendly yet free of fillers and emulsifiers no doubt commendable considering the limitations, it was after inquiring about several unlabeled items that an order of six was decided upon with a Cream Puff added complimentary, the whole lot’s total just under $21.

Returning home to enjoy, though the Café itself is peaceful including shaded outdoor seats, it was with all goods unboxed and Coffee in hand that first bites were taken of Vegan Banana Nut Bread, the bitter flavor of Walnuts nicely balanced by Fruit but the Bread unfortunately lacking moisture while the non-Vegan Orange-Cranberry Loaf was no different, and as a matter of fact actually drier.

A bit discouraged as good Quick Breads can be found on both sides of Las Vegas Boulevard, though Teff Loaf that is naturally Gluten-free stood out for its uniquely spongy texture and light sweetness, it was with good fortune that both Lidet’s Choux-based items were dramatically better, the same Custard Filling first tasted creamy and pure followed as a backdrop to Dark Chocolate Drizzle.

Rounding out the morning with two more items, a $3.75 “Napoleon” besieged with sogginess that compromised what otherwise could have been an interesting compilation of Custard, Pastry and Nuts, it was as another source of disappointment that a still-warm Almond Croissant was found to be filled with Frangipane, a seemingly odd choice as naturally ground Almonds would seem far better fitting Lidet’s focus on natural ingredients.

TWO AND A HALF STARS: Small, hidden in a strip-mall and run by folks who care it would be great to sing the praises of Lidet Café & Bakery but as it stands there is not much here to bring one back with Manan just up the Street and the likes of Rosallie, Breizh and others nearby except perhaps the Cream Puffs or an interest in tasting the Teff Bread.

RECOMMENDED: Cream Puff, Teff Bread.

AVOID: Orange-Cranberry Loaf, Napoleon, Banana Nut Bread, Almond Croissant.

TIP: Open at 8am Monday through Saturday, though Almond Croissants had just been made and Cinnamon Rolls were still absent at 10:15am.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

Lidet Cafe & Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Naked City Pizza at The El Cortez [2,] Las Vegas NV

Naked City Pizza at The El Cortez

Naked City Caesar

Bruschetta – Tomato, Garlic, Parmesan, Basil, Housemade Bread

Stuffed Mushrooms – Peppers, Basil, Bread Crumbs, Cream Sauce

Meatball Skillet – Pomodoro, Housemade Bread

Satriale Sub – Salami, Ham, Provolone, Basil Pesto, Sweet Peppers, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Housemade Bread

Pepperoni Pizza – Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce, Cup n’ Char Pepperoni

Fremont Street Pizza – House Italian Sausage, Banana Peppers, Mozzarella, Ricotta, Parmesan, White Garlic Sauce, Seasoned Breadcrumbs

Oreo Cookie Cake

Red Velvet Cake

With a car race in Phoenix, the 51’s Season starting and four locations serving Las Vegas you might say Spring is starting out pretty busy for Christopher and Michael Palmeri, but don’t think for one minute that has stopped the brothers behind Naked City Pizza from trying new things, Michael recently taking up baking and Chris planning the first in a series of dinners set to take place at The El Cortez on May 1st.

Now open four months and starting to gain a following inside Sin City’s longest continuously operating Casino, a location just off the gaming floor on East Fremont still in need of better outside signage, it was just minutes to six that four adults and two kids sat down next to Arcade Games at a table set for a feast, Chris off in Arizona but Michael happy to show off some new ideas plus the skills he has been developing with Metro Pizza’s John Arena.

Touching up the décor quite a bit since the beginning of 2018, walls now lined with black & white photos and the menu colorfully drawn in chalk, it was in the form of a gigantic Caesar Salad topped with housemade Dressing that things got started as “Whoomp there it is” played in the background, the first taste of Michael’s Bread arriving not long after in the form of toasted slices dressed with nothing but good Tomatoes, Parmesan and Basil plus a brush of Garlic.

Not identical to other Naked City Pizza parlors in terms of offerings, each shop slinging unique items and specials to tempt fans on Social Media, course two presented eight Mushrooms scooped out and filled with a mixture of Breadcrumbs and Red Peppers in spicy Cream Sauce alongside one of Naked City’s softball-sized Meatballs, the blend of Pork, Beef and Seasoning once again on par with what one might find on-Strip for twice the price and this time served with house-made Crostini.

Next taking a look at some El Cortez exclusives, the Satriale Sub first tasted in January getting a big upgrade with Michael’s Bread that develops a crunchy crust and supple crumb through a three day ferment plus a kiss of steam in the oven, long-time fans will be happy to know that Pizza at this Naked City is available whole or by the slice, the Pepperoni always a favorite but “Fremont Street” unlike anything else offered nearby with three types of Cheese plus Sausage, Peppers and Breadcrumbs for added texture.

Rounding out the night with Dessert, a collaboration with Chef Douglas Taylor at Jerry’s Nugget stocking Naked City’s cold case with a rotating selection of Cakes and Pies, it was passing on Cheesecake that two wedges were served, the Oreo Cookie Cake featuring moist Chocolate layers divided by fluffy Mousse and Red Velvet Cake offering stiff Buttercream in place of the more traditional Cream Cheese Frosting.

FOUR AND A HALF STARS: The realization of yet another goal for Christopher and Michael Palmeri, Naked City Pizza inside a Las Vegas Casino, fans will be delighted to now find their favorite slice plus some new ideas in a whole new part of town while out-of-towners can now get a taste of the locally born product they’ve seen on TV without venturing outside the major tourist corridor.

RECOMMENDED: Meatball, Satriale Sub, Fremont Street Pizza, Oreo Cake.

AVOID: N/A, but be advised that Housemade Bread is still a work in progress and not always available.

TIP: 11a-2a daily inside The El Cortez at 600 East Fremont Street and for those seeking something extra special see below.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

Naked City Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Gelato di Milano, Las Vegas NV

Gelato di Milano

Samples: Cappuccino with Vanilla, Lactose Free Dark Chocolate, Nutella, Tiramisu, Fior di Latte

Grande – Pistachio, Peanut, Amarena Cherry

Powdered Sugar Cornetto

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Opened in the waning days of 2017 it was easy to overlook Gelato di Milano, the incessant turnover and renaming of shops for each new trend from Fro-yo to Shaved Ice to “Rolled” highlighted by the Instagrammers they employ (see Creamberry or Recess) and items as insipid as Cotton Candy Ice Cream Burritos somehow ‘trending,’ but as it turns out the store at 4950 South Rainbow Boulevard actually stands out by way of something Las Vegas often lacks – authenticity.

Occupying a space in the plaza formerly anchored by Elements and now most relevant for Meraki, another off-Strip gem that has generated success by way of a well-priced menu and skilled ownership that values quality and customer service, guests entering Gelato di Milano will find themselves greeted by owner Gianluca and his more youthful colleagues, their thick accents unmistakably Italian and the store itself bright white with various knick-knacks on shelves plus plenty of seating.

True to its name as ownership does indeed hail from the European Fashion Capital, a city those more interested in Food than Fendi will realize serves some of the World’s best Gelato, it will not take long for most to notice cases loaded with approximately twenty flavors ranging from Fruit to Chocolate, a first taste of the Fior di Latte clean, milky and fresh without being over-frozen or icy like so many others.

Reportedly making everything including the base on-site, a small collection of Baked Goods including crisp $1 Cookies and airy $1.50 Cornetti labeled as “Brioche” plus Coffee offered for those in need of such things, it was as Gianluca returned to the open kitchen where a fresh batch of Gelato was being prepared that additional tasting took place, each of eight spoons save for Cinnamon-heavy Tiramisu making the choice of how to fill the $6 Grande cup more difficult.

Not too busy in the early days of Spring but certainly not unnoticed by locals, an Italian-speaking couple present on arrival with two additional families plus four solos forming a steady trickle of traffic, it was in exchange for $10 that Gelato and Pastries were enjoyed at a small table, the Pistachio and Peanut both stand-outs thanks to the purity of Nuts toasted at Gelato di Milano plus restrained sweetness while Amarena Cherry selected for fear that dazzling Dark Chocolate Sorbetto would overwhelm everything else was equally impressive as a result of its slightly sour base and big chunks of Fruit.

FOUR STARS: Having recently lost Desyree Alberganti to Indiana, Gelatology inexplicably changing the concept and losing a lot of its luster as a result, Gelato di Milano arrives in Las Vegas at just the right time, the Pastries not particularly impressive but the Gelato itself on par with what one may find in Italy, though the presence of Red Velvet in the Freezer on Saturday makes one hope the Website’s promise of “All Natural” flavors is not soon to disappear.

RECOMMENDED: Dark Chocolate, Pistachio, Peanut, Amarena Cherry.

AVOID: Chocolate Chip Cookie, Tiramisu Gelato.

TIP: Open from 10:30am to 9:30pm daily.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

Gelato di Milano Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Carson Kitchen [12,] Las Vegas NV

Carson Kitchen

Iced Tea

Communication Breakdown – Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Fresh Sour, Bar Keep Lavender Bitters, Domaine de Canton Ginger & Contratto Bitter Liqueurs

Smoked Trout Rillette – Pickled Mustard Seed, Charred Bread

Killer Shrimp – Rocoto and Aji Amarillo Pepper Cream

Charred Octopus – Fingerlings, ‘Nduja, Saffron Aioli, Charred Lime

Strawberry & Cucumber – Honey Mint Vin, Parmesan Tuile

Tricky Vic – Gosling’s Black & Sugar Island Spiced Rums, Cointreau, Velvet Falernum, Fresh Lime & Pineapple, Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters

Wild Mushroom Flatbread – Spinach Pistou, Manchego, Tomatoes

Broccoli Crunch – Green Goddess, Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds

Calabrian Flatbread – ‘Nduja, Cup & Char Pepperoni, Mozzarella

Salmon – Spinach Pistou, Charred Lemon

Tenaya Creek Bonanza Brown Ale

Mmm’ Rib – Ginger Barbecue, Vidalia Onion, Pickles, Tots